I’ll Call Today. You’ll Call Now. I’ll Call Now.
After taking in the Red Sox game at Fenway Park this weekend, sitting in the scalding heat, in the narrow rows of tiny chairs, and in the humidity so thick you can cut it with a soft pillow, I realized that it was officially summer. Actually, scratch that. That’s not what signified the season, this was: “Says tomorrow’s gonna be hotter…like yesterday.” Once anyone says any line the resembles this, I instinctually recite, “Yesterday you said you’d call Sears.” Growing up, I saw this commercial every day, every summer. That’s what summer vacation meant to me: days forced watching Nick, Jr. and reruns of Whose Line Is It Anyway? (the British version), waiting for the “more mature” cartoons to come on (Catdog! Angry Beavers!). That dedication led me to memorizing commercials, particularly the Sears one.
In memoriam of the mindless summer vacations that I can no longer enjoy, here are six more commercials from my youth that I will never be able to shake from my juvenile brain.
“His name is Henry, Clay Henry.” I’ve made this reference many times, and it seems that the only people who get it are my family members who helped perpetuate Clay’s legacy. I can always break out into “He got real big on burgers and fries, now he’s down to a smaller size. Gets his might from his veggie delight,” but it’s always the last line that escapes me. Regardless, it’s clear that Clay had more of an impact on me that Jared ever will. Screw you, Jared.
The perfect storm of 90s marketing: teenager in a plaid shirt, neon colors, and a talking dog (is that really a 90s thing?). It definitely worked, because I jumped on the Popsicle train hoping to transform my life into a psychedelic brain freeze. The popsicles were good, but not as great or lasting as “The colors, Duke! The colors!”
Unfortunately, I am unable to locate a video of this wonderful commercial. The jingle “Ribbon dancer, writing on the wall, dancing in the street” (or whatever they sang) will randomly pop into my head. Clearly, they made a great ad, because as a disinterested young boy, this commercial was incepted into my memory. Somebody give me a totem. Actually, never mind. I’ll stay in this wondrous dream world of ribbons and dancing.
NICKELODEON MAGAZINE, PLEASE
It was a commercial that continuously berates children to demand a subscription from their parents. It worked for me, because I was reading their vacant articles for years (and a great alternative to the nurse’s office wide array of Highlights magazine). The commercial’s seminal line, “Unbelievable!” proved to be an important part of my life when I insisted on repeating “C’est incroyable” in French 3 after I learned that that was its French equivalent.
I was old enough to recognize that this toy was for those younger than me, but that also means that I was old enough to memorize the stupid jingle. “Gator Golf, give it a whack. Gator Golf, he’ll throw it right back. Gator Golf, what could be greater than playing a game of golf with a gator?” Probably anything. Damn, I was really dedicated to watching television that I would sit through every commercial. Screw you, outside. What did you have to offer me? Sports? That’s what gym class was for.
A terrible toy with terrible advertisers. “I’m Mr. Bucket, the balls pop out of my mouth.” Sounds like a terrible plight. He has my vote for Toy-Most-Likely-To-Take-Revenge-Child’s Play-Style. It’s either him, Gator Golf, or one who didn’t get a memorable jingle.