Annals of phraseology

From the NYT on the 10th, an obit by William Grimes, “Cal Worthington, Car Dealer With Manic Ads, Dies at 92”, beginning:

Cal Worthington, a car dealer whose off-the-wall commercials, first broadcast in the 1950s, bombarded California television viewers for more than half a century and made him a pop culture legend, died on Sunday at his ranch in Orland, Calif.

The ads involved elaborate stunts; and

In the background, a chorus of male voices and frantic banjo pickers sang a jingle to the tune of “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” each of its many verses ending with the tag line: “Go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal.”

Hard to get it out of your head.

Grimes goes on:

The exuberant cheesiness of Mr. Worthington’s ads made him a folk hero, as much a part of California popular culture as Woodies with surfboards on the roof or Orange Julius stands.

I admire the phrasing “exuberant cheesiness”.

(For another posting on relentless pitchmen, see here.)



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