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Traum-mercial Break :: Reader Spinninmarty on Bands of Animals & Bic Pens

August 28th, 2008 by unkle lancifer · 16 Comments

Exhibit A: This was a PSA that was shown mostly during Saturday and Sunday morning kids programming during the early to mid 80’s. A boy, wearing a T-shirt with picture of the old Universal Frankenstein on it (I somehow remember this detail), was hiking through a mountain pasture. He comes across a bear, a mountain goat, and some other animal, maybe a beaver, playing loud music on over-sized instruments. Please note these were mascot costume type animals. The kid yells at the animals asking what they’re doing. They answer that they want to start disrespecting nature the way that humans do, like “plaaaayyyiing nooiiissy muuusssiiic.” Imagine that last line being delivered by the crazy eyed mountain goat in a braying voice. The bear then says, “We like to litter” as he empties a trashcan on the kid’s head. The kid then tells the animals they shouldn’t behaving this way. This apparently was a mistake. “Oh, yeah!?!”, replied the bear. There’s a music sting and zoom in on the look of abject horror on the boy’s face. “Let’s get him!!!” And the beasts chase the boy down the mountain. I believe he gets away because the ad ends with said boy looking over hillside while the nice narrator from the National Parks Department, or Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, again emphasizes the importance of respecting the outdoors.

A few things to note: I’ve spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours in the woods as a kid. I’ve had the screech of a mountain lion race up my back from several feet away. I’ve had a nest of yellow jackets swarm up the leg of my Toughskins. I’ve seen Bigfoot. These would all pale in comparison to having three animals, that were clearly against God’s plan, confront me for the ecological sins of my forefathers. And even if they were just “guys in costumes”, who wants to run across that in the forest? I still get that “not right” vibe from Chuck E. Cheese, and he’s in a well populated area.

Does anyone else remember seeing this ad? It may have been a locally produced spot (the Pacific Northwest). My contemporaries have seemed to have blocked it out. And my wife is no help, seeing that Saturday morning television, much like sugar cereal and vacations involving amusement parks, were clearly verboten in her household.

Exhibit B: The second commercial is also from the early to mid 80’s. I believe that this one was for Bic Erasable Pens. A boy, who may have the kid who played Wormser in REVENGE OF THE NERDS, is walking to school talking about the benefits of his new Bic pen, as we all do. He is then confronted by a gang of bullies. He tries to deflect their harassment by informing them of the quality of his Bic. Impressed, the leader of the gang snatches the pen from the nerdy kid. The nerdy kid snatches it back, and with a few swipes, erases the other boy!!! The rest of his gang runs off screaming while Wormser smiles triumphantly at us.

Now what bothered me about this was that I feel I had just witnessed a murder. This is funny and/or supposed to make want to buy pens? Won’t this kid’s parents ask what happened to him? Will any of his friends tell what happened? Is Wormser a diabolical “Wish Child” like BILLY MUMY, or to a lesser extent JEREMY LICHT, from the TWILIGHT ZONE? Yeah, the kid may have been a jerk. But is that reason enough to have his 12-year-old self erased from existence?

Please let me know if anyone else remembers these, or has links to said clips.

UNK SEZ: Dear Spinninmarty, I feel your pain, I have exactly two haunting childhood commercial memories that I have not been able to track down. Referencing them to people only produces the sounds of crickets chirping. In the first, a girl stares blankly out a window at the rain. I think she is crying. Her mother comes up behind her and the girl says, “Mom, why am I so dumb?” and then her mother hugs her. I believe this is a commercial for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The second ad has a bunch of “Honeycomb Hideout”-type kids playing in a tree and they say, “Taking drugs when you’re not really sick…is REALLY sick!” It’s safe to assume that one was an anti-drug spot. I’ve checked youtube time and again for these two commercials but to no avail. Please someone out there in Interwebtown, put me and Spinny out of our misery by verifying the existence of these off-putting television oddities! In the meanwhile, I did find this Bic ad, as I was fruitlessly searching for Spininmarty’s traum-mercials, it will have to suffice for now…

UPDATE: SOLVED! see the amazing animal band HERE!

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Tags: Traum-mercial Break · Traumafessions

16 responses so far ↓

  • 1 joshacid37No Gravatar // Aug 28, 2008 at 8:43 am

    Bic is probably going to be very upset to receive your Penthouse letter, Frankenstein(‘s monster).

  • 2 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Aug 28, 2008 at 9:38 am

    I grew up in Queens in the ’70s and all we had was “Give A Hoot – Dont Pollute” and The Crying Indian.

  • 3 megatone230No Gravatar // Aug 28, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    We had the crying indian too, it always used to make me teary eyed as a wee little tot… The description of the boy in the Frankenstein shirt encountering the racous gang of animals does seem vaugly familiar, the description seemed to jar something deep in the recesses of my brain. I’d love to see this commercial, maybe someone out there will unearth it and post it on youtube.

  • 4 Mariam67No Gravatar // Aug 28, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    This is the kind of terrifying commercial I had to grow up with. 🙁

  • 5 DavidFullamNo Gravatar // Aug 28, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    I’m reminded of a commercial I saw when I was little. Childhood diseases (represented by folks in some rather elaborate costumes), sit in a cave and talk about how they will make children of America sick. They throw a hissy fit when a big cage door comes into view and traps them. Pull back to a shot of children playing and a narrator telling us to remember to get our kids immunized, in order to trap those nasty diseases.

  • 6 micksterNo Gravatar // Aug 28, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    This Bic erasable pen ad with Wormser from Revenge of the Nerds sounds really familiar. I think I do remember that ad. The other ad doesn’t ring any bells for me. However, I do remember Louis the lifeguard warning me, “Don’t drown your food in mayo, salt, ketchup, or goop. It’s no fun to eat what you can’t even see, so don’t drown your food!” This site contains a lot of great Saturday morning PSA’s http://www.angelfire.com/retro/gartwo/ Enjoy!

  • 7 spinninmartyNo Gravatar // Aug 29, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Thanks for all of the input from everyone.  You guys are the reason I log onto this group therapy session every day.  After this weekend, I’m going to call the local TV station in Seattle (KOMO) that often played the rock band animal ad.  As much as I love Unkle Lancifer’s art, the real commercial bordered on Lynchesque disturb-ity.

  • 8 sbdNo Gravatar // Aug 29, 2008 at 2:00 am

    I think I remember the Bic ad, it rings a moderately substantial bell anyway.  Not sure about the littering furries though – sounds like an acid trip.  I mean, were there really PSAs about littering in the 80’s?  Reagan and Bush were all about the pollution, no?

    Mariam, if you want a substantially more entertaining song with the same title, here are the lyrics to Uncle Bonsai’s Don’t Put It In Your Mouth. Sorry I don’t have a link to a clip but if you like guitar and three-part harmony, you’ll like this.

  • 9 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Aug 29, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Not scary at all, but my All Time Favorite Childhood Commercial was the little pill puppets spilled out of their pillbox worrying that some little kid might come along, mistake them for candy and and eat them! And that would be BAD, cuz they are medicine!

    They go on to sing: (and some of these lyrics may be wrong, cuz the commercial is 30 years old:)

    No no no no!
    This is serious
    We could make you delerious
    You should have a healthy fear of us
    Too much of us is dangerous

    Doctors tell the pharmacy
    Types of pills that you will need
    And they know the harm that we can be
    If we’re not taken carefully

    No no no no!
    We’re not candy
    Even though we look so fine and dandy
    When you’re sick we come in handy
    BUT we’re not candy
    No no no no!

    Greaaaaaaaaaaaaat commercial. Anyone who finds a link is my hero! 🙂

  • 10 aunt johnNo Gravatar // Aug 29, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    @mama: I take it, you mean this awesome p.s.a.?:


  • 11 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Aug 29, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Thats the one! My hero!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 12 Mariam67No Gravatar // Aug 29, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    I just remembered a commercial that seriously freaked me out (not childhood though, a couple of years ago). Have you seen the commercial for dentyne ice where the guy chews the gum and his head freezes and falls off and everybody starts screaming? My tv was on mute and I happened to look at it when the guys head fell into the girls lap and she’s screaming. It scared me half to death. I thought of this while remembering a gum commercial where a girl knocked gum out of a pinata and the pinata comes back to life and attacks her to get it back. Gum commercials are freaky. D:

  • 13 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Aug 30, 2008 at 1:03 am

    Miriam67, I loved that commercial with the pinata. I forgot about that one. I think it deserves a post of it’s own. The whole fake home movie aspect really makes it kinda shocking plus I love how the donkey dives at the camera near the end.

  • 14 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Aug 30, 2008 at 9:35 am

    I think the same gum company made the one where it’s a spoof of BARNEY-like childrens shows? Well, anyway, theres a perky white woman strumming a guitar and singing a “Caring Is Sharing” song with some BARNEY knock-off that has a pack of gum in it’s pocket (?) and when she reaches over to help herself to a piece of his gum the BARNEY goes completely ape-shit and mauls the woman!

    I am a sadisctic person: I quite enjoyed this commercial, as well as the Killer Pinata one (I do not remember the “exploding head” one)

  • 15 BQueenNo Gravatar // Aug 31, 2008 at 10:34 am

    I’m from Washington State and totally remember that mascot animal in the woods commercial.

  • 16 meridithNo Gravatar // Sep 18, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    I had been looking for the PSA with the band of animals for over a month!!!  Well, I found the freaky thing.  My friends and I talk about it all the time.

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