JELLO CARSON

Johnny Carson’s longtime comedy hero was Jack Benny. And while their styles were entirely different, they did share one very specific thing. Jello was Benny’s signature advertiser through the 1930s and early 1940s and somehow Carson wound up doing a Jello commercial on a 1957 program he hosted. Here, Johnny demonstrates how to make Jello ice cream pie. Have you ever had Jello? I just had some in anticipation of the dreaded once-every-five-years colonoscopy procedure and I can attest to it being one of the most wretched food products available in supermarkets. Who the hell eats it, aside from people about to get the dreaded once-every-five-years colonoscopy procedure? Maybe that’s a big enough audience to keep them in business? The 1930s Benny ads (read by Don Wilson at the beginning of every show) make it sound like an exotic desert surprise, much as Yogurt was initially packaged to customers in the 50s (all those different flavors!) By the way, if the 1957 date of this clip is correct the show would have been ‘Who Do You Trust?’ (formerly known by the somewhat more intriguing title ‘Do You Trust Your Wife?’) which Carson hosted from 1957-1962. It happens to be the show on which Carson met Ed McMahon. It’s also the show where he shilled for Jello, a dark and unavoidable landmark in many comedians lives.

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