Time for some cartoon lore, citizens! If you're of the right age, you are too young to have seen lucky strike ads like this one first hand, and don't know the reference when it popped up in cartoons from The Forties, which were a part of this balanced breakfast every day of your life until the age of twenty.
First, the old ad.
"So round, so firm, so fully packed." Hey, if the American Tobacco Company can disregard proper use of capitalization, I can disregard their disregard of proper use of capitalization. Besides, those dickwads probably fragged my dad about ten years prematurely, so screw their capitalization.
Until I became a big grownup with a weird obsession with commercial materials from before my time, I only knew that phrase from a couple of Woody Woodpecker cartoons where his voice becomes French and he tries to make it with an incompatible animal species. Observe this clip from Solid Ivory, in which Woody wants an egg, and will sleep with a chicken (apparently) to get one. Try to ignore the bizarre blurring and vignetting applied by the poster to throw Google's automatic copyright violation detection bots off the scent. It all but ruins the point of even looking at this. But here's the line.
FaceTube's embed function doesn't allow time code indexing, so here's a link to the video at just the right spot... until Google catches on and the cartoon is pulled, anyway.
It's the Woody Woodpecker cartoon "Solid Ivory". The line occurs at 5:23.
"Oooh la laaa! Pardon, madame. Have we not met before in Pareee? No? Or, was it in ze Riviera, yes? You are so round, so firm, so fully packed! Come, mon cherie, and we will fly to ze Cazbah!"
So, mystery solved, like thirty years later. Walter Lantz was making a trendy reference to a successful cigarette commercial of the time. Bury that reference in the ground for a couple of decades, to be unearthed by Channel 32's Super Cartoon Sunrise for the entertainment of pre-teen Phil, and the reference lands with a thud on the ears of its young audience.
The thud of the reference was un-thudded about ten years ago when I started listening to old radio programs, occasionally peppered with live reads of the Lucky Strike promo mentioning the cigarettes' roundness, firmity, and fully-packeddom.
Also in the Lucly Strike live reads (examples of which were not easily found, sorry) was the recitation of the acronym "L.S.M.F.T.!!!" This was repeated a few times per spot in the odd near-shouting-voice of old time radio actors. If your slogan is a string of five letters and you want it to catch on, you'll need to repeat it - first, so that people can remember so cryptic a phrase - and second, so that they can be annoyed by your blatant hammering of the advertising anvil. This stands for "Lucky Strike means Fine Tobacco". Incidentally, learning something and believing it are two different things. Just ask my religion teacher, Sister Margaret Ann. Sister Margaret, if you're reading this, I respect your wielding of the +3 Yardstick of Jesus against nine year old children, but come at me now and I'll disarm you and then paddle your ass with your own weapon. "LSMFT, mothafuckah!"
Need a good laugh? Please enjoy some bizarre Lucky Strike commercials of the kind that would never see the light of day in this century.
First, a Lucky Strike commercial from the Jack Benny show. It's got a trio of guys singing a parody of "You Belong to Me" in rock solid three part harmony. "Take good care of yourself. Smoke a Lucky Strike." I swear I am not making this up. Here's another non-embedable indexed link.
This one is only a minute long, and worth watching, because it's a bunch of stop-motion cigarettes having a square dance. Freaky-deaky, man. The money shot comes at 0:26 where the announcer shouts "Smoke 'em! Smoke 'em! Then you'll see! L.S., L.S./MFT!" American Tobacco was trying so hard to make you learn their weird rhythmic acronym they stuck a foreslash in there to help you learn the specific phrasing. Thank you, advertising. You never disappoint.
Joke #1 - During World War II, all consumer good were in short supply - even giant hammers, explosive bird seed, and jet-propelled unicycles. As a result, rural America echoed with the constant "meep-meep" of road runner populations out of control. For the duration, patriotic citizens were rarely able to put a road runner on their dinner table. A resourceful few turned to pursuit of rabbits to feed their families, but many would-be hunters found they were not up to the task, as the creatures were often found to be "wascally".
Jim D. wasted no time in whipping out Joke #2 in record response time. Thanks Jim! - Hollywood Trivia: after a preview screening drew an entirely male audience (including one drag queen), Warner Brothers hastily changed the title of "Milstone's Acme" to "Casablanca" before its general release. The rest is cinema history!
Joke #3 Comes to us from occasional contributor, Jeremy. Thanks for the jokeball, Popeye! - Why wait in line when everything can be ordered with Tiny Parachute Delivery?
And also joke #4. A two-fisted joke maker, our Jeremy! - 1952, Toontown store opening. Foreground with back to camera: Judge Doom.
[Commenter jokes will be added to the post. -Mgmt.]
You need a prophylactic toothbrush, apparently. You don't want your teeth to have little pig babies, do you? What's that you say? "I thought NOT brushing your teeth was a better form of birth control!" Good one.
There's a little irony to be found in a cartoon with a brand new baby and a product called "Pro-phy-lac-tic". But then, 1943 was a simpler time. You could use the word "prophylactic" without talking about boning. The word was only associated with prevention. But here in The Future, where we know about sex, it just means rubbers. And, it's the word that the nun who taught your health class (god help you) used instead of "condom". Having a nun teach kids about sex is like having a vegan teach you all about proper grilling techniques. "The best steak is a nice stalk of celery, children!" You'd better get a second opinion.
This ad makes quite a fuss about their "Prolon" bristles. That's DuPont's marketing name for Nylon. Everybody had Nylon, but when DuPont calls it "prolon", it gets magically better. Using our powers of Living in the Future, we can tell that this was a failure. Have you heard anybody say the word "Prolon" in the last twenty years? Up yours, marketing bullshit!
Before there was Nylon, there was pig hair, or "natural bristle". Say it with me. "Bleah". I'll take Nylon, thanks. At least that comes out of a nice clean robot. Wanna see? Here's a How It's Made video all about toothbrush construction. You won't believe how fast the bristlebot moves. Who needs toothbrushes that fast? People with a hot date, that's who.
Here's the soldier trumpeting for your attention from today's ad. Maybe he'll be useful for something some day.
We've posted an ad for a Studebaker Lark before, but that was a few years ago. Here's another one. This time, the Phil Are GO! graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Squad should do Studebaker the service of improving their car in our usual manner.
Cute little car. Nice ad. Blah blah power blah comfort blah blah colors blah economy whatever. Time to add an axle. PAG! Graphic Blandishment and Photoshoppery Squad, Assemble!
Old wheel... NUDGE!
New wheel... GROW 2%!
Studebaker Lark 4x6... COMPLETE! PKSHOWW!!!
Here's the normal lark and the improved version presented to lucky you as PNGs on alpha background (that means transparent in digigraphic talk).
Here are the original and strange Larks in in the ad, on a farm, near a meadow.
Click for big.
Here's Strange Meadow Lark, from Dave Brubeck's Time Out album, which was four months old when this ad ran in 1960. It starts out dignified and elegant and gets down to the business of swinging and swanking when the band comes in at 2:10. When it comes up on shuffle, here's what has never happened: me pouncing on the "skip" button, shouting "fuck that song!" because I'm not a monster. Have a drink and let it finish.
What do you do if you have an eleven year old boy who owns twenty-three objects? Where to store them? Masonite has your answer. Hang everything on the walls, leaving the floor completely empty, because - you know, it's hot lava.
With Masonite pegboard's beautiful handsome "tracery" design, not only will your boy human be able to hang most of his twenty-three of his objects on the walls, but with the optional Gaming Pack, he will also enjoy playing tic-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-tac-toe, right on the wall! This way, when a really hot game session reaches into the small hours, he can leave the game state undisturbed until tomorrow, leaving him free to plot his strategy about where to place his next "O" while he drifts off to dreamland.
With your "grandpa's" old-timey tic-tac-toe game, played on the floor, players had to wrap up the game any time someone had to walk somewhere. What a loser way to live. Grandpa was a stupid loser.
What did eleven year old boys own in 1962? Never made it without biting. Let's find out...
Here is everything a boy needs in Masonite's 1962:
- One Indiana pennant, to show support for Indiana... or triangles.
- One rifle, to fend off communists.
- One football helmet, to fend off being a nerd.
- Various books, to keep his football helmet from rolling off the shelf.
- One... horse?... statue, now with child-bearing hips! Car geeks will just call this leg configuration "staggered fitment".
- One tennis racquet, to fend off tennis balls, or play some "air banjo".
- One S.S. Minnow model boat, due to popularity of early Sixties reality shows.
- One lantern, to check the shed for chupacabras.
- One black oblong, to commemorate the Oblong Wars, and the ensuing Oblong Famine, which we must never forget.
- One boxed, store-fresh baseball, for nailing nerds with.
- One scale model of the sun, which orbits the Earth, the center of the universe. Hey, it's in the Bible, heathens!
- One H.O. scale boxcar, with hobo cockroach, "Alabama Tcxhixtor": Poet of the H.O. Rails.
- One H.O. scale tanker car, filled with Zippo fluid, soon to blow a crater in bedroom floor.
- One chemistry set, unopened.
- One travel backgammon set, "chess for idiots".
- Various books that probably say stuff in them.
- One Masonite brochure, featuring new "Masonite Pressboard Trousers".
- One three ring binder, with baseball cards, to be thrown out in two years, spelling the end of mother-son relationship forever.
- One desk set, given annually on Birthday, by grandma.
- Four wall-mounted cars, VW Beetle, '49 Ford, 1960 Dodge Dart, and paddy wagon, all for non-stop wall-mounted fun.
- One mid-century modern lamp, despite the fact that bedroom is lit like a cafeteria.
- One chair, shaped like maxi pad.
- One bed, for making baby Jesus cry.
Today Gronk finish reading story from yesterday. When last left Timothy Little Brown bear, he just ruin Owl chair. Sat in green paint. Seems Timothy just useless dope. Let see what happen at end of story!
Hoo-mans seating comfortably? Not care! SHUT UP AND LISTEN!
Gronk story! finish! Story complete! Sleep now! SLEEP! Don't make Gronk shout "SLEEP" again.