Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Old Gold

Another set of ongoing advertisements in The New Yorker is "Now You Tell One," a 100% unfunny ad-comic that started appearing in the Spring of 1927.

Drawn by Clare Briggs -- who produced one of the first (if not the first) newspaper comic strips -- the advertisements are usually about a wife who forgets to buy Old Gold cigarettes. Her husband is forced to smoke ANOTHER brand of cigarettes while doing some important piece of work (talk on the radio, give a speech), and he ends up coughing all the way through.

The strips always end with somebody saying that Old Golds have "not a cough in a carload," which is not the world's best punchline, believe me.

Here's a slightly different take on the gag, featuring "Frank and Earnest" (not to be confused with the comic strip from the '7os), "direct from the Gus Sun Time" (a vaudeville circuit). I suspect that Frank and Earnest actually existed -- because of their fleshed-out style and the weird note at the end -- but I can't find anything about them online. Either way I hope their routines were better than this.
"Got a new pair of shoes today, Frank...how do they look?"

"Immense Earnest, absolutely immense!"

"Maybe you can tell me who wears the biggest hat in the army?"

"A cinch, Earnest, a cinch...the guy with the biggest head."

"You're so smart, can you tell me why an Old Gold cigarette is like a hot dog?"

"Because you can't get a bark out of either of them."

"Give the boy credit for a hit. But now get set for a fast one."

"Shoot Earnest shoot."

"Then tell me why Old Gold Cigarettes are like a carload of hams."

"Earnest, THERE'S one that stops the old riddle king. Infrorm me."

"Because they're smoked ALL OVER!"

The cartoon ends with this comment: "Note: The boys like their vegetables FRESH."


VanillaJ said...

So, about the Frank & Earnest cartoon strip of the 70's: do you remember anything about the premise? I was to young to appreciate the dialogue, so all I remember is the graphics. What I do recall is that Frank & Earnest where two disheveled looking bums, that didn't do anything! The just sat on park benches, and shot the shit. Can you imagine a main stream paper today, publishing a strip about two lazy bums?

Adam Thornton said...

You know, I think Frank & Ernest are STILL in the paper. And at one time they were the only moderately funny strip in there...

Eric Little said...

Yes, F & E are still around--today's one-panel strip shows four men--I guess they are supposed to be demons, since they are standing in flames, but they have no horns or tails--standing around a sign that reads: "7 Deadly Sins Duty Roster":


And one is complaining, "Just once I'd like to get assigned to sloth or gluttony like the rest of you guys!"

So he must be Frank.

I would love to have a witty quip here, but my humor gland has dried up after reading the rest of today's comics...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Frank realized the importance of being Ernie.

(my attempt at witty quip)

Adam Thornton said...

Oh, d3...!