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As Seen on TV: Go See Cal

Posted by purplemary54 on September 9, 2013

It’s weird how something as simple and stupid as commercials can embed itself into your psyche.

Cal Worthington died yesterday.

You won’t know who the hell Cal Worthington was unless you lived in Southern California (or, apparently, the Houston area, since my dad reported seeing Cal’s commercials when Dad lived in Houston).  But if you grew up here in the 70s and 80s, and watched a lot of TV (especially late night TV), then you know exactly who I’m talking about.

Worthington Ford commercials were as ubiquitous as sunshine out here.  Everybody knew the jingle.  “If you need a better car, Go see Cal.”  The plucky, Bluegrass style banjo and guitars were as familiar as anything in the Top Forty.  You’d be up late watching some Japanese monster movie, or action-packed adventure, and when the station broke for commercials, chances are this would be the first thing you’d see.  As a kid, I would always watch to see who his “dog Spot” was in this version.  It was almost never a dog.  (Once.  I remember seeing a dog in the commercial with him once.)  This clip has a pretty good sampling of the animals he did ads with.  I also remember a camel, and maybe a zebra.  They were amusing commercials, and I’m sure they brought him plenty of business.  After all, if you can remember the commercials, you’re more likely to try the product.

It seems sort of silly to get worked up over a used car salesman.  But Cal was still making ads up until a few months ago.  He didn’t wrestle bears anymore (he was 92, for goodness sakes), but he did advertise pretty decent prices.  He was a presence in my life, and I will always remember him fondly.


2 Responses to “As Seen on TV: Go See Cal”

  1. It’s Cal Worthington and his dog Spot!

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