Friday, February 01, 2008

Hi, Neighbor!

My children are surely more than tired of my whining about those great old Narragansett animated commercials from the 60's. I would of course recite them, and occasionally even find a friend (Mike King, for example) who remembered them as well. Even better, a friend who remembered any would usually remember different ones, adding to my collection.

There are at least two left: Here (click last on menu - Gansett animated spot) and here (keep your focus on the horse). Neither were ones I had remembered, but both were familiar.

Yes, Gansett's back. The longtime sponsor of Red Sox baseball, which disappeared in the 70's because of the usual government interference - the feds were afraid that Falstaff was taking unfair monopolistic advantage over the other brewers when it bought Narragansett, and we remember how Falstaffian hegemony threatened the entire brewing industry in the 70's - is enjoying a resurgence and is available in limited locations throughout New England. In Manchester, you can get it at Somerville Street Market.

I don't remember if I like it. I don't remember if I ever drank any. No matter. It is part of my heritage, along with Carling Black Label, which was horrible, but my grandfather drank it.

The Narragansett animations had voices done by the comedy team of Nichols and May. I had remembered it was a nationally known pair, but forgotten their names. You can find an excellent example of Nichols and May in their own skins in a GE refrigerator commercial here. It's a Noel Coward sendup from the 50's. Commercials were longer then, running a minute or more.

While we're at it, this burst of nostalgia might send you on to a great collection of online clips from early TV. I got misty watching the fizzies commercial (I had forgotten they came in root beer flavor), and the Certs commercial I referenced just this week in my "Open Letter" post. There is even a full 30 minute episode of Ding-Dong School, which was still on when I was a child (though all the cool kindergardeners avoided it as old-fashioned). Plus, Clutch Cargo, Hector Heathcote, and Tom Terrific.


Anonymous said...

Do you remember the other sponsors of the Red Sox in the 60's? (I think I'm talking about pre-1967, because at that point, the Red Sox had their choice of TV sponsors - before that, no one cared - except you and me).

Like you, I never tasted a Gansett, but it was always my favorite beer. It always made me want to go to Cranston, RI, to see the plant, but I never did.

Also like you, my grandmother drank Black Label. She had two before dinner every night - said it kept her regular. At some point, my brother and I became of legal age and my brother termed it "Black Death". I think I agreed.

Anyway, it is a sign of our age that we are getting so nostalgic about things like this. But I love the trips down memory lane!

Anonymous said...

I remember only one 'Gansett ad. A little old lady walks into the bar, and orders a 'Gansett. The bartender imitates her voice. "Burtender, you're not making fun of me, are you?" "No, ma'am, I wouldn't make fun of you."
The proverbial Blond Bombshell walks into the bar, and also orders a 'Gansett. The bartender replies in a most enthusiastic tone.
The little old lady replies, "Burtender, you said you weren't making fun of me.You were too making fun of me."
The bartender replies in the little old lady voice. "I was not, ma'am. I was making fun of HER."