They Used To Show WHAT On TV?
So we decided that last weekend's Sunday dinner would be burgers and dogs on the grill.
Not because I particularly like either of the main entrees - if you can even call a glob of beef or a beige link an entree - but I like them because it keeps the cooking outside and kitchen labor to a minimum.
Have I mentioned that I hate to cook?
My duties were light: I opened a bag of salad ingredients, shook them into a bowl and topped the greenery with bottled dressing. Organic, if that makes you feel any better. Then I popped open a tub of potato salad from the supermarket - hey, theirs is as good as my mother’s, which wasn’t all that tasty so I have no standards - and spooned that into another bowl.
But then, as my daughter took orders for the grilled goods, she innocently asked, “Who wants a hot dog?” and suddenly it was 1967 as I broke into an off-key rendition of the Armour hot dog jingle. Couldn’t help myself.
“Hot dogs. Armour hot dogs.
What kind of kids eat Armour hot dogs?
Fat kids. Skinny kids. Kids who climb on rocks.
Tough kids. Sissy kids. Even kids with chicken pox, love hot dogs.
Armour hot dogs. (Big finish) The dogs kids love to biiiite!”
Everyone looked at me like I was singing a raunchy sea shanty.
Then it hit me. You couldn’t get away with that ditty on TV today.
Fat shaming is frowned upon. So are any remarks about size. Tough kids are sent to sensitivity training. And sissies? No one calls sensitive boys that anymore.
Oh, and kids don’t get chicken pox. They get vaccinated.
As I scoured the internet for a vintage Armour ad to make sure I had the correct lyrics, I stumbled on several other classic commercials that would horrify TV audiences today.
Thought you might enjoy them.
Most outrageous was one for Winston cigarettes, which sponsored “The Flintstones” from 1960 to 1962. Gotta tell you, watching Fred and Barney light up was something of a shock. Seeing Fred gallantly light Wilma's cigarette was even more of a jolt.
I didn't even know the Flintstones smoked.
See for yourself.
Think about it. Fifty years ago the tobacco industry was using cartoon characters to push cigarettes.
Yes, "The Flintstones" aired in the evening and was essentially a show for grown ups. But kids loved the Stone Age family too. Later it was sponsored by Welch’s.
Tobacco was all over the airwaves until Nixon signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act in April 1970 that extinguished cigarette ads on TV and radio. Seeing those nicotine spots today is jarring.
Shoot, start watching old commercials and you’ll quickly realize that the 1960s were the Wild West for the advertising world.
No standards. No truth in advertising.
Want proof? Get a load of this 1961 ad, touting Coke as a weight loss aid.
“No more calories than half a grapefruit!”
Half a grapefruit has 53 calories, by the way. So unless she was drinking out of a thimble, that sugary soft drink definitely packed more punch than half a citrus fruit.
If you're wondering who Connie Clausen was, her 1997 obit in The New York Times began this way: "Connie Clausen, an actress and literary agent who began her career by riding circus elephants, died on Sept. 7."
I don’t know why I decided to share these vintage ads today. Or why I researched Ms. Clausen, ex-elephant jockey.
Musta been those dogs.