Starring character actor Jesse White, this commercial, circa 1960, treats Esskay franks as if you could smoke them.
Born 1926, Stan Freberg was an American satirist, active in the 1950s through the 1980s. Something of a Renaissance Man, he was a radio personality, comedian, wrote books, voiced animated characters in films, and worked in the Mad Men-era advertising industry, writing and producing commercials for TV. In that capacity, Freberg is often credited with introducing humor into commercials for the first time – previous TV ads were usually deadpan endorsements of products by talking heads. His high concept/low tech approach is still influential today. Many of his commercials involved food products, and here are the five funniest.
This Cheerios commercial (“Terribly Adult Cereal”) was aired in 1962, and it’s hard to imagine a stranger — or more effective — way to flog breakfast food.
Sci-Fi author Ray Bradbury cooperated with Freberg to produce this commercial for Sunsweet Prunes in 1969 (“Brave New Prune”) — creating a controversy for Bradbury, but at least proving he didn’t take himself too seriously.
Jay Silverheels (Tonto) and Clayton Moore (the Lone Ranger) were dragged out of retirement to produce this bizarre commercial for Jeno’s Pizza Rolls in the late 1970s.
In 1970, Broadway star Ann Miller danced her way through this commercial for Great American Soups, a long forgotten brand.
Check out other Bad Food Jokes.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 3, 2012