20 Classic Chicago TV Commercials

Peter Francis Geraci

Peter Francis Geraci started appearing on TV in Chicago some time in the mid 1990s. Since then, his commercial has aired roughly 7.4 million times. I believe there is a law here in the state of Illinois that a commercial for Peter Francis Geraci must be running on some channel that broadcasts in the city of Chicago at all times. I had no idea that dealing in the horrible misfortune of others paid so much money but that PFG seems to be doing pretty good if he can afford to buy all the commercials he buys. I used to drive by his office on Roselle Rd. every day and I have never once seen a single car in his lot or even seen the light on at his building. I’m pretty sure that he is really just laundering money and using his free bankruptcy info tapes as a cover. His commercials have been called the most boring commercials on TV so I could pick from any of them but they are all the same.  If you are from Chicago, you know who this guy is:

 

Moo & Oink

I was a white kid living in the suburbs of Chicago (I’m still very white btw). Moo & Oink was not aimed at me for sure but you could not avoid a Moo & Oink commercial, especially if you were watching local late night TV.  I never had any idea what in the hell chitlins were but I knew you could get them for what seemed like a good price at Moo & Oink.  This classic Chicago TV commercial ran in 1992:

 

 

Townhouse TV and Appliances

This is another commercial for an appliance store.  Remember those?  They were special stores you used to go to to buy TV’s and washer and driers where there were salesmen who actually knew the products rather than an 18 year old kid from Best Buy trying to sell you a dish washer when the kid has never even used one before in his life.  There used to be a lot of them.  We’ve already had a couple of old appliance stores already on this list. Before places like Best Buy killed them, there used to be lots of them. When you watch this classic Chicago TV commercial you might not remember it until you hear the jingle at the end and you’ll definitely remember their address, at Milwaukee and Oakton. This commercial aired in Chicago in 1986:

 

Chicago Bears for Coca-Cola

There was nothing quite as magical as living in Chicago during the ’85 Bears season. Nearly 30 years later and there are many in Chicago who still think of it as the greatest sports event in Chicago history and Mike Ditka is still a living god here in this city. You couldn’t go anywhere during that season without getting barraged by all things Bears. In my school even, the Super Bowl Shuffle was being played over the intercom during passing periods. It was that crazy. Here is a commercial that came out during that time that I would bet most Chicagoans and Bears fans have forgotten about. This classic Chicago TV commercial aired in January of 1986 (back when there was still new Coke):

 

Long Chevrolet

Another car commercial that makes the list of classic Chicago TV commercials. I’ve got two for you here for these guys.  Remember Long Chevrolet?  They used Timmy to sell cars?  I didn’t know who Timmy was but I wanted to find him and beat the ever loving crap out of him.  I’ve got to classics here with Timmy for Long Chevrolet. This one is from 1978:

And this one is with Timmy supposedly all grown up from 1981:

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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