Lucky Strike. So Round, so firm, so fully packed. - Smoking with Woody.

Time for some cartoon lore, citizens! If you're of the right age, you are too young to have seen lucky strike ads like this one first hand, and don't know the reference when it popped up in cartoons from The Forties, which were a part of this balanced breakfast every day of your life until the age of twenty.

First, the old ad.

"So round, so firm, so fully packed." Hey, if the American Tobacco Company can disregard proper use of capitalization, I can disregard their disregard of proper use of capitalization. Besides, those dickwads probably fragged my dad about ten years prematurely, so screw their capitalization.

Until I became a big grownup with a weird obsession with commercial materials from before my time, I only knew that phrase from a couple of Woody Woodpecker cartoons where his voice becomes French and he tries to make it with an incompatible animal species. Observe this clip from Solid Ivory, in which Woody wants an egg, and will sleep with a chicken (apparently) to get one. Try to ignore the bizarre blurring and vignetting applied by the poster to throw Google's automatic copyright violation detection bots off the scent. It all but ruins the point of even looking at this. But here's the line.

FaceTube's embed function doesn't allow time code indexing, so here's a link to the video at just the right spot... until Google catches on and the cartoon is pulled, anyway.


It's the Woody Woodpecker cartoon "Solid Ivory". The line occurs at 5:23.

"Oooh la laaa! Pardon, madame. Have we not met before in Pareee? No? Or, was it in ze Riviera, yes? You are so round, so firm, so fully packed! Come, mon cherie, and we will fly to ze Cazbah!"

So, mystery solved, like thirty years later. Walter Lantz was making a trendy reference to a successful cigarette commercial of the time. Bury that reference in the ground for a couple of decades, to be unearthed by Channel 32's Super Cartoon Sunrise for the entertainment of pre-teen Phil, and the reference lands with a thud on the ears of its young audience.

The thud of the reference was un-thudded about ten years ago when I started listening to old radio programs, occasionally peppered with live reads of the Lucky Strike promo mentioning the cigarettes' roundness, firmity, and fully-packeddom.

Also in the Lucly Strike live reads (examples of which were not easily found, sorry) was the recitation of the acronym "L.S.M.F.T.!!!" This was repeated a few times per spot in the odd near-shouting-voice of old time radio actors. If your slogan is a string of five letters and you want it to catch on, you'll need to repeat it - first, so that people can remember so cryptic a phrase - and second, so that they can be annoyed by your blatant hammering of the advertising anvil. This stands for "Lucky Strike means Fine Tobacco". Incidentally, learning something and believing it are two different things. Just ask my religion teacher, Sister Margaret Ann. Sister Margaret, if you're reading this, I respect your wielding of the +3 Yardstick of Jesus against nine year old children, but come at me now and I'll disarm you and then paddle your ass with your own weapon. "LSMFT, mothafuckah!"

Need a good laugh? Please enjoy some bizarre Lucky Strike commercials of the kind that would never see the light of day in this century.

First, a Lucky Strike commercial from the Jack Benny show. It's got a trio of guys singing a parody of "You Belong to Me" in rock solid three part harmony. "Take good care of yourself. Smoke a Lucky Strike." I swear I am not making this up. Here's another non-embedable indexed link.


This one is only a minute long, and worth watching, because it's a bunch of stop-motion cigarettes having a square dance. Freaky-deaky, man. The money shot comes at 0:26 where the announcer shouts "Smoke 'em! Smoke 'em! Then you'll see! L.S., L.S./MFT!" American Tobacco was trying so hard to make you learn their weird rhythmic acronym they  stuck a foreslash in there to help you learn the specific phrasing. Thank you, advertising. You never disappoint.

Big? Click.


Post a Comment