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Public Service Announcements
April 30, 2009 4:11 PM   Subscribe

Growing up, Public Service Announcements were part of my Saturday morning cartoon TV experience.

I recall many celebrity PSAs, such as those made by Sammy Davis, Jr., Yul Brynner, Ella Fitzgerald, and Mary Tyler Moore.. Oh, and, by the way, M'am, we hope you'll buy Christmas seals.
posted by Oriole Adams (25 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Mental Floss needs a server upgrade or some other sort of digital intertube laxative.
posted by GuyZero at 4:22 PM on April 30, 2009


Aren't you going to give us one to grow on?

Also, does anybody else remember the Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints PSAs? I remember one with singing, dancing burglars informing us that "if you tell one lie, it leads to another, and then you tell two lies to cover the other." Don't know why, but that one stuck with me. Maybe it made me a more honest person? Who knows....
posted by Afroblanco at 4:26 PM on April 30, 2009


Who broke my window?

Telling the truth isn't going to be easy...

WHO BROKE MY WINDOW?
posted by majick at 4:27 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I remember that Yul Brynner one. Wish they'd re-broadcast it.

Originally called “Hot Foot Teddy,” Smokey Bear became so popular that an estimated 95% of the U.S. population can finish the statement “Remember: Only You Can Prevent…” without prompting.

Hot Foot Teddy is rather cute, if a little sadistic for a nickname.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:28 PM on April 30, 2009


Also, does anybody else remember the Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints PSAs?

"One and one make two, but two together make one, come share your life with me, together we'll have fun!"

That chef one is easier to watch with the sound off. And if you play a slide flute when she slips on the floor.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:32 PM on April 30, 2009


Mr. Yuk scared the shit out of me as a child.

SICK, SICK, SICK
posted by infinitewindow at 4:47 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mr. Yuk does an excellent job of transforming a child's home into zoo of lurking horrors, which, I suppose, is true in a way.

Skin Graft Sous Chef, now that's a mixed message. All of that run of those PSAs seem to have a "it's my fault, no it's the company's fault, no it's my fault" bit in them. Some really high-quality screaming, though.

Did anyone else, as children, find the PSAs so obviously manipulative that rejecting the message seemed appropriate?
posted by adipocere at 5:01 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh my God the "Buckle up in the back" video is so OMG....they don't make shit like that anymore!
posted by metastability at 5:17 PM on April 30, 2009


Ha! I'm getting a lot of mileage out of my moment of glory this week!
posted by absalom at 5:22 PM on April 30, 2009


Did anyone else, as children, find the PSAs so obviously manipulative that rejecting the message seemed appropriate?

A lot of the drug PSAs did, among them the girl in the stairwell waving a joint in some kid's face and saying, "It'll make you feel good" in this creepy, hypno-voice. Didn't do much to scare me about marijuana. Maybe because both my parents were pretty bad about hiding their own intake, and they seemed like alright people to me.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:27 PM on April 30, 2009


I was always most frightened by the "stop drop and roll!" ones - cheerfully explaining how best to cope with being on fire is fucked.
posted by moxiedoll at 5:45 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


I learned by watching youthem.
posted by DU at 5:55 PM on April 30, 2009


Who remembers the one with the haunted house and all the ghosts telling the kids not to drink and drive- "Stop, Don't Drink and Drive, Don't Drink and Drive, Slow Down!" That tune haunts me, and it's been almost 20 years. Wish I could find a copy on Youtube or something.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:03 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Huh. Just clicking around, I just discovered that one of my favorite songs may have been inspired by a PSA.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:12 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did anyone else, as children, find the PSAs so obviously manipulative that rejecting the message seemed appropriate?

Drug pusher: "What are you, chicken?"
Drug-resistant kid: "I'm no chicken, you're a turkey!"

Yeah, I never quite understood the concept of "drug-pushers." The PSAs made it seem like people were always just itching to get you addicted. The truth is that whenever I've passed on an offer of drugs, whether it be alcohol, weed, or even cocaine, the response was always, "More for me, then!" No one wants to share their drugs with someone who's not interested.
posted by explosion at 6:13 PM on April 30, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yuckmouth. Time for Timer!
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 6:20 PM on April 30, 2009


Did anyone else, as children, find the PSAs so obviously manipulative that rejecting the message seemed appropriate?
"My name is Jesse Corti, and what I'm about to tell you is true."
This one bothered me because he seemed to imply that "overlooking security measures" was incidental to the accident and the real cause was the guy had smoked pot.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 6:32 PM on April 30, 2009


there was a cartoon one where an owl is cleaning an elephant's ear out with a broom. the elephant can't hear anything, and meanwhile all these random objects come out of his ear. the owl sweeps out a pumpkin, and then exclaims, 'never put anything in your ears!'. of all the psa's that owl's line has stuck in my head the most.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 7:45 PM on April 30, 2009


These things had so much impact. To this day I ascribe the Green movements of the 90s and today to the crying Indian.

Also, does anybody else remember the Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints PSAs?


These? These? These? Oh yeah, I do. I fully admit they had a way of choking me up - I remember one where somebody helped an old lady carry her bags in, another about phoning a lonely old man up. But the one I most remember is the one where Grandpa and Joey are fishing, and Joey says "Grandpa, my friend Billy says I'm prejudiced. What does that mean?" Grandpa says "Who is Billy?" Joey says "Oh, Billy's one of my Jewish friends."

And Grandpa pronounces didactically, "Then you ARE prejudiced, Joey...because you think of him as your Jewish friend, and not as your FRIEND."
posted by Miko at 7:49 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


DAMMIT I just watched a bunch of 'em in a row and now I'm all teared up. Stupid Mormon ads.
posted by Miko at 7:57 PM on April 30, 2009


Hah! That's great Miko; thanks for digging those up! I'm still looking for that dancing burglar one.

Funny thing about the Mormon video productions. A friend of mine has access to this ginormous found films archive, and part of it is a collection of Mormon-produced moral/educational films from the 60s through the 80s. And it's weird how, in one sense, they come from this viewpoint that's completely alien to me, and yet, on another level, they're still kinda convincing and effective. Sorta like how Mormons themselves have this sorta whack-job political standpoint, but at the same time most of them are actually really decent people.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:45 PM on April 30, 2009


Eric Satie's -Trio-Gymnopedie, long soft focus veiw of moving water, 45 seconds go by before the message, "drowning is the leading cause of death in our national parks"
posted by hortense at 8:45 PM on April 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Drugs dealers are dorks, don't even talk to them! Cowabunga!


don't talk to drug dealers cause they'll make you listen to their demo tape
posted by The Whelk at 9:05 PM on April 30, 2009


I remember one with Steve Allen (or was it Victor Borge?) playing piano in a moving truck, reminding us all to fill out those little Post Office change-of-address forms when we move. "Don't make your mail come looking for you," he'd sing.

Thirty-odd years later I look at some of the stuff that keeps coming my way and wonder why I kept following his advice.

I also wonder how many other households adopted "THAT'S A DEFINITE NO-NO TOO, DAFFY" after the Looney Tunes fire safety PSAs.
posted by Spatch at 5:37 AM on May 1, 2009


Who's old enough to remember the public service announcements telling aliens to register annually? Those were my faves - the alien was a 3 fingered cartoon man in a fedora.

When I was really little, I figured they meant those spots and real aliens were living among us. The cartoon man only had 3 fingers and that was what always jumped out at me.
posted by Tena at 6:34 AM on May 1, 2009


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