August 14th, 2008
|11:57 pm - this is all I got, folks...|
This commerical, which usually aired during Wonderama!, was one of the highlights of my childhood weekends, beyond singing in folk Mass. How much do I dig the shameless E.T. bandwagoneering [note the wily substitution of "celestial person" for "extra-terrestrial"], the cruddy special effects, and the tinny, neo-futuristic brogue of seasonal delicacy Cookie O' Puss? Fudgie the Whale can spout off all he wants (yuk yuk) but HE never inspired the Beastie Boys to sing his praises while sampling their own prank calls to Carvel:
Where has YouTube been all my fuckin' life?
I don't remember this one, but the Carvel "Fudgie the Whale" commercial is seared in my child memories. I think Carvel ran that ad for years without a change.
Of course you know these ads; you're a Garden State native! Wonderama!
ran on WOR-TV based out of Secaucus. Growing up, I deseprately wanted a Carvel to open near me so I could experience the rapture of eating a Hug Me the Bear or Cookie Puss. When you really think about it, "A Whale of a Dad" is hardly a compliment. Not to mention that an edible whale is a rather weird icon for a franchise to build its frozen-dessert empire upon. Although, I suppose no weirder than a grotesque, vaguely pedophilic-looking clown and his amorphous purple blob of a sidekick.
The strange thing about watching WPIX (channel 11) while living in Jersey, was seeing local (New York) commercials for places I could not possibly visit. Like Crazy Eddies (speaking of iconic commercials!). My home town didn't have a Carvel, but there was a knock-off ice cream place called Carousel (and, I kid you not, we also had a Blue Castle hamburger joint as well). Both are long gone, now (but so is Crazy Eddie's).
The only things I remember about WOR-TV are The Magic Garden and (on another plane of reality) The Richard Bey Show.
OMG... what garbage we were fed. Between Crazy Eddie commercials... wow Richard Bey. WOR, eventually WWOR TV Channel 9 as I remember it. The Joe Franklin show. What a hoot!
BLUE Castle!!! That is hilarious! I remember my excursions to Jersey where we would stop at the Stewart's Root Beer stands and get these huge frosty mugs of root beer to go with hot dogs with everything and you'd eat them in the car! Maybe it wasn't that the mugs were so huge, but I might have been small. So that's something NJ had that wasn't available in NYC. Along with jughandles on US 1.
But Magic Garden was on WPIX... 11 Alive. I can confirm this because they just had a 60th anniversary show this past summer, where they recapped the glorious history of their local programming, including Captain Jack McCarthy, Officer Joe Bolton, Beachcomber Bill, and the aforementioned Magic Garden (though they left out Time for Joya, which I really didn't understand).
The other element they didn't acknowledge in their anniversary was the whole Henry Tillman "Big Idea" ad campaign they ran... where the 11 was represented by the towers of the World Trade Center. I mean, we all knew and understood why they didn't want to celebrate it, but to not even mention it I thought overlooked something obvious.
Three words: Snake Can Game.
Though Wonderama started on WNEW Channel 5. Metromedia Broadcasting. I don't remember Sonny Fox who was the original host of the show, but Bob McCallister was the guy... and he has some very interesting takes on teaching children stuff. He was an avid roller skater and would come to Central Park and skate on that road between the Sheepmeadow to the West, the Bandshell to the East, Bethesda Fountain terrace to the Northeast and those Volleyball courts to the south. (Uncle Bob also purchased his pot out there as well).
Bob died 10 years ago this past summer, so I feel fortunate that even though I never got on "Wonderama" I was a part of the whole thing, by meeting him years later.