Friday, January 29, 2010

The funniest car commercial I've ever seen

Back in the 60s, local car dealers were ever-present. In LA we had a guy named Ralph Williams. Johnny Carson used to make fun of him on the TONIGHT SHOW mercilessly. Before Ralph was in LA he had a car dealership in San Bruno, in Northern California. You talk about commercials "you'd like to see", this is greatest of them all. Chick Lambert is the eloquent pitchman.


Unknown said...

Hilarious. Notice the dog on the car hood. Chick Lambert is the reason Cal Worthington came up with his "dog Spot" routine.

Will Teullive said...

That's so very refreshing.. I now love the 1960's

Unknown said...

Anybody know what happened to Chick Lambert?

YEKIMI said...

Spot, finally fed up with laying on the hoods of cars, bit Chick Lambert. Chick got a canine induced version of Tourette's Syndrome which initially manifested itself in this commercial. Chick was reduced to doing sign language versions of car ads till his middle finger [no doubt caused by Tourette's] got him banished from American TV forever. He died in obscurity after getting a TV gig in the Baltic Republics pitching Yugos. [Hey, since I googled the heck out of his name and couldn't find anything, figured this was as good as anything]

Tim said...

I bought my first new car from Ralph at his place in Encino, a '71 Pinto. $1000 down, $55 per month for 3 years. Too small to have fun in the back.

Fitz said...

That brings up a question for your Friday segment. I suppose every show has an outtake reel for laughs - you know, the blown scenes that make all the actors look human.

But what about the reeeeeeaaaaaaaallllly bad stuff? At my radio station in the 'sixties we had a Jonathon Winters audio reel (I think it was a cigarette commercial where they just let him riff for a half-hour) that was truly vile. Among other things he did a commercial for King Kong hair straightener and had Lenny the farm hand rape Maude Frickert. Last time i looked he ended up having a pretty good career, Mork and Mindy notwithstanding.

Have you ever had to deal something similar, or is there truly no such thing as bad publicity?

Unknown said...

LOL! Guess that'll have to do unless one of his relatives reads this blog. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Do this actually air on TV?!!! HOW? FCC?


Unknown said...

Well at least that was honest. And on a related for those of you who may have missed the YouTube outtakes of a recent episode of Better Off Ted here ya go-I transcribed part of the video for your enjoyment:

“Memo 314 Employees must now use offensive or insulting language in the workplace.”

“Employees must now use offensive or insulting language in the workplace? This has to be a mistake. Why would the company want us to swear at each other?”

“Like everything the company does to us it‘s gotta be about saving money. Maybe when someone’s called a lazy drug addled twat they work harder so they can just be a drug addled twat.”

“Maybe they’re trying to make the people at work seem more like a real family you perfectly tan shitbird.”

“Okay fellas let’s just try to keep it under control here.”

“Don’t listen to these poon guzzlers. Taste is the real problem.”

“Don’t listen to these sister fucking hillbillies. Taste is the real problem.”

“They want us to insult each other?”

“Well we’re not doing it in here spastic cock jockey.”

“Well we’re not doing it in here fucktard.”

“Debbie’s never opened her mouth before and it was a good suggestion.”

“It was a good idea but then Mark called her a finger banging chicken diddler and everything fell apart again.”

“But then Mark called her a peppy little splooge vaccuum and everything fell apart again.”

“I’m terrible at insults.”

“I can help you you mouse humping piece of shit.”

“I can help you you sweaty thong on a hooker’s money crack.”

“But I want you to know all ideas are welcome.”

“Could you repeat that in English? I don’t speak the language of the square jawed cum puppets.”

“We’re not doing that in here Phil.”

“So not being controlling lasted for about one second.”

“I’m sorry-the dick infested man mattress is right. Anything anyone wants to say is fine by me.”

“You heard the corpse fucking dick holster.”

“I need your help walking cock cosie.”

“What’s the problem Frosty the snow whore?”

“I need your help spermatorium.”

Cutting Confessions-One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest meets Slumdog Millionaire:

Kate said...

The Wiki article on Cal Worthington has a bit about Chick and the German Shepherd.

Unknown said...

Oh by the way the film script/book I'm writing-Cutting Confessions-is partially set in real life at Las Encinas Psychiatric Hospital in Pasadena (naturally it will have to be something else on film):

Anyway there's a part in my synopsis blog that goes like this:

In real life, it went on for three solid hours between a girl (Dori) and myself and Dori happens to be by far the most talented person I have ever met regarding this particular activity.

Both Dori and I laughed ourselves silly nearly the entire three hours-we simply could not stop laughing.

It happened in a public area-the TV room.

It was witnessed by staff and patients alike.

No one objected or said nary a word-they just left the room.

It is not sexual in nature.

It does not involve a bodily function.

Considering the tone of this message and the one I posted a few minutes ago you can pretty much safely guess exactly what it was.

The next day my sides really hurt and I had almost no voice at all.

Janice said...

I wonder if the Zachary All guy had outtakes like that...

petrilli said...


As a Pinto owner and driver in my college days, I can say first hand that you lack imagination. With the back seat folded down and the hatch open, there is —ahem— ample leg room. just keep the rockin' to a minimum as to avoid having the gas tank explode before you do.

(Rarely a problem for a horny teenager)

Amy Alexander said...

Great! Reminds me of the old Johnny Carson "classic:"

J S Swanson said...


DukeFeist said...

I have seen this over the years. He was doing a rehearsal to get the sound right and total ad lib as he did with minimal cue cards when he did the TV ads both live or on film.

Michael said...

That's like some strange Robocop commercial parody that got left on the cutting room floor.

You can't make up stuff like this!

Thanks, Ken.

Unknown said...

Still would love to know what really happened to the announcer (Chick Lambert). Sure he's slimy but he was part of my childhood!

Bob and Rob Professional American Writers said...

I had an actor friend who worked part time for Ralph Williams in the 70's. He said in order to keep customers at the dealership, they would literally get the keys to their cars and toss them on the roof! Then grind away on them until they bought a new car...he called it "putting them in the ether"! They would be so exhausted, they would sign anything to go home. Seriously!

The first thing I ever remember memorizing was his intro -

"Hi friends, Ralph Williams owner of Ralph Williams Ford, the worlds largest Ford dealership, three blocks south of the Ventura freeway ON Ventura Blvd. in the city of Encino...the number to call, T-R on your dial 31880!" Ha, I can't believe that's still in my head:)

Jeff said...

YouTube pulled down the video Ken linked to. Still here:

By Ken Levine said...

Thanks. I re-posted it.

Anonymous said...

I lived just off of Balboa in Encino and used to pass by the Ralph Williams car lot all the time. It was very close to the intersection of Balboa and Ventura Blvd.

He used to absolutely bombard the local TV programming with car commercials.

I really miss those days. Back in the day when we were kids and the violence we see today was never a thought.

And as someone pointed out in a post above, Johnny Carson used to make fun of Ralph Williams all the time until one show the REAL Ralph Williams walked out to great applause.

Sorry to say I read an update on the guy and he was in legal trouble in 1989 for participating in scamming customers.

Don't know what ever became of him. Wish I did.

My memory just has that vague image of "Mr. Clean" (he was bald or shaved his head).

Nissan Micra said...

It was a good idea but then Mark called her a finger banging chicken diddler and anything fell apart again, thanks for provide the blog.

Anonymous said...

I just checked Microsoft Virtual Earth. It's now a Honda dealership.

Leisa Dreps said...

He sure has a very interesting way of advertising cars! He's serious, but at the same time humorous. And your focus just gets drawn toward the dog on top of the hood of car! LOL. He acted like a true salesman, never minding the dog that's resting on that car. Hahaha!

rt66paul said...

After Ralph Williams got out of jail(one of the conditions was that he stop selling cars), he got on TV and started leasing them. This lasted about 2 weeks before the feds shut him down.

Ralph, Cal Worthington, and Earl Schieb, were On TV all the time in L.A., as well as other markets in the west. We lived next door to Earl Schieb on Crenshaw Blvd in the 50s and they did live commercials right there, so the bit about live broadcasts is not all true.