Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Random Acts of Trivia #2: TV Commercials!

Time for another list of 10 bits of trivia... this time focusing on TV commercials of my youth!

  1. The pirate enemy of Cap'n Crunch's crew on the original animated commercials was called Jean LaFoote, the barefoot pirate.
  2. The original Cap'n Crunch commercials were produced by Jay Ward's people, as were the commercials for Quisp and other Quaker Oats cereals at the time.
  3. In the classic Tootsie Pop commercial, before going to Mr. Owl, the boy first went to Mr. Turtle (who said he never made it without biting, and suggested he ask Mr. Owl). This part of the commercial was cut out for later airings, so the boy goes directly to Mr. Owl.
  4. When McDonald's came out with their “McDonaldland” commercials, they'd originally considered hiring Sid & Marty Krofft, and took a tour of their studios (they were probably producing Pufnstuf at the time). They ended up not using the Kroffts, and when the Kroffts saw the finished commercials, they saw enough similarities between the McDonaldland setup and their own TV shows that they sued... successfully! This is why those commercials had such a relatively short life on TV.
  5. Speaking of McDonaldland, while most people recall Grimace, do you recall Mayor McCheese, Big Mac (the policeman), or the Hamburglar? There was also a character for the Filet O'Fish sandwich, but I can't recall his name.
  6. One of the Gorton's fishermen was played by the same actor who had the title role in Filmation's “Jason of Star Command”!
  7. Bugs Bunny was the first animated character associated with Kool-Aid, way before Kool-Aid Man first appeared! Packages of the drink mix featured Bugs with art probably done by the same artists doing the Bugs Bunny comic at Gold Key.
  8. The first TV commercial for Mego's “Planet of the Apes” action figure line used the storyline of the original movie in super-compressed form, including a version of the Statue of Liberty scene at the end!
  9. Speaking of Mego, the commercials for their “World's Greatest Super-Heroes” action figure line owed a lot to the 1966 “Batman” TV show, including the use of the theme song.
  10. Mego's most controversial commercial, as well as their most controversial product, was for a game called “Ball Buster,” which showed a family playing the game (a grid with holes at the intersections, players would put a flexible plastic piece in a hole with a two-part ball on the top, and then attempt to break the ball on someone else's piece by pulling their piece back and releasing it, causing it to spring forward). The end of the commercial shows Mom winning, with Dad saying, “Honey, you're a ball buster!” I don't know if this commercial ever aired, but it can usually be found on Mego commercial collections.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep your comments relevant, I delete all spam! Thanks.