Read Heart dog food. Fort-two to get Reddy.

Does any food manufacturer do send-away premiums any more? I never read the backs of packages when I buy food, so I don't know. This big stuffed dog from Red heart dog food would have been a pretty sweet one, way back in 1957. However, "Reddy" was far from free. First you had to send in six labels from their product (natch), and also mail in $4.95 in 1957 bucks. Let's see... accounting for inflation that comes out to. Jesus Christ! Forty-two bucks!

For forty-two dollars, you could probably frikkin' buy a frikkin' actual dog for frikkin' out loud... which you probably already had, if you were going through six cans of actual dog food to get this fake one. Weird. But, if you think about it, every kid has stuffed animals, and many families have dogs, so, that's not that scandalous. I probably shouldn't have said all those frikkin' swears.

When an Alert Intern plopped this 1957 ad on my desk, the first thing that occurred ot me was how frikkin' much Reddy looks like Cuddly Dudley, the puppety co-star of the Ray Rayner show. "Who the frikkin's Cuddley Dudley, you frikkin' jerk?" you ask? Thanks for calling me a jerk, and here's who he frikkin' was.

Chelveston, Ray, Random Dog, and Fake Dudley.
In The Sixties and Seventies, there was a brilliant kids' show on WGN, the best local TV station in Chicago. the show was Ray Rayner and his Friends. It was a perfectly low-budget show with a reassuringly consistent variety format that's a big hit with kids. (Kids like reliability.) Ray was the host, of course, and his show featured regular in-studio characters like Chelveston the Duck (actually a goose).

Real Cuddley Dudley and Ray.

Once per show, Ray would walk over to camera two and read the fan mail with Cuddley Dudley, a life-sized cocker spaniel puppet. The patter was nearly always improvised, sometimes had a subtext of dirty humor, and usually went over the heads of the audience. Ray's show was also a good source of cartoons, like Mr. Magoo and Looney Tunes, which were sprinkled throughout each episode. Great stuff.

Incidentally, you can see the puppets and other artifcats from the Ray Rayner show at the Museum of Broadcast Communications, down on State Street. I really gotta get down there and see it.

You could also get a Cuddley Dudley doll as a special promotional item for subscribing to the Chicago Tribune. Dudley looked exactly like Reddy, as I will now demonstrate with a side by side compariso...


Not very similar after all.

Hell. Now I have no post for today. Double you tee eff am I gonna do now? Just run it anyway and post a few Ray Raynor videos? Sounds like a plan. See you tomorrow, kids!

Click it to big it.


Jim Dillon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jim Dillon said...

POW! (No, not P.O.W., I hadn't heard about that before. I was thinking of the time about 1979 he tried to get kids to play a skeet shooting video game over the telephone. They had to say "POW!" to fire. Most kids who called couldn't say it loud enough, and none of them ever got the time delay figured out. Am I the ONLY person alive who remembers this?)

PhilAreGo@gmail.com said...

Jim, You must be a local, as I think Ray Rayner was strictly a Chicago thing. You definitely did not imagine that game. I clearly remember kids calling in to play "Ray's TV Pow". My brother and I laughed at it, because it was the worst idea for a call-in game. It looked like an Atari 2600 game, but with the added enjoyment of 250 milliseconds of lag. Kids eventually got wise and would just spam the "fire button" by shouting "powpowpowpowpowpowpowpowpow..." into their telephone until the game was over.

See? I didn't imagine it either.

Thanks for reading, Jim!

Unknown said...

How much would reddy be worth today wth the advertisement from the magazine

Unknown said...

How much would reddy be worth today wth the advertisement from the magazine

batterymaker said...

Ahhh, I take it you grew up in Chicagoland as well...then there was BJ and Dirty Dragon, my other favorite show....

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