With Guiding Light coming to an end, it’s time to pay tribute to something that many fans cursed sometimes, fast forwarded, and why soaps were created in the first place. Yes, I’m talking about The Commercials.
Back in the thirties (thanks again to Robert LaGuardia’s Soap World for reference), radio during the weekdays was a wasteland. Anyone could come on and have a show. Think YouTube with a dog playing the piano, and you get the idea. Enter Irna Phillips, who changed the landscape of radio—but that change didn’t come cheap, and that meant advertising. Hence, the soap in soap opera. Let’s remember some of the best…
What’s a housewife to do when their child’s clothes are scratchy? Why use Duz soap of course! Duz washes the clothes whiter, plus it leaves a wonderful softness, plus it gives the ladies softer hands. Ah, something for the ladies!
Let’s face it, soap is pretty expensive. Thank God that Ivory soap is sold in packs. Especially in 1953, because then it can become “19-thrifty-3!”.
Bounty Paper Towels
At Rosie’s Diner, people spill. Nothing you can do about it, such is life. Thank God for Rosie The Waitress. In seconds, that irritating mess is taken care of, thanks to Nancy Walker’s Rosie, who also directed the Village People’s movie debut, Can’t Stop the Music.
What’s a mother to do about her family’s teeth? Why, buy Gleem! Gleem will make it possible that you won’t always have to brush after meals! It has GL-70, which gets rid of that awful tooth decay. Why, GL, that’s the initials of Guiding Light! What a coincidence!
I know one of my biggest problems: I can’t see my reflection in my plates. Thanks to Joy, now I can see myself! Oh my God! It’s a miracle!
Did you know that life’s problems can be solved by coffee? It can, according to Mrs. Olsen. Because it’s Mountain Grown and fresh! Mrs. Olsen offered Folgers coffee to newlyweds in her time. Played by actress Virginia Christine, I always loved Mrs. Olsen because she reminded me of my grandmother—warm and friendly, always willing to help. Also catch Christine as a racist that gets torn down by the formidable Katherine Hepburn in an amazing scene in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.
Now I know many of you do something when you go grocery shopping. No, not to eat from the bulk-food bins! I know many of you give Charmin a squeeze. However, if you did this, boy you were in big trouble with Mr. Whipple lurking around. Never mind shoplifters, inflation, whatever sundry problems that were going on in the world. If you squeezed the Charmin, you were toast, man. Yes Charmin is darned squeezable, for the love of God, don’t do it!
I could go on and on, but at this point I would start fast forwarding to get to the good stuff. Here’s to the commercials, which helped us get our whites whiter, our teeth brighter, see ourselves in a plate, drink coffee, and know that Charmin is so soft we could squeeze it.
Causes Jennifer Gibbons Supports
Gilda's Club, Greenpeace, Rosie's Broadway Kids,Westwind Foster Family Agency, Amber Brown Fund, Linda Duncan Fund for Contra Costa Libraries