Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Redd Foxx: Liquorman

Redd Foxx was a legendary comedian, TV star and actor.
His success was monumental, which is stunning considering that most of his stand up act was dirty, he had a terrible drug addiction and a stage name that was (lets face it) just plain silly.

Redd Foxx? How did he ever get anyone to take him seriously with that moniker? Why didn't he call himself Greenn Frogg or Pinkk Jellyfishh? Somehow the name "Redd Foxx" worked.

Being a phenomenal success on TV with the show 'Sanford and Son', Redd decided to take the next logical step:

Liquor commercials!

Yup, Redd was a booze-peddler, a juice-giver, a brew-pusher, a pub-filler, a belly-wash barker, a barley-sandwich chef- in short he was "The Pops with the Hops".

One of these ads was for 'Teacher's Scotch Whiskey'. It's an interesting name for a bottle of hard liquor. I suppose Babysitter's Bourbon and Protestant Nun's Pure Grain Alcohol weren't available.

The Teacher's ad was a print ad, found in men's magazines like Playboy, Sports Illustrated and I Have An Adam's Apple Monthly. It was an essay written by Foxx that started with the phrase "I told the scotch people I don't drink anymore. Then again, I don't drink any less either."

Throughout the ad Redd spouts material like "Don't get the impression that I am a heavy drinker. I only way 150 pounds." and "Marry an ugly woman... when she leaves you'll be happy." Towards the end of the page Redd finally talks about Teacher's.

Redd explains that after he became a success he started to buy the finest cars and spending money like a rich man.

But he kept drinking Teacher's because it was the best.

The ad is a good ad. It looks like an article and reads like comedy routine. I am not sure that the photo of Redd was a good choice, however.

It shows him wearing GIANT glasses (the #1 sign of old age) and holding a glass. Behind Redd is a GIANT photo of himself wearing GIANT glasses! If I was looking for a scotch and I saw this photo I would think "wow, I'm seeing double already! I must be high on life, no need for liquor." Then I would have giggled until I sneezed.

Redd was also spokesman for Colt 45. Going in the opposite direction as the Teacher's ad this goes for simplicity. The words "If unique is what you seek" appears above a photo of Redd holding a can of Malt Liquor.

"Holding" is a bit of an understatement. Redd is cuddling with the can. Like two lovers taking a carriage ride through Central Park. It's a beautiful thing.

It also should be noted that Redd looks drunk. I am pretty sure that is intentional. I must say, in all honesty, I look at the ad and I think "I want to be drunk, too." I would have to say this is a great ad as well.

I guess Redd was as good at hawking hooch as he was at anything else. God bless him for that.

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