Monday, January 16, 2006


This week's crossover comes from a genre growing in popularity recently, and yet which was a staple of early television - TV commercials that use characters from TV shows.

Back when the sponsors controlled most of the content, it wasn't surprising to see Clark Kent enjoying a bowl of Kellogg's cereal. As Time passed, you would get the actors appearing in the commercials in a way to suggest their old characters - like Don Adams hawking Skittle-Pool. I may have thought that he was appearing as Maxwell Smart (under cover as a Skittle-Pool salesman), but they didn't openly acknowledge it.

Just a month ago we had Alka-Seltzer celebrating their 75th anniversary by hiring Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts to recreate their roles of Frank and Marie Barone from 'Everybody Loves Raymond'. And then Frank and Marie recreated the classic "I Can't Believe I Ate The Whole Thing" blipvert.

And now?


The house looks the same; the music sounds the same; the narration of an older John-Boy now sounds some 20-odd years older.

And then we see all the houses across the country in which the surviving Walton siblings all live, as they partake in their traditional goodnights to each other.

But now they're doing it over the phone, thanks to their Cingular plan.

An argument could be made at first that they aren't 'The Waltons', as the narrator sounds like he's saying "on Waldron's Mountain". However, that could be just a faulty mispronunciation due to the narrator's (John-Boy) age.
Beside hearing the names of the usual suspects (Mary-Ellen, Jason, Jim-Bob, Elizabeth, and especially John-Boy), we also see most of those names spelled out on John-Boy's cellphone with a listing for 'The Waltons' to boot.

Maybe the trend will come full circle someday soon, and then we will see Tom Welling as Clark Kent enjoying a bowl of Kellogg's Corn Flakes in 'Smallville'.



betcsu said...

is there a way to find out if the voiceover is really earl hamner? ive searched the 'net over and cant find the answer.

Toby said...

I'd say from a quick search of my own that you've covered all the same ground as I did, Betcsu.

I could have sworn the Best Spots of the Month site had chosen it as one of the best ads for its month, but I don't see it listed there.

And the doesn't mention it in Hamner's "Other Works".

If the search still doesn't yield any results, have you tried contacting him through his representation?