August 9, 2014 posted by

Commercial Grab Bag


Once again it’s no-theme day here at Cartoon Research, and we have a dazzling array of loose ends and leftovers for your viewing pleasure. Feel free to run into the kitchen for a beer when the bits of TV program come on between the commercials…

The Return of Bert and Harry

The earliest Bert and Harry Piel spots were directed by Gene Deitch first at UPA, and then when Gene went to Terrytoons, Bert and Harry went with him. We have here three later spots from the Kim-Gifford studio. Deitch had written that TV viewers enjoyed the spots as entertainment but shunned the beer. In the third spot, Harry is angry about that very fact! Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding are Bert and Harry.


Mel Blanc voices the insect-like germs that inhabit this commercial.

Fresh-Up Freddie

Between the time that the MGM studio was winding down, and Hanna-Barbera was staffing up, several of the Metro animators had a short stint the Walt Disney studio. Since they were not considered “real” Disney animators, they mainly worked in the television department. Here’s a Fresh-Up Freddie spot mostly animated by Mike Lah. Funny stuff! It was probably to everyone’s mutual relief when the MGM guys went to H&B. Paul Frees is the voice of Freddie.

Sunbeam Bread

Which brand of bread should you buy? The one with the happiest cartoon baker. Animated by Tom Golden.

MJB Coffee

Rod Scribner was one of the regulars at Playhouse Pictures. It was there that he animated these spots for MJB Coffee. From 1958.

Plymouth Road Runner

It’s 1969, and your favorite cartoon studio is dying in slow motion. Another Plymouth commercial directed by Robert McKimson.


  • MK-
    What year d’ya tink the Sunbeam spot dates back to?

    • I would guess it was from the mid fifties.

  • Fresh-up Freddie reminds me of the Aracuan bird in The Three Caballeros.

  • that Road Runner (network) run was quite the hot! They even made a CAR named after him (then), and its horn was the sound!!

    • Certainly was the peak if you thought of it that way.

    • At one point in my life I drove a ’71 Roadrunner,a deep purple color.Don’t remember what size engine it had,but you could hear it coming from at least a mile away!

  • That Lysol commercial is a real find. Love the retro 30’s look.

  • Here’s an article about Bert and Harry’s “win”. Schenectady (NY) Gazette, 10/23/1962

  • I wonder how Warners did financially on licensing the Roadrunner to Plymouth?

  • “Sick room”? People had sick rooms in their homes?

    • I suppose they meant where someone happens to be sick in, they could had easily said bedroom I’m sure, but here’s a definition….

    • I think that means a room where someone is sick in bed for days. Not a devoted “Sick Room” that’s always there!

  • ATTENTION, STEVE STANCHFIELD: These commercials are fantastic and we really need another single or even double disk compilation of animated commercials from this golden age. Mike, these are amazing. Loved the PEELS ads and, on a slightly unrelated note, it is a shame that the “BOB AND RAY, JANE, LORRAINE AND GILDA” special didn’t show up as an extra on the rollout of the first five seasons of “SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE”

  • It is possible that Paramount Cartoons produced the Sunbeam spots

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