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 of 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…
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!!!”
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.
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!