Earlier today, I posted five Oprah Winfrey Show ads that ran in an issue of TV Guide exactly twenty-three years ago this week. Those were fun and all, but of course TV Guide has more to offer than just Oprah. There’s a whole variety of amusing, dated, and amazingly dumb ads to be shared; and so I fired up my scanner yet again this morning, and voila â€”Â we now have another handful of goofy advertisements to enjoy from that same issue. If you’ve ever wanted to see where all the clichÃ©s about dumb sitcoms and their even dumber marketing come from, it’s all right here
My favorites after the jump…
Here’s a fairly standard ad for a typically kooky ’80s sitcom: two black guys, a faux-Judge Reinhold with a surfboard, a grizzly old man who can be a mentor to today’s wacky youth, and, of course, the beautiful Randee Heller. However, what makes this ad truly notable is the dude on the left. Recognize him? Maybe take a look at his name. Yup, that’s Chip from Chip & KIm, a.k.a the winners of The Amazing Race 5. Booyah!
Gotta love this stereotypical ’80s cigarette ad. Plus, you know this model is clearly a cougar now, AND trolling around in the same dress with the same hair with the same sultry lady pose. If such a woman slinks up to you and whispers “Dare to be More,” run away. Quickly.
Who doesn’t love a little vintage Golden Girls? You got Dorothy in her classically “MA!” position, Sophia with her “This one!” smirk, Rose about to tell us about St. Olaf, and Blanche all in a fluster about some hottie 55 year-old stud. Girls DO just wanna have fun!
This ad begins and ends for me with Dixie Carter announcing “We’re smart and sassy.” ’nuff said.
Gotta love the not-so-subtle phallic imagery used to promote William Devane’s masculine fighter-pilot character.
I don’t really know what’s going on here, but it involves Cicely Tyson in some strange way (not to mention James Brolin); so I’m on board.
This ad is sort of what it’s all about. At first glance, it appears to be a detective show starring Michael Nouri (Summer Roberts’ dad on The OC). It’s got that hardboiled name â€”Â Downtown â€” and the text at the top claims that this is an “adventures series.” But then look closer: who are those crazies in the polaroid? Is Nouri investigating a criminal syndicate that’s posing as an improv troupe? Well, luckily there’s a tagline written in typically cheesy ’80s fashion: “He’s a tough cop with a job that just got tougher. Now he’s got four misfits on parole… and on his case.” Well played, CBS. So I guess it’s a comedy? But an adventure? And a cop show? Yes, this show looks like a disaster, but you gotta admire anything that crams Robert Englund (a.k.a Freddy Krueger) into a small box with a then-unknown Blair Underwood and MARISKA HARGITAY! Yes, that’s her.
Finally, my favorite ad. It’s for “The Last Giraffe.” I love not only the name of this Very Important Film, but also its ominous tagline (“The most dangerous enemy was man!” IF ONLY WE HAD KNOWN!!!!!). Who wouldn’t want to see a movie about the dwindling giraffe population on Earth? Besides, with those two wistful and romantic leads, I’d be loathe to change the channels. But my absolute favorite part of this ad are the two giraffes that have been plopped randomly and awkwardly throughout the box. One looks like it’s giving the woman a little love peck. The other’s just… THERE. I’m shocked this movie didn’t break ratings records, not to mention spur on an unnecessary giraffe conservation movement.
And in case you missed it, don’t forget to check out the Oprah ads from the same TV Guide here.