No professional actors were harmed in the making of these commercials
February 23, 2017 12:36 AM   Subscribe

Enjoy these 80s-drenched low-budget ads from Okanagan television station CHBC-TV (now a Global affiliate). You can spend an hour watching the whole series, but here's some prime cuts: Spaniard hairRad DoctorsMagical Savings • Gift RapO.K. Welders (Of Course) • And finally, the Downtown! Trilogy: 1, 2, 3.
posted by smasuch (32 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Can it be that it was all so simple then?
posted by jmccw at 3:23 AM on February 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

I once drove from Spokane to Vancouver up through the Okanogan (US spelling) on US Hwy 97 and then crossing at Osoyoos and taking CA Hwy 3 UP to the North and winding AROUND following rivers and finally crossing the Canadian Cascades and heading south again to meet up with Interstate 1 (do they call them Interstates in Canada?) to take me into the city.

It was A VERY INTENSE DRIVE full of fun winding roads and scenery that took my breath away. If I didn't have a deadline for being in the city, I would have taken some time with the journey instead of just looking at it through a windshield.

I only mention this because I hadn't realized that Okanagan (Canadian spelling) was a thing in Canada as well as in Washington State. Thanks for this. I didn't exactly drive through this part of Canada, but I learned a bit about geography and Canada! I'll have to drive more northerly up CA Hwy 97 sometimes!
posted by hippybear at 3:26 AM on February 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

But really, only if the hair and clothes in that area has changed since these commercials were filmed.
posted by hippybear at 3:27 AM on February 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

I happen to be going to Madrid next week. And now I shall make sure that I have "Spaniard Hair" for my trip. Thanks hippybear!
posted by rongorongo at 3:35 AM on February 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

posted by sarble at 3:47 AM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

do they call them Interstates in Canada?


For the most part, we don't actually call them anything, because although there are a few designated strategically important routes that are part of the National Highway System, there isn't exactly any legal basis for considering anything to be an interprovincial highway. Highway construction and maintenance is basically completely within the control of the individual provinces, and if the highways of one province happen to reach the border in precise alignment with the highways of the next province, well, then we're certainly all glad it worked out that way. Even the Granddaddy of Canadian highways, the Trans-Canada, mostly only has the same number across the West, but goes by a bunch of different highway numbers in the East.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:16 AM on February 23, 2017 [3 favorites]

I wonder how much of my brain is devoted to remembering things like the "Wallpaper Atlanta" jingle
posted by thelonius at 4:22 AM on February 23, 2017

(do they call them Interstates in Canada?

I drive my Canadian husband bugfuck because I can't seem to iron out the use of "interstate" when describing driving anywhere in this country. At least I've gotten better because the 401 is pretty easy to swap out, but man, it is really hard to break that lifelong habit.
posted by Kitteh at 4:36 AM on February 23, 2017

Those were oddly reminiscent of some of the SCTV commercial spoofs.

And if you ever watched WGN out of Chicago, you might remember this commercial.
posted by SteveInMaine at 5:17 AM on February 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

I got the urge to look at Princess Diana pics last night and noticed how striking her Spaniard hair was. So unsettling how much we can love a hair style and then are flummoxed by it years later.
posted by waving at 5:26 AM on February 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

Youtube is bringing back this sort of lowfi, ultra-local ad. Here's one that keeps popping up for me as (skippable, thank god) ad before the video - Handy Andy's Vacuums
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:41 AM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Royal Spaniard
posted by waving at 6:47 AM on February 23, 2017

What's going on with the Evangelical Shoe Store?
posted by slkinsey at 7:42 AM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by koeselitz at 7:49 AM on February 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

Funny, I happen to be visiting Kelowna (or more specifically outside Vernon) this week from Seattle. Fantastic family skiing without much to distract from the primary mission. The best part of skiing here is riding the lifts with some of the local old timers. Seriously, some of these people have been skiing 75 years. They are uniformly friendly and unconcerned with the pretensions that go along with snow sports south of the border. No splashy graphics, no technical fabrics, just a lot of knowledge of the mountain, the conditions, the best wax to use, how much fun the no-name ski hill the next range over is, or how the whole town started going downhill once the Old Spaghetti Factory opened.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:09 AM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

I had the exact same hair and moustache as the Spaniard guy all through the 80's. I mean exactly.
posted by davebush at 8:37 AM on February 23, 2017

For New Englanders: Robolar
posted by mubba at 8:46 AM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is this woman's makeup from the first Downtown ad real? Like, is that a look the Kelownoise people of the 1980s would embrace? Perhaps it'd look better with Spaniard Hair?
posted by Nelson at 9:12 AM on February 23, 2017

Man, those accents. I'm normally the first to dismiss any accusations of a Canadian accent, but wow. Interior BC* is where they've been hiding it.

* OK, and the Ottawa Valley and Quebec and New Brunswick and yeah probably a few more places too.
posted by GuyZero at 9:50 AM on February 23, 2017

More local content for Boston MeFites.

posted by pxe2000 at 9:53 AM on February 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

GuyZero, rural Ontario is even more on the accent. Dan Aykroyd (obviously) nails it often. Here's a good example.

And as a rural BC resident from an area that makes Kelowna look metropolitan, yeah the accents here can be pretty thick.
posted by sauril at 9:58 AM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yep, this is why all of my friends from Kelowna, Penticton, etc. couldn't get the fuck out of the interior fast enough.. to Vancouver or Toronto, depending on preference. It was all high-waisted jeans, acid-wash, porn 'staches, blow dried hair. Anyone who looked alternative (punk, goth, or who actually was queer) was a "fuckin' fag" and threatened with violence.

Canada doesn't have States, so it's not an interstate system, and we weren't the major target during the Cold War, so we had no reason to build a system like that anyway.

Also interesting... these have the same stilted acting as the Dawn of the Dead, and it was these people/consumers/zombies that Romero targeted in his films too.
posted by Zack_Replica at 9:58 AM on February 23, 2017 [2 favorites]

Kelowna? Kamloops or gtfo.
posted by aramaic at 10:49 AM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

So, you all are saying these people have accents? Is it possible that the rest of you have accents and they are perfectly normal? Because I don't hear it.

(Small town BC represent!)
posted by jacquilynne at 11:00 AM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's been posted here before, but if you want the quintessential suburban/rural Canadian accent, you have to go out for a rip. (Yeah, there's some swearin', bud.)
posted by maudlin at 11:00 AM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

I bet the Chinese food here is terrible.
posted by Mchelly at 12:47 PM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

Downton trilogy? You missed this one, courtesy of SCTV and Tom Monroe (audio slightly out of synch, sorry).
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 1:21 PM on February 23, 2017 [1 favorite]

And if you ever watched WGN out of Chicago, you might remember this commercial

I love that I knew exactly what commercial this was going to be before clicking the link.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:58 PM on February 23, 2017

I found the ad for Screenplay Fashions to be remarkably well-done!
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:05 AM on February 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

The Towne Square Clown ambles ominously through my dreams...
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:08 AM on February 24, 2017 [1 favorite]

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country...
posted by Sys Rq at 7:15 PM on February 24, 2017

I_Love_Bananas, the Towne Square clown is very dear to me because that's the sad dying mall of my youth (now dead, so Waneta Plaza is the sad dying mall of my when-I-go-visit-my-parents adulthood).
posted by smasuch at 8:03 PM on March 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

« Older An escalator can never break, it can only become...   |   UKIP's moment of truth? Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments