The great Stan Freberg died today at age 88. If you don’t know who Stan Freberg is, you would do well to find out. His career spanned the media of radio, record albums, television ads, and cartoon voice-overs, and his comedic influence on the Baby Boomer generation cannot be overstated.
I loved his work, and there’s no one piece of his comedy that is representative of his genius. But if I have to post one here, it would be his epic 1970 “Great American Soup” commercial for Campbell’s Soup, featuring Ann Miller as though she was tap-dancing through a Broadway musical. I must admit that it took me several years to realize the satiric genius of this ad. When I first saw it (at the tender age of nine), the sight of Ann Miller’s legs was…well, probably my first step towards becoming a man.