Monday, December 15, 2008

Fruity Pebbles Christmas Commercial

For my second cereal-related Christmas commercials post, here's an old standby that aired for several years. I'm pretty sure I was still seeing it on TV when I was well into my teens. Yes, I'm referring to the Fruity Pebbles holiday commercial.

Barney must be even more desperate for Fruity Pebbles than that rabbit is for Trix (I don't understand why. In my opinion, Cocoa Pebbles is the superior cereal of the Pebbles variety). The guy was willing to go out in the snow with no pants or shoes on, for God's sake.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Commercials: Trix, Christmas Style

Here's a Trix commercial from the early 90s that I'm pretty sure continued to air for a few years after that. Back then there were only five flavors (I think that lime was a fairly recent addition when this commercial aired) and they were all just round, instead of fruit-shaped (interesting factoid: Trix is short for "Tropical Kix").

That damn rabbit couldn't even catch a break on Christmas. Hell, even Fred Flintstone was willing to share his Fruity Pebbles during the holidays.

That blonde girl in the commercial looks like she stepped off the set of The Bloodening Village of the Damned.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Commercial: Milton Bradley Travel Games

I remember when this commercial first aired in the early 90s. It features Santa trying to get his reindeer to pass him some travel-sized games to put in the stockings, only they're too busy enjoying the gifts themselves to pay him any mind.

Maybe it's just me, but even travel-sized games seemed a little extravagant for stocking stuffers (at least the brand-name ones, like Milton Bradley). Then again, my stocking stuffers were always dollar store fare. In my family, our stockings were mostly filled with candy, those candy cane shaped pens that barely wrote, and once in awhile a box of crayons and a coloring book. The real presents were under the tree.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special

This is probably one of the most insane Christmas specials ever made - not surprising, since it's Pee Wee's Playhouse. This was so campy that John Waters would be jealous. Just look at this list of guest stars:

  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Magic Johnson
  • Grace Jones
  • Frankie and Annette
  • Cher
  • Joan Rivers
  • The Del Rubio Triplets
  • Little Richard
  • K.D. Lang
  • Zsa Zsa Freakin' Gabor
  • Oprah, before she became the self-serving, name-dropping bitch that she is today
  • Dinah Shore
  • Charo

I'm surprised they don't air this on the Logo network. It's rife with gay icons.

This special managed to reach out to most of the demographics: they covered both the secular and religious aspects of Christmas and Hanukkah. Nobody can possibly be offended except for any uptight parents watching this after 1991.

On to the commentary:

  • When the director told those guys in the choir to look as serious as possible, they took it to the extreme. Some of them look like they're singing at a funeral.

  • I wish those two drag queens back-up singers would have made more appearances on the show.

  • "What would you put on my Christmas list if you were me?" I don't know, maybe a huge supply of porn, so you can spank it in the comfort of the playhouse, instead of whipping it out in public and getting your show pulled (no pun intended)? Sorry, still bitter over here.

  • Heh, I KNEW Chairry had a crush on Ms. Yvonne.

  • Florry totally wants to peek under Ms. Yvonne's dress.

  • "I hope it's not a fruitcake." Don't worry Pee Wee, Little Richard will be over later.

  • Grace Jones appears to be wearing the same prosthetic boobs that Marilyn Manson is wearing on the cover of Mechanical Animals.

  • Thank God Cher didn't sing.

  • I wonder how many kids actually heeded Pee Wee's advice and used coconut shavings to make snow angels. I'm sure at least one dumb kid tried to pull that crap.

  • I wonder how Little Richard felt about Morpheus Cowboy Curtis usurping his hair-do.

  • I think Penny either forgot her Ritalin or had a little too much sugar.

  • Charo was totally rocking a crimp.

  • Why didn't Joan Rivers, Dinah Shore, and Whoopi Goldberg join Ms. Renee in singing the dreidel song?

  • They had MAGIC SCREEN narrate the story of the nativity? Seriously? Couldn't they have used a character with a less grating voice?

  • Damn, I wish those workers would add a wing to my house.

  • If Pee Wee gets no presents, is it really a huge loss? He DOES have Jambi.

  • Looks like your wish has yet to come true, Pee Wee.

    Here's part one. The rest are in the uploader's profile.

Friday, December 5, 2008

7 UP Holiday Commercials

Remember Spot? The former mascot of 7UP? Sometime in the late 80s, that little red ball on the logo was anthropomorphized and his popularity exploded. He even had a few of his own video games (then again, what anthropomorphized character DIDN'T have its own video game during that era?).

I'm not sure why 7UP dropped the Spot campaign. Then again, this is what they had to say in the FAQs section of their official website (by the way, 7UP is both Kosher and gluten-free, in case you were wondering):

Q: Are you targeting 7UP to adults or children?

A: 7UP is targeted to adults 25-49 who want a great tasting carbonated soft drink without artificial flavors are preservatives.

Hmm, does this mean that I've only been old enough to drink 7UP for less than 2 months?

Spot was featured in many commercials, but the Christmas-themed ones are the most memorable. This one from the late 80s is beyond cute. The music is pretty good too:

Here's one from the early 90s, featuring the now defunct slogan "The Uncola". Not as whimsical as the other one, but cute nonetheless:

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

McDonald's Ice Skating Holiday Commercial

Throughout the 80s and early 90s, McDonalds would always air this commercial around Christmas. It featured Ronald McDonald ice skating, while animated forest creatures looked on. He engages in a game of "Crack the Whip" with a bunch of kids - save for the smallest of them all who is left behind. Kid looks sad, Ronald notices, picks him up and spins him around, and the other kids finally acknowledge his existence. Hey, Ronald noticed him, so he must be worthy of their attention, right?

Here's the commercial. Animation and music-wise, this ad was pretty high-quality.

Later on, they replaced the audio track in the commercial. I think I might actually like this music better:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Eve on Sesame Street

Throughout my childhood, PBS ran 1978's Christmas Eve on Sesame Street ad nauseam throughout the month of December - and I was determined to catch every single airing. Alas, PBS has retired this special, in favor of some crappy one featuring The Monster That Ruined Sesame Street Elmo. I've been holding out hope for several years that they'll pull this out of the vault, but no such luck. Thank God for Youtube.

And now for some commentary:

  • I will always and forever associate Jose Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad" with this special.

  • Damn, it couldn't have been easy to skate around in that Big Bird costume. Big Bird (and his costume) is 8'2"!

  • Oscar would NEVER say that Santa is "built like a dump truck" in the overly PC Sesame Street of today. Obesity is a growing epidemic, ya know.

  • Ah, Bob. Your singing voice makes me melt (shut up, you know it makes you melt too).

  • Luis who? Back in those days, Maria and David were an item.

  • Hee! I love how the subway drowned out Oscar's scathing remarks to Big Bird. It totally gave the illusion of profanity.

  • Bert and Ernie sure are crappy gifters. Oh well, it's the thought that counts.

  • I would love to know where the kids Grover and Kermit interviewed are now.

  • This special was one of the only times I was exposed to Mr. Hooper. The actor who portrayed him died in 1982 (and the episode that addressed his death aired when I was approximately 27 days old)

  • Ah what Christmas special would be complete without a Gift of the Magi (or A Christmas Carol or It's a Wonderful Life) parody?

  • Prune cookies? Jeez Cookie Monster, you're already bulimic. Are you looking for a new way to purge?

  • Why are you bitching, Big Bird? You don't HAVE a chimney. You'll get your damn presents.

  • Heh, I almost forgot that Cookie Monster was saying "Cowabunga!" long before Michelangelo.

  • "I'll tell him where to put his toys." Pretty raunchy line for Sesame Street.

  • "Oh Ernie, what a great, superb packing job." I'M NOT TOUCHING THAT ONE!

  • Out of all the Christmas songs for Bert and Ernie to sing, they WOULD pick the one that includes the line "make the Yuletide gay" (sorry, couldn't resist).

  • Don't you have parents or some kind of guardian, Patty?

  • A half-frozen Big Bird, coupled with that SNORING was one of the most frightening images ever to three-year old me.

  • "I think my giblets are frozen." Holy innuendo, Batman! At least to my one-track mind.

  • So Patty DOES have a mom! Maybe she had a little too much eggnog that night?

  • Oscar's last line, followed by Big Bird's silent sputtering = best ending ever.

Here's part 1. I'm not about to embed all seven parts, so for the rest, just click the uploader's name.