So much to say about this montage of local and national advertising that ran on then-independent Milwaukee TV station WVTV (despite what the heading says, it was never an ABC affiliate, although it’s presently the CW) on May 5, 1979. I was too young (age 4) to remember seeing this firsthand, although a couple of these lingered long into the ’80s.
0:56 – TACOTACOTACO BELL! (also, “The Fresh Food Place”, eh?)
1:06 – It’s like every single key pressed on this primitive calculator emits a stab of agonizing pain.
2:27 – Whoa, lady! Bar soap scintillating enough to induce cartwheels.
2:47 – TAKEALOOKAT THOSE GINORMOUS CANS. Sorry, but Jolly Good just wasn’t as great a local generic soda as Graf’s.
3:43 – It’s not so much the claymation Jimmy Durante (who wasn’t even dead yet – did he approve this abomination?) but the demented grin Larry Balistreri makes as he picks up the little figurine that translates into Nightmare Fuel.
5:29 – First Wisconsin Bank presents: A Cornucopia of Authentic Wisconsin (sorry, “Wes-cahn-sin”) Accents!
7:38 – I swear True Value commercials looked and sounded exactly like this well into the ’90s.
8:55 – “Laz-o-curve Thrusters” (Thank you, Star Wars.)
9:38 – Woolworths (celebrating its centennial) and Mickey Mantle! Both will be dead in less than 20 years!
10:49 – Nice to know Don Ameche (he’s from Kenosha, don’t ya know) would go on to win an Oscar for Cocoon years after appearing in these sorts of ads.
13:12 – The Ernie von Schledorn jingle! I’ve been scouring YouTube for this for years. Loses points for not including Ernie’s spoken coda, “Who do you know vants to buy a car?”
16:31 – It’s Bon Iver’s dad! (“Ah… milk!”)
18:02 (and 21:08) – I’m old enough to faintly remember when Marc’s Big Boys looked like this (heck, I’m old enough to remember Marc’s Big Boy.) Also, there’s something positively Christopher Guest-like about these interviews.
19:03 – Let’s go back when commercials could reasonably look like they cost twenty bucks to produce (“Brother John’s, next to Gene’s…”)
20:38 – Mel Frickin’ Schlesinger (and his annoying little bird)! In my mind, I auto-associated the word “Schlesinger” with cars well into my twenties.
Really, the only thing missing from this stupendous collection is an ad for Gordon (Gordon, Gordon) Furniture, and maybe one for Tadych (skip to 2:01) too.