20 Classic Chicago TV Commercials

Aronson Furniture and Appliances

Home of the credit connection.  These guys had a jingle that you couldn’t get out of your head even if you tried to, which is the mark of a memorable commercial. This classic Chicago TV commercial is from 1987:

 

Budweiser Cub Fan and a Bud Man

Harry Caray still is revered here in Chicago even 15 years after his death. Even though Harry was the local broadcaster for the Cubs, the fact that WGN was one of the few superstations in the country at the time made it so that just about everyone knew who Harry was.  Harry was widely known to like to tip back a few drinks during the game so paring him with Budweiser was a given.  This commercial was run in 1988:

 

Harry Caray for La Preferida Foods

We are from Chicago and we are Cubs fans here at MWTVG so Harry Caray gets to make this list twice.  Do any of you from Chicago remember when Harry was schilling for La Preferida Foods?  This was when he was still announcing for the White Sox (when he was partners with Jimmy Piersall) so he wasn’t nationally famous yet but he was well known in Chicago. Back in his days with the Sox, Harry would sometimes do the home broadcast shirtless out in the outfield stands and he was known to have a Budweiser or 20 during the games.  What amazes me most about this commercial with Harry is not that it seems like a crazy paring. What amazes me is that they got Harry to pronounce the name right.  I picture 742 takes of this like Jerry Stiller trying to say Del Boca Vista.  This classic Chicago TV commercial aired in 1980:

 

Danley’s Garage World

Speaking of the Cubs, if you watched any of their games in the 80s, you were intimately familiar with Danley’s Garage World.  You’ll remember the jingle for this commercial when you watch it and also take note of the phone number.  Remember when we didn’t have to have an area code before the number and all of us were 312?  This classic Chicago TV commercial ran in 1984:

 

The Webb Boys

There is apparently an entire car dealing family of these people.  We had a Ford Webb dealership near us when I was growing up but this Webb family seems to have procreated all over Chicago and Indiana.  Once you hear the jingle to the Webb family car dealership commercial, you can’t get it out of your head.  This was the best commercial I could find with the song. One from 1988 wasn’t working and there are two from the 90s that are hilariously awful with Chicago radio personality Dan McNeil (from back when 670 the Score was still on 820), but no jingle.  Here is the best one with the song:

40 Comments on 20 Classic Chicago TV Commercials

  1. Anonymous // October 30, 2013 at 9:15 pm //

    Peter lawyer,, office on Roselle only open one time a week.

  2. Adam Wolak // October 30, 2013 at 6:39 pm //

    What was the commercial of that girl rapping for some business school. I had a really catchy bad song..anyone?

  3. Niles, Lombard, Calumet City, Oak Lawn. For sports, it’s SPORTMART.

  4. Tim Dwyer // October 30, 2013 at 8:25 am //

    I’m creating an account just for this:

    Seven Seven Three, Two Oh Two, beep BEEP beep BEEP…Lunaaaaaaa

  5. “Pepe’s tacos are very good tacos”

  6. NO BOB ROHRMAN?!?!

  7. Whatever happened to the old CET ad? Remember? Call MOhawk 4 4100 CET for televison? Does anyone else remember that one?

  8. I’m sorry, but where did this guy get the idea carpet cleaners are not around anymore?

  9. Here’s another one that should be on the list. The Lincoln Park Zoo commercial.

    http://youtu.be/FoMyOj2Ou7E

  10. weeeeeee’re the super service, super service, super service store . . . North Shoooooooore Refrigeration!

  11. Kids are king at Dispensa’s Kiddie Kingdom. Fun’s our thing at Dispensa’s Kiddie Kingdom!

  12. Tru Link Fence with Andre Dawson.

  13. FaabulousT // October 29, 2013 at 12:23 pm //

    Remember, the Empire commercials had another spokesperson BEFORE Lynn. It was a black woman and I don’t remember her name but I do know she played the maid in “It’s A Wonderful Life” with Jimmy Stewart.

  14. Don’t forget about Golf Mill Ford.

    Push it
    Pull it
    Tow it to Golf Mill Ford!

  15. 588-2300 Empire Today with Lynn the Empire man. Even today, living in the Carolinas, I see Empire commercials with an animated Lynn character who has pretty much nailed Lynn’s voice. Maybe they’re national now??

  16. Two Chicago commercials I still remember decades later are for Holsum Bread with the great jingle that began “At two in the morning when you’re in bed, the Holsum bakers are baking bread” and for Lincoln whose phone number was National 2-9000.

    • I seem to remember an establishment with the number MOhawk4-4100, along with good ole HUdson3-2700.

  17. My aunt was in either the Moo or Oink costume in one of those commercials. She worked there and they needed somebody last-minute. And she got my sister and me some cool Moo and Oink stuffed animals. We thought it was just the coolest damn thing ever. Still do.

  18. Or Jim Moran, the Courtesy Man, of Courtesy Motors down near Augusta Blvd and… Cicero?
    Or “Robert Hall, Robert Hall…” the jingle of the mens/boys suits and topcoats store.
    Or Norman Ross doing Talman Savings commercials … before he joined the First National Bank of Chicago.
    Or Uncle Ned with the Smiley Head doing commercials on Lunchtime Little Theater
    Or Uncle Johnny Coons making us eat boloney sandwiches just like his, before they caught him swearing into the microphone that wasn’t turned off…

  19. “Nelson loves me, Nelson loves me, Nelson Brothers loves me; and they’ll love you too…”
    Or Frank Sinatra singing Pete Epstein car commercials to the tune of Kick in the Head (DIno’s song, actually)
    Or Fohrman Motors
    Or “… cookies by Maurice Lennell. He came here from Swe-den… One taste will tell that Maurice Lennell cookies are just simply ..Good!” by the dean of Chicago folk singers, Winn Stracke, with a little bit of “Top of old Smoky” in the tune.
    Or the “Cahpeting, cahpeting, cahpeting!” TV commercials that haven’t changed much in 60 years.
    Or the Nahighian Brothers Oriental Carpet store ads on WFMT done by the mellifluent Mel Zellman between pieces of classical music.
    Or the live Aunt Jemima ads acted by a beautiful, dignified lady (Edith Wilson, I think) who was originally a famous singer, who sang with Eubie Blake back in the 1920s.

  20. Tony Papaleo // October 29, 2013 at 12:20 am //

    What? No “Timmy” the newsboy from Long Chevrolet?

  21. Congrats on the Huffington Post – Post! Way to go Midwest MO and MW Mike!!!

  22. ITA, that is the number one, most famous Chicago commercial. The fact that it is still running cracks me up and I hope they never ever change it! Does the company know what a classic they have created? I have been watching the Victory Auto Wreckers commercial since that guy was in fashion. Who is that guy? Does he know that commercial is still running on WGN?

    • Midwest Mark // October 31, 2013 at 2:41 pm //

      My neighbor from a few years back looked exactly like the victory auto wreckers guy. I’m still secretly convinced it was him

  23. Midwest Mark // October 27, 2013 at 7:21 pm //

    I love the Eagleman commercial with Mancow… a true 90’s Chicago mashup

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