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Don't You Worry About the Ads

So I'm watching George Pal's Puppetoon Movie and amongst the breathtaking racial caricatures and gratuitous puppet nudity, one scene stopped me in my tracks. An island castaway is examined by a British doctor who proclaims "It's a clear case of night starvation" and prescribes a course of Horlick's. I was immediately reminded of the vintage Cleaners track and soon learned that 'night starvation' was a phony condition invented by ad man Norman Cameron in order to sell Horlick's.

Then I learned that George Pal produced a number of short puppet films that were designed to be Horlick's ads.
Then I learned that Norman Cameron was also a poet of some repute and best friend of Dylan Thomas.
Then I learned of a 1980 Slade song called 'Night Starvation' (as well as a 1978 disco disaster of the same name by former Kinks manager Larry Page.)
I already knew that Jim Henson started out making puppet TV commercials for Wilkins Coffee, starring the characters Wilkins and Wontkins. Wilkins sounded like Kermit the Frog and promoted the coffee. Wontkins was reluctant to try the coffee and was routinely and sadistically punished by Wilkins.
You can learn a lot from a puppet.


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