I Am The Walrus

Coo coo ka-choo!

Coo coo ka-choo!

tuesday tvLadies and gentlesquirrels, today The Nest would like to pay tribute to one of Hollywood’s living legends… the one and only Wilford Brimley.  You know the name, you know the face, but you’re probably wondering just why this man and his epic mustache are so famous.  While it’s true Brimley was an actor… he played an old manager in “The Natural”, an old corrupt executive in “The Firm”, and his usual role as just some old man in “Cocoon,” it’s very easy to forget Wilford’s not exactly so stellar career in showbusiness.  Acting-wise, he’s probably best known for a guest appearance on that show I’ve never watched before, “Seinfeld.”

Thanks for the advice on how to deal with hecklers, Mr. Brimley.

Thanks for the advice on how to deal with hecklers, Mr. Brimley.

No, it isn’t his Hollywood career that has kept the 79 year old Wilford Brimley relevant to the current generation of thirty-somethings, it was his side job.  Brimley did what any other fringe actor who needed a quick buck often resorted to… he became a commercial shill.  And it was the best fucking decision he ever made, because it is Brimley’s dynamically deadpan two-pronged television spokesman gig that will be featured in this week’s Retro TV Ad Tuesday!

This disgusting shit seriously looks like someone just barfed in a bowl.

This disgusting shit seriously looks like someone just barfed in a bowl.

Quaker Oats had a nasty ass healthy alternative to the typical sugar infested cold cereals children would eat for breakfast, but didn’t want to exert the energy to create a cartoon mascot to act like a complete dick in their advertising.  They also knew that the fictional character’s guild had a provision against its members having to pitch fucking oatmeal.  So the head Quaker made the brilliant decision that the best way to appeal to kids would be to hire someone old enough to be their grandfather to try and pitch the benefits of eating a warmed over lumpy bowl of possum snot.  So in the late 80’s, they made a series of commercials with Wilford Brimley reminding us that Quaker Oatmeal was “the right thing to do”…

There are so many of these old Quaker Oats ads with Wilford Brimley to choose from… knock yourself out checking out the others YouTube recommends after watching that video.  I’ll focus on this one for my post since it’s got the added creep factor of some random boy who acts like he wants nothing to do with being in this commercial at all.

Who is this old man, and why does he keep telling me about oatmeal like I fucking care?

Who is this old man, and why does he keep telling me about oatmeal like I fucking care?

This ad aired around the time watching your cholesterol intake became almost as important as making sure you didn’t get bitten by a mosquito carrying AIDS.  Of course, 25 years ago, as long as your cholesterol number was under 500 and your heart was still able to beat without a defibrillator , you were considered to be perfectly healthy and could resume eating Crisco right out of the can.  But ONLY if you ate your bowl of Quaker Oatmeal first.

I hear I have a reader who loves vintage ads...

I hear I have a reader who loves vintage ads…

Wilford was such a smashing success at getting kids off the fast track to a heart attack, that a completely unknown mail-order medical supply company called Liberty Medical came along in the mid-90’s and asked the droll walrus if he’d mind helping them sell diabetes testing supplies to those who nearly died from low blood sugar after eating too much oatmeal.  Mr. Brimley was up to the task, and even moreso, he totally outdid the wonderful work he had done with Quaker…

Apparently, we’ve been saying to wrong all those years!  Thanks a lot, stupid health teacher!  It’s pronounced…

Damn right.

Damn straight.

Once again, Wilford Brimley is asked to deliver a serious message in a commercial that could save your life, and we can’t help but laugh at it because Wilford’s down home accent has managed to turn “Diabeetus” into a real word.  I have been surrounded by diabetes all of my life, and not once have I ever heard it pronounced the way Brimley matter of factly enunciates it over and over again in these Liberty Medical ads.  Of course, I’m so mean.  It’s not like anyone else has ever thought to make fun of this little speech quirk of Wilford’s…

Making fun of Brimley’s ad work may not seem like the right thing to do, but it’s all good because Wilford Brimley certainly gets the last laugh on all of us.  Thanks to these two classic advertising campaigns he appeared in, he was elevated from languishing in C-list celebrity purgatory to becoming a household name and star of the modern internets.  And we at The Nest would like to salute our generation’s television grandpa for setting us all on the path to good health, helping us get supplies and a free meter when we wound up in bad health, and all the while carving out his niche in the annals of pop culture history.  Well played, Mr. Brimley, well played!

Just wait until it's finally made public that oatmeal gives you diabeetus!  BWAHAHAHA!!!!

Just wait until it’s finally made public that oatmeal gives you diabeetus! BWAHAHAHA!!!!

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About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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27 Responses to I Am The Walrus

  1. yay for Mr. Brimley… although I hate oats, exactly for that look :o)

  2. Twindaddy says:

    I always called him Teddy Roosevelt…

  3. Are you sure that’s a ‘stashe and not a couple of squirrels tied to his face?

  4. merbear74 says:

    I love oatmeal and vintage ads…and Wilford Brimley is awesome. So are walruses…I approve of this post.

  5. crimsonowl63 says:

    I always found it odd that the spokesman they chose would have a hard time eating oatmeal without it getting all over his ‘stache.

  6. The Cutter says:

    He was also quite irate at his horse losing in the Belmont on Saturday.

  7. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I will be called mean, or worse, for this but… He’s only 79?!

    I should never play “Guess my age?”, apparently.

  8. I guess this means you don’t like oatmeal?? Garry loathes it too. Separated at birth?

  9. 1jaded1 says:

    Lmfao at ‘The Beetis’. The horse was the best. Once again, you’ve outdone yourself.

    When I was a little kid, how much fiber my breakfast cereal had was first on my mind…not!

    • I can’t take credit for the rap… that was just one of the many examples I found on the internet of others who have mocked Wilford’s funny way of saying diabetes.

      I would imagine that the Walrus didn’t get through to many kids about what the “right thing to do” for breakfast was! We’d rather take the advice of leprechauns, chocolate vampires and anthropomorphic frogs…

  10. epov88 says:

    Interesting post 🙂

  11. Squeaking with laughter over here. I worked for quite some time as a di a beet us nurse manager. 🙂

  12. Ally Bean says:

    He’s creepy. I’d forgotten all about his Quaker Oats ads, but remember those annoying diabeetus ads. They convinced me more than anything else to watch my sugar intake so that I wouldn’t get that disease. Just the thought of being the same as Wilford, in any way, is too much for me.

  13. draliman says:

    I was about to say “Wilfrid who?” when you mentioned “Cocoon”. Now I see it!

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