Thursday, January 04, 2018

A New Post for a New Year (and Yeah, I Totally Effed Up the 1973 TV Books Continuity).

I still hope to pick up right where I left off, with the November and December 1973 TV Books. I really wanted to have them done in time for the holidays, but of course that's the busiest time of year for my livelihood. (I craft custom formal wear for sock monkeys. Have I never mentioned that here before?) So, we'll have to see about that. Yes, we'll see, won't we?

Anyway, I'm just popping in to remind you that, like the Incredible Shrinking Man, I still exist, and in fact I have another blog concentrating on my collection of old commercials. If you haven't read any of it, you're either unaware of it or you couldn't possibly imagine giving an airborne coital act about old commercials. If it's the former, you're in luck: That particular blog has enjoyed modest updates of late, and there's some entertaining reading to be found there (the author enthused cautiously).

For instance, writing about categorizing these vintage ads, I describe a spot I enjoy from the late 70's:

"I concocted one [compilation] I call "Strange Figgers... Weird Figgers" (after a Groucho line). It features ads with people wearing stupid costumes, bizarre puppets, and creepy stop-motion characters. Characters such as 'Li'l Softie,' a tiny naked cherub-woman with a large blue hat topping her oversized head, who hawks Nice 'n Soft bathroom tissue. Li'l Softie has kinda like a regular woman's head, but with a pudgy Kewpie doll body, and it is almost certainly brain-damaged. It yammers on in a breathy voice about toilet paper while standing on a supermarket aisle endcap, where one surmises it lives. The imagining of its everyday existence is bleak and heartbreaking.

"Gruff character actor Ron Masak (he's that guy who impersonated Lou Costello, and played the sheriff on Murder She Wrote) plays his role of a regular fella out shopping with his wife (Susan Tolsky) with a distinctly Klugmanesque air. He encounters this Softie creature and regards it with a mixture of wariness and disgust. When it squeaks that Nice 'n Soft is "softier" than other bathroom tissues, Masak repeats the made-up word with exaggerated incredulity. Soon he realizes the TP is indeed superior to other brands, and although he will only concede that the paper is 'very, very soft,' his demeanor turns to reluctant acceptance, his new warmth undoubtedly laced with pity for such a grotesque abomination of God's law as Li'l Softie."

I didn't upload this one to my Hugo Faces YouTube channel, but some hero put it out there, so take a look at it now. Witness it and cry for Softie.


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