The Fall Classic


1989 was the year I first began really showing my night owlish tendencies.  For that summer, and every summer thereafter until I replaced school with work, I began my habit flashback fridayof staying up all night.  Not out all night, just staying up and doing nothing but watching TV, drawing up old comics, all kinds of other stupid crap that wasn’t very productive.  But the TV was omnipresent… I got my exposure to pretty much every old rerun that aired on Nick at Nite in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and of course it was late at night when the best commercials always aired….

Over and over and over again.  You might see the same ad 10-15 times in one night because the ad space is so cheap and the buyers for the time are so few…

Could I interest you in Time/Life's Mysteries of the Unknown Series?

Could I interest you in Time/Life’s Mysteries of the Unknown Series?

It was at the peak time for my all night viewing that one of the most famous ads in television history was getting a lot of play.  Surely you remember this commercial, and if not, you’re certainly familiar with its famous line….

Amazing how dated technology can get in only a little over 20 years….

That ad was all over late night and even daytime TV in 1990, and it spawned one of the most parodied lines the world of advertising has ever given us…..

“I’ve fallen!  And I can’t get up!!!”

Never insult the elderly

Are you making fun of me!?!?

Mrs. Fletcher’s one line in that whole 60 second ad drew the attention of every comedian and wannabe comedian in the world in the early 90’s.  I was in high school then, and I recall all the funny T-shirts ripping off it (I’ve fallen, and I can’t reach my beer!”).  It made its way into television shows and comedy skits everywhere.  And it made a surprise star out of the real life actress who uttered the line, Edith Fore.  When she passed away in 1997, her obituary was given the same recognition of any other good B-list celebrity…

Many people associate the phrase with a company called Life Alert now, and with good reason.  They trademarked the line after Lifecall, the company who created the famous ad and made emergency alert pendants for the elderly popular, went out of business in the mid 90’s.  I always thought LifeAlert and Lifecall were were different names for the same company, but it seems like they are/were (as the case may be) two different entities.  You be the judge.

You thought I was kidding, didn't you?

You thought I was kidding, didn’t you?

Thank you Lifecall for giving us a reason to laugh in the face of a totally unfunny situation.  The ad is a true work of genius, and a prime example of how pop culture can take something so seemingly mundane and make it absolutely iconic.  Well worthy of this week’s Flashback Friday!

And if you can’t get enough of old commercial slogans, check out this post from my pal Merby that cleverly works in a bunch of old 70’s, 80’s and 90’s commercial catch phrases!


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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9 Responses to The Fall Classic

  1. merbear74 says:

    Thanks for the shout out. It’s uncanny how our posts sync up!!

  2. pishnguyen says:

    Oh! I remember that commercial. Talk about a blast from the past!

  3. dogfordavid says:

    lol I had to actually use this phrase a little over a month ago. The embarrasing part was that it was true lol

    I was still healing from my cracked rib when David and Joshua jumped on my back and I fell flat. Two firemen (our first responders here) had to come and help pick me up off the floor and put me in a chair. To get everyone laughing about it (the senior fireman was trying way to hard to remain professional in a clearly funny situation haha) I was cracking jokes about myself and my situation. When the paramedics finally arrived they asked what happened and before the senior fireman could answer I looked at them and said “I had to make the call. I had to admit, ‘I’ve fallen and can’t get up'” The whole room started laughing when I did that. haha : )

    • OMG! Maybe you should call Life Alert and see if you can get an endorsement deal out of it! 🙂

      • dogfordavid says:

        LOL I knew you would like that story lol and I’ve actually had my doctors and family try to get me to sign up for Life Alert more than once over the years for different reasons. lol I’m only 31 but they all make me feel so old sometimes haha

  4. dogfordavid says:

    Thanks for that referral towards the end too. That slogan post was funny 🙂

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