Been away, Whitehead?

Posted: October 16, 2013 in Uncategorized

A famous Schwepp’s commercial. Whitehead answers to his friend (obviously sitting in his club with him), “Not really. Bombay. Hong Kong. Shanghai.” That and the Alka Seltzer commercial (marshmallowed meat balls) are two of my very favorites of all time. Here in Chicago, in the 60s or so, a local rock station (WCFL) did a nightly serial called “Chicken Man,” featuring the incomparably talented Dick Orkin, who has made a fortune by doing commercials here in the Chicago area. Most hilarious, to say the least. He’s been at it for 40 or 50 years, and they’ve gotten no less funny as the years have gone on.

I must say, I think WLS or WGN, two of our local blowtorches, should have a feature on some of his best–Weil Olds, TruGreen First American, etc. A talent like this, even if he’s a shill, is worth noticing and recognizing,,,

I think, maybe, commercials are the source of some of the greatest humor in America today. A year or so ago, we had one which purported to be a man cutting his wife’s hair while she slept. Riotous radio: Go to sleep, go to sleep, you’re almost gorgeous, etc. Nor has television been without great humor: I mentioned Alka Seltzer, but there have been lots of others. Some of them are embarrassingly bad, to be sure–think of the Underalls series, e. g.–but others have been great.

I’m sorry I haven’t written for several days, but I was in Iowa (by the way, many people believe that name is actually an acronym for Idiots Out Walking Around, but I dismiss this notion) to see my son and his family. We got there in time to see the team he coaches get their keesters kicked up and down the field. Still, it was a beautiful evening, and I’ve been trying to convince him to get a head coaching job. God knows he’s paid his dues. He’s been coaching for several years.

He was a little sad that he couldn’t get back to his high school this weekend–evidently they had quite a few members of the 1993 team on hand, and he was a starting defensive back on that team, as well as all conference, all-area, and some mention of all-state. God knows he deserved it. They lost a heartbreaking game to Conant that year. We thought they had a chance to make state. Indeed, their basketball team took second in state that year. I’ve always regretted that they didn’t get to compete one more game, which would have been against my wife’s alma mater, Homewood-Flossmoor.

If you have connections to any bookstores, let me know, okay?

We have a big party Friday night. We’re doing a film study night, which was a big hit last month. We’re going to watch a great film called Sorcerer, directed by Wm. Friedkin. If you’re in the area, let us know.


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