Lincoln, Me. (DG)---
Radio Guide magazine was a publication where
the radio listeners can catch up with the latest news in the radio industry. There was an occasional feature in the magazine known as "Bulls
And Boners." This section features botched and misplaced lines the listeners
caught on the air. There was no prize given for each boner that was published,
except for the satisfaction of the radio listeners catching the stars and
announcers being human. Let’s take a look at the commercial flubs that made
the "Bulls And Boners" list.
begin with a boner concerning a commercial for Ivory Snow. The
announcer was supposed to ask the question, "Ladies, do you have a particular
washable such as a housecoat or slip?" What the announcer actually said
included something that shouldn’t be washed in Ivory Snow---
or any other soap! Here was what the announcer said: "Ladies, do you have
a particular washable such as a housecat or slip?"
The announcer’s question most likely caught many cat owners
by surprise. They didn’t know their feline companions could be washed in
Ivory Snow! It does make one wonder how many people were scratched,
bitten, and clawed when they took the announcer’s "advice" and tried
to wash their cats in Ivory Snow!
The next boner concerned the misplacing of a word at a wrong
place. It occurred during a commercial for Cashmere Bouquet Soap
on the NBC(Red) serial ELLEN RANDOLPH. The listeners
heard announcer Marvin Mueller (a.k.a. Marvin Miller) describe what should
have been a good bargain for Cashmere Bouquet. He was supposed
to say, "Cashmere Bouquet Soap, 3 cakes for only 25¢." Unfortunately
for Mueller, he misplaced a word and placed it in the wrong place. What he actually
said made the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet Company sound like
a cheapskate outfit. See if you can spot something wrong with Mueller’s
narration: "Cashmere Bouquet Soap, only 3 cakes for
This boner was heard on the BURNS AND ALLEN
program. Announcer Truman Bradley was presenting a commercial for Hinds
Honey & Almond Fragrance Cream. In this example, an extra word was
needed to make the message clear. If Bradley said it this way, he would have
been OK: "No matter how hard you work, a man expects to have your hands
that are exciting and feminine." Here was what Bradley said: "No matter
how hard you work, a man expects to have hands that are exciting and feminine."
If Bradley’s comment was defined correctly, the husband expected to have
exciting and feminine hands with the help of his wife. Can you picture a blue-collar
hard working "he-man" with exciting, feminine hands?
boner was heard during a baseball game on station WCAU in Philadelphia. The play-by-play announcer was getting ready for a commercial for Mobilgas.
He was to say a brief introduction, then turn it over to the commercial spokesman. The introduction was supposed to go like this: "I will now turn you over
to a congenial fellow who filled his car up with Mobilgas this morning."
With 2 words missing, this was what he actually said: "I will now turn
you over to a congenial fellow who filled up with Mobilgas this morning."
The announcer made it sound like the commercial spokesman drank
the gasoline. Now I’m wondering if drinking Mobilgas provided
the same "pick-me-up" in the morning as a cup of coffee?
In 1939, Ralph Edwards worked as an announcer on several radio
programs. He also came up with a bizarre boner when he presented a commercial
for Ivory Flakes. Edwards said that Ivory Flakes
prolonged stocking wear---which it did. He also mentioned a woman I’ll refer
to as "R.B.," who in Edwards’ own words did something a little strange
with her stockings. Here was what he said: "R. B. got 6 months’ wear from
4 pairs of silk stockings, for she washed all 4 pairs every night when
she took them off." Of course, wearing 1 pair of silk stockings
would more than likely make R.B.’s legs look attractive, but wearing 4 pairs
at once would just look silly!
This radio boner had the potential of getting the men in the
listening audience a little excited. It occurred on a 1940 broadcast of the
LUX RADIO THEATER. The boner took place during a commercial
for Lux Toilet Soap, the soap 9 out of 10 famous screen stars
used. What the announcer was supposed to say should have been a comparison:
"When you take this Lux whipped cream beauty bath, you will be sharing
the same experience with many movie stars." With some needed words missing,
the announcer made it sound like the Hollywood stars were willing to share
their bath with the listeners: "When you take this Lux whipped cream
beauty bath, you will be sharing it with many movie stars." Although the
commercial was directed at the women in the listening audience, I wonder how
many men would begin to use Lux Toilet Soap, so they could take
the announcer’s advice and hopefully share a bath with the likes of Betty
Grable, Dorothy Lamour, Loretta Young, and other Hollywood stars who used
and recommended Lux Toilet Soap.
listener caught a boner on a commercial for New England Laundry
on station WTIC in Hartford, Connecticut. It was the beginning of the
holiday season--- and with Christmas and New Year’s Day fast approaching,
there were parties and other social events to attend.
What the announcer really meant was for the listeners to have
their clothes cleaned, so they could wear them at the holiday get-togethers. Somehow, that meaning got lost when the announcer said, "Sending your clothes
to the New England Laundry increases your fun at this social season."
Granted, doing this increased the listeners’ fun, but since it was in December,
people going to the social events in their birthday suits might be a little
Unless you’re Arthur Godfrey or Henry Morgan, it doesn’t pay
to insult the sponsor. With one word too many added to the commercial, Fletcher
Wiley did just that, although it was unintentional. In describing his sponsor,
Franco-American Macaroni & Cheese, Wiley was supposed to say
something like this: "Franco-American contains a rich, creamy sauce
that people can eat." Unfortunately, a word was added to make the product
sound completely inedible: "Franco-American contains a rich, creamy
sauce that few people can eat."
Let’s conclude this article with a commercial with an agricultural
background. The product in question was Purina Cattle Feed,
and the commercial was heard on station WLW in Russellville, Arkansas. This commercial was amazing, because the listeners heard a dairy farmer feeding
his cows Purina Cattle Feed--- and also developed some bovine
features! Here was what the dairy farmer said: "Since I started feeding
Purina to my dairy cows, I have cut my udder trouble
down 50%." Personally, it’s all well and good that Purina
was doing good things for the farmer’s udder, but did it help the cows?
This is only a portion of the many commercial
boners the listeners caught and sent in to Radio Guide magazine. If you enjoyed reading the advertising boners in the two articles I presented
to you, please let me know by E Mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll find
some more in future articles that hopefully will tickle your funny bone
either on this web site or my own (www.dg125.com)..
In conclusion, since the subject concerns radio
commercial boners, I think it’s best to quote Kermit Shafer, who compiled
numerous radio and TV bloopers in his lifetime. He said in tribute to the people who screwed
up on the air: "To Err Is Human, To Forgive Devine."