Of the hokey TV commercials of my youth, and Tex and Edna Boil

Hey, it’s Friday night, end of the first week back at work after the holidays. Everybody’s tired, and yours truly is battling the sinus cold that won’t quit. Long story short: we could all use a bit of levity. Some cheering up. A good hearty guffaw. And I think I have it for you.

The back story is this: I had a night of wackadoodle dreams not long ago, due I am certain to the heavy-duty nighttime cold medication I’d taken just before bed. At one point I found myself dreaming about some of the ads that used to appear on the local TV station – that would be CKWS, the small CBC affiliate in Kingston, Ont., that was one of only two channels that we were able to get – back in my childhood here at the Manse in Queensborough. (You can read my nostalgic tribute to those television days of the 1960s and early 1970s here.) Now, those were the days when many small businesses felt that the best way to advertise their product was to have the owner of the business speak about it in front of the camera for the local TV station. I don’t watch enough TV these days to know if this trend has completely disappeared, but my sense is that it has at least died down quite a bit. But back in the middle part of the last century it was in full flower, and on the small screen one saw all manner of nervous-looking humans woodenly proclaiming the virtues of their product (or dealership, or whatever), and looking pretty ridiculous as they did so. Do you remember?

Those ads turned into wonderful fodder for another great part of television history, the Canadian comedy show Second City TV. SCTV had a recurring sketch featuring Tex and Edna Boil (Dave Thomas and Andrea Martin) of Tex and Edna Boil’s Organ Emporium. I hadn’t watched Tex and Edna in action for many a year, but believe it or not, they showed up as part of that codeine-cough-syrup-fuelled dream. And thanks to my friend Earl, who is brilliant at finding good and funny stuff on the internet, I was able to watch them in action once again. Till tears of laughter ran down my cheeks.

At the top of this post you have kind of an introduction to Tex and Edna’s commercials. To finish off your Friday evening hilarity, here’s another one that Earl found, featuring Tex and Edna with a very special offer if you just, as Edna likes to say, “Come on down!” to their emporium and buy an organ. Enjoy!

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