Laxative "In" Product
For Over 35 Crowd,
"Archie (Bleyer) has been drinking Serutan
since the day they’ve been spelling it front ward!"
-- Arthur Godfrey
Lincoln, Me. (DG)---
the years, Serutan had been one of the most famous laxative
brands. It was also a wonderful source of jokes and laughs from the comedians
of radio’s golden age. Both the people who used it and the radio comedians
can contribute Serutan’s popularity to its advertising.
It was the product that made the number "35" famous. The number
was associated with people who were over 35 years old, with whom the advertising
was directed at. When people reached this age, they started to need help to
maintain the proper bodily functions. Serutan was specially
made to work the same way as nature’s vegetables and fruits. Its "Vegetable Hydrogel" helped to gently erase the problem laxatives were used for. It was
a pleasant alternative to harsh tasting and harsh working laxatives that made
the people a little reluctant to use them.
was also famous as the product that spelled a word when its name was spelled
backwards. Of course, Serutan spelled backwards was "Natures."
The spelling of the product’s name was where the radio comedians had their
fun. With the exception of the enclosed comment by Arthur Godfrey (who was
famous for mentioning other products by brand name on the air), the radio
comedians didn’t directly mention Serutan by name, but took
great delight in ribbing its "Read It Backwards" advertising.
Serutan was the subject of tickling the funny bone, but it
was really serious stuff. Since it was specially made for mature people, it
usually sponsored or co-sponsored (with Nutrex) serious radio
programs and newscasts.
the 1940’s began, Serutan was the sponsor of PREDICTIONS
OF THINGS TO COME, one of radio’s most talked about and controversial
newscasts with Drew Pearson and Robert S. Allen on NBC’s Blue Network.
Both Pearson and Allen gathered together the news some people in government
and big business didn’t want the listeners to know about. Unfortunately for
those people, Pearson and Allen were accurate in what they reported. At the
latter stages of each newscast, Pearson and Allen made their predictions of
what would take place during the coming week.
The duo broke up in 1942 when Allen went overseas to report the latest
war news. Pearson continued solo on the newscast with the same hard-hitting
news as before. Serutan sponsored his newscast for another 3
After concluding its sponsorship of Pearson’s newscasts, Serutan
later sponsored other newscasts on either the ABC or Mutual
networks. One of the newscasts made its debut when ABC was still known
as the Blue Network. For its initial season, Serutan
was the sponsor of MONDAY MORNING HEADLINES with Don Gardiner. If you examine the program’s name closely, you might think it was on the air
on Monday morning. Good guess, but wrong. The broadcasts didn’t air on Monday---
or even in the morning for that matter! The newscast was on the air every
Sunday evening at 7:15 PM. The reason why MONDAY MORNING
HEADLINES was named as such was because the headlines that would make
the Monday morning newspaper occurred on Sunday.
was also a prime example of "what could have been." From a personal
viewpoint, it was unfortunate Serutan wasn’t made by American
Home Products (the Anacin people), because it would
have been the perfect sponsor for one of the programs the company sponsored. If American Home Products did make Serutan, it
was probably a good bet Serutan would have sponsored the
CBS serial THE ROMANCE OF HELEN TRENT. If you really think
about this, it's the perfect sponsor because Serutan
was specially made for people over 35--- and the program’s heroine Helen Trent
was known to be over 35.
Like many of the sponsors of old time radio, Serutan eventually
faded into oblivion. It was replaced with the modern laxatives of today. It’s
gone but not completely forgotten. For decades, Serutan was
one of the most popular laxatives--- and the joking by the radio comedians
helped it to maintain its popularity. It will forever be associated with the
number 35, and the only product that encouraged the people to spell its name