The genius of Stan Freberg is on display front and centre in this vintage soup commercial. An author, actor, comedian, musician, radio personality, puppeteer and advertising creative director, Stan began his professional career in 1943, and was working well into his late 80’s. Clearly during the course of his seventy year career… (that’s right, I said SEVENTY) ….he wore many hats (and I’m guessing quite a few wigs as well). His work in advertising was witty, ingenious, and always funny. This ad also features the incomparable Ann Miller; famous for her dancing in MGM musicals, and for her acting roles in over 50 films. (including her last acting gig as “Coco” in David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive). But we can’t forget Dave Willock’s contribution to this ad, his deadpan delivery is the perfect balance to Ann Miller’s mania. He was one of the most prolific character actors of films, television series, and television commercials for decades. He’s one of those actors whose name you don’t know, but whose face and voice are instantly recognisable from his work in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s (he even played “Daddy”, the father of Blanche and Jane Hudson in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane!)
Spring is in the air!
(or is that just the smell of all the rotting piles of fish, fly covered duck parts, and the abundance of mushy, blackened, mouldy fruits and vegetables cascading out of the garbage bins on every corner of China Town after a long hot weekend?)
ANYWAY, I digress (yet again)… SPRING…or something…is in the air! And we all know what that means. There is something sinister lurking just after Labour Day…. SUMMER. It’s that dreaded perennial season that inflicts self loathing, acute body dysmorphia, and humiliation upon most of the population. Every year it’s just as reliable as when Puxasutawney Phil comes peeking out of his burrow. It’s just as predictable as October bringing us Halloween. And of course the arrival of Halloween means attending parties where once more you hear the reoccurring theme of everybody’s costume. The description of said theme is naturally:
“I’m a Sexy ______”
(you can fill in that above blank with anything from “kitten”, “nurse”, “pirate”, “baby”, “homeless man”, “burn victim” through to “cadaver”)
But..back to our topic…
Yes, SUMMER is coming. The season whose high temperatures, and societal expectations demand that we wear less coverings over our pale, flabby bodies. Those same bodies that have been safely camouflaged all through autumn and winter by cashmere sweaters, silk lined woollen trousers, fashionable boots, hand knitted scarves, glamorous drama coats (à la Çomme de Garçon) and a vast variety of garments created from beautiful tactile fabrics. (le sigh)
Summer, on the other hand is the season, that to me, demands that I wear clothing and bathing suits that exacerbate the genetic betrayal that is my legacy.
I know a lot of people say: “You should just join a gym and start working out! You’ll get such a high from it!”, or “Take a Spin Class, it’s so much fun!”, and
“I’m on a really fun ______team, you should come and play with us!”
I have attempted all of those activities, and believe me when I tell you that I totally went at it half-heartedly, and gave it the best half-arsed effort that I kinda tried to muster. Going to the gym, and especially trying out a Spin Class made me completely anxious, self conscious and nauseous. Being around all those muscular, toned young people made me feel like a giant albino squid, thrown out of the ocean, and onto a beach. I was flopping about uncoordinated and exposed. All that my squid self desperately wanted to do was to find some way back into that ocean water again, and then squirt out a huge cloud of black ink in which to hide myself, and cower. In other words, as far as gyms? I’d rather wear fire as a hat.
After all of those experiences I have decided that I already get plenty of exercise from chain smoking, driving a stick-shift, wandering through the streets aimlessly every weekend, and lying in bed and complaining.
However, I did recently unearth a long forgotten ancient VHS tape!
(yes I DO do still own a VCR. I use it to view all of the old videos that I never got around to converting to DVD’s twenty years ago…and yes DVD’s still exist too. Not everything is on Netflix baby)
So this afore mentioned tape is an old eighties work-out tape was designed especially for men. I have been watching it and copying all the movements for weeks, but I am still not looking like any of the men on the tape. Then I realised that maybe the point isn’t looking like those men, but rather to just like looking at them.
Jason (blogospheric nom de plume “jaymayokay”) is an old (don’t say old) college chum of mine, a New York City ex-pat and a current resident of Australia. Here’s a short interview as introduction to you all, my concerned readers.
BB – Jason! Welcome to billybeyond.com We are so happy to add you to our roster of administrative contributing posters and Stay At Home Models! Firstly, is it really true that Southern Hemisphere Stay At Home Models turn in the opposite direction?
J – What an inspired question! Yes we absolutely do turn in the opposite direction. We also do other classic runway movements a little differently. We Southern Hemisphere gals also do split doubles, but we do them simultaneously whilst eating banana splits. Then as we reach the end of the pretend runway, we toss the empty bowls and spoons into our awestruck make-believe audience. As a finale´ we then actually DO the splits before our turns. Only then do we proceed back down the imaginary runway. (..and when I say “splits”..think Miss Tandi Dupree)
*additionally..here’s a little fun fact for our Northern Hemisphere Stay At Home modeling colleagues, and of course the innumerable fans…All of our aspirations, goals, and dreams for the future go swirling down the drain too….. BUT they swirl counterclockwise.
BB– Cute. Yes I do think Tandi when I think splits because it was actually me that posted that video to Youtube about a hundred years ago. I’m glad to see you’re keeping up…ummmm. Next question – If I were to facetime you, would you be upside down on my screen? I guess that’s technically a technical question but I’m wondering….hmmmm. Yeah.
J -That most certainly is a technical issue, and yes I would appear upside down. But just go to settings in your control center, and turn on your “Portrait Orientation Lock”. “Then what?” you might ask? Why, just simply hold your phone upside down as we FaceTime.
What’re we going to do with all this future?
BB – Good to know. This next question is one I ask everybody so I’m assuming that makes it appropriate.
Have you ever seen a UFO and if you have can please describe your experience for me?
J – Oh yes. I’ve seen thousands of Unidentified Frying Objects. I have no kitchen skills whatsoever, but I love a challenging recipe, and I’m always intoxicated, so I’m sure you can just imagine the ensuing fun. Oh the hilarity!
BB – Always, huh?…Good to know.
How important are unimportant blog posts to you?
a. Somewhat important
III. Very important
d. Other (please explain)
J – Actually dull blog posts (much like any Kardashian) elicit feelings of blasé laissez-faire et ennui. N’est pas?
BB– Bien sûr, je ne pense pas qu’un dictionnaire sera nécessaire! – moving on. Favorite quote from Working Girl is….?
J – There IS only one quote.
BB – Interesting point of view…only one…like one God or one Universe…”there’s only one quote from Working Girl,” yet every word of it is quotable to fags like me….wow – that’s heavy. You’re deep. That’s good, we can use deep around here. Okay, Mister Jaymayokay, final question –
Is Easy On spray starch really that good?
J – See for yourself…
BB – Thank you and welcome ablog.
Thank-you so much for your amazing introduction Billy. I’m truly underwhelmed. It’s nearly a thrill to be joining you on this blogging adventure! I only hope that I can rise to the task, and contribute in a way that meets your exceptionally average standards!
I see new doors opening for all of us!
cute. uh huh. The intervew’s over, Jason. You can cool it with the gifs. Byeeeeeeeee