That Mall is sick and that Store is dead!

April 18, 2022

“More Herb” (copied from my ‘history’ blog), 1986

Filed under: commercials,feud,fewd,newspaper clippings,what — Anita @ 12:09 pm

So when I made that 1986 Super Bowl commercials entry a few months back, I wanted to touch more on Herb, but needed the extra time to obsessively flip through old newspapers online. I did it.

When these cryptic ads began to pop up in papers in November of 1985, people named Herb who owned money to let’s say, mob bosses began to get weary.

Of course, the parodies and jokes began to roll out:

It is still too early to tell whether Herb is doing for Burger King what Shamu has done for Sea World. But one thing is sure — other chain restaurants are intent on stealing some of Herb’s thunder. Signs at Wendy’s and Ponderosa Steak House outlets in Central Florida proclaim that Herb is too busy eating in those places to appear at Burger King. Pizza Hut, in celebration of last week’s National Pizza Week and to promote its new delivery service in this market, distributed pizza boxes containing a flier that read: “Herb won’t be eating burgers this week either.” There has even been a sighting of a trailer sign in front of a local Presbyterian church with the message: “Man does not live by bread alone, Herb.” Perhaps to fend off the exploitation of its campaign by rivals, Burger King will finally unveil Herb this week. He will surface Tuesday morning on NBC’s Today show. 1

I had to re-read this article several times to understand it.

And of course, people stole the cardboard cutouts of Herb that were in every Burger King.

I wanted to find newspaper articles about people finding Herb in their town-after all, he visited every state and parts of Canada. That was harder than I thought it would be! Turns out, sometimes, the local paper din’t care or didn’t know that Herb had arrived, I guess. I mean, before Herb made his super bowl debut, articles began popping up wondering if people would even care once Herb showed his face.

Also, I wasn’t aware that Herb showed up on Today before the commercial. How dare he!

People in York, Pennsylvania seemed annoyed by the campaign:

Also, people who were named Herb (ok, maybe one or two people) were upset, which is really stupid:

Boy, you are 32 years old, you have bigger fish to fry than to be upset over a commercial. Also, don’t remind people about Herbert Hoover. He was a terrible president.

Then, there was a guy in Colorado who looked an awful lot like Herb:

Someone got mad that he wore glasses?

Suffolk News Herald, March 12, 1986

and of course, the boomer jokes.

Little kids did a program for old people where they parodied old commercials. A kid attempted to dress like Herb!

In Schuykill County, Pennsylvania, kids dressed like Herb for a contest! You’re right, Kelly, Herb is funny.

Herb even made a yearbook or two.

Alright, alright, so Herb hits the road!

(these aren’t in order)

Kansas – Levenworth

Maryland – Baltimore

Nevada – Reno

Arizona – Tempe

(also an interview with Herb! Jon Menick stays in character though the interview! Just a lil guy from Wisconsin!)

Mmm! Wisconsin couldn’t make their mind up whether they were proud or embarrassed by Herb:

(also, Wisconsin – Milwaukee)

Pennsylvania – unknown

Herb visited Gimbel’s department store in Pittsburgh.

He also showed up at an American Heart Association fundraiser while in Pennsylvania.??

Montana – Bozeman

Hawaii Hilo

North Carolina – Charlotte

Utah – West Valley City

Mississippi – Biloxi

This Herb sighting kind of bummed me out. The winner would go to the same Burger King six or seven times a day for two months. That’s redic.

Florida – Lake Worth

Ohio – [Grove City?]

Illinois – Chicago

(the Gary from the commercial! )

I thought, `Hey! That looks like Herb!’ ” said the 24-year-old Franklin Park bachelor. Like the rest of us, Sirotzke has been inundated lately with teasers about Madison Avenue’s ultimate nebbish, billed as the only American never to have set lips on a Whopper. “So I went up and asked him, and all this happened.” 2

Rhode Island – [Providence?]


A giggly, glossy-faced fellow with thinning hair and horn-rimmed glasses, [Herb] hiked up his pant leg to proudly display his white socks, tweaked the winner’s cheeks, and invited him to reciprocate. When Ham obliged, Herb said, “I love you. Some of the people are . . .,” and he made a deadly face.
As he spoke, he took a black marker to sign a huge plastic banner. Meaning to write, “Herb was here,” he got confused and wrote, “Herb was Herb.” A Burger King employee pointed out the mistake. Herb giggled, then wrote, “You was you.”
The reporters paid more attention to Herb than the customers did. If nothing else, Herb knows his way around the press. He took one reporter aside and in conspiratorial tones, promised to tell the full story behind the story when the Herb shtick ends in March. 3

Wyoming – Laramie

(from Reddit user wyoming_1)

Idaho – Twin Falls

New Mexico – Albuquerque

Texas – El Paso

El Paso broke the mold by telling people herb would be in the area that day!

I’d love to find every single Herb appearance, but I’ve been at this for hours. I’m upset I couldn’t find Virginia! Oh, wait, I forgot one — Vermont (Brattleboro) . Vermont LOVED Herb the Nerd. They went behind the scenes with him in his Jon Menick clothes! He got a haircut! The article is too big so I linked to the jpg of the newspaper scan.

Another article that’s too big is this absolutely insane article from Florida where someone found Jon Menick’s parents and did a long interview with them, including baby pictures! (1, 2)

I wanted to know if the $1 million was given away! Yes! It was in Louisville, Kentucky at the still open Oxmoor Center Mall where Herb had visited a few months prior. A young man who worked at Sears won the million dollars.

Herb looks upset in that photo. Probably because it would be his last public appearance.

Before this, he appeared at Werestlemania II as a timekeeper along with Joan Rivers. All I can find is this gif. (source)

The Herb campaign was on many “worst of” 1986 lists. Along with Joan Rivers!

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  1. Reed, Julia. ‘Herb Again’. Orlando Sentinel , January 20, 1986.
  2. “Herb the Nerd Surfaces Auditor IDs Him, Wins $5,000 Prize.” Chicago Sun – Times, Jan 31, 1986.
  3. Johnson, Maria Miro. “Herb hands out $5,000, hams it up for press Cranston man claims reward for spotting actor.” Providence Journal, February 6. 1986.

February 24, 2015

Viral Video Film School : local commercials

Filed under: commercials — Anita @ 1:32 pm

if you grew up in Hampton Roads, you remember Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley.

October 18, 2014

Straw Hat Pizza

Filed under: commercials — Anita @ 11:21 pm

Screen shot 2014-10-18 at 11.18.57 PM


(screencap from this commercial break from 1981)

July 4, 2014

That time Balki said we could have free Pepsi at Burger King on July 4th

Filed under: commercials — Anita @ 1:02 am






Remember the two seconds Burger King had Pepsi?

Related Links:

My history blog entry about the commercial works of Mark Linn Baker and Bronson Pinchot. 

December 22, 2013

Never forget the Crazy Black Friday Target lady commercials

Filed under: Christmas,commercials,Target — Anita @ 8:25 pm

Screen shot 2013-12-22 at 8.24.43 PM

Crazy Black Friday Target Lady Playlist – YouTube.

October 29, 2013

Hy-Tech Auto Body Commercial 1 – YouTube

Filed under: commercials,Newport News — Anita @ 11:09 pm

Hy-Tech Auto Body Commercial 1 – YouTube.


I wish I remembered this wonderfully cheezy commercial from 1999, but I don’t.

October 28, 2013

7-11 Movie Rental Ad 1987 (Canada) – YouTube

Filed under: commercials — Anita @ 11:05 pm

7-11 Movie Rental Ad 1987 – YouTube.


So, on top of serving hot dogs, getting lotto tickets, and ringing up customers, 7-11 workers in Canada also had to rent out vcrs too?

October 17, 2013

This cheezy commercial for the Red Baron in Newport News (1991)

Filed under: commercials,dead stores,Newport News — Anita @ 5:52 pm

A long time ago, I found this tape my dad recorded of Gone with the Wind for my mom back in the early 1990s. I saw the most ridiculous local commercial for this bar and grill in Newport News, The Red Baron . This must of been big production values for a local commercial back in 1991.



Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 6.16.06 PM

Look at this guy hanging out with da ladies. … remember when people looked like this?

Screen shot 2013-06-24 at 9.48.02 PM Screen shot 2013-06-24 at 9.47.43 PMI looked the address up on google maps, and this Langley Federal Credit union shows up. At first I thought it seemed a little small to be a lounge at one point, but when I look closely at the entrance, it does sort of look like one for a restaurant.

August 18, 2013

” 1988 Newmarket North Mall Commercial (Summer Sizzling Sidewalk Sale)”

Filed under: commercials,newmarket fair mall — Anita @ 4:36 pm


Wowwwwwww. I never thought I’d ever see an old Newmarket North Mall commercial on YouTube. This is amazing, check out the quick pics of the mall.

1988 Newmarket North Mall Commercial (Summer Sizzling Sidewalk Sale)

1988 Newmarket North Mall Commercial (Summer Sizzling Sidewalk Sale)

1988 Newmarket North Mall Commercial (Summer Sizzling Sidewalk Sale)

March 7, 2013

Food Lion / Coca-Cola promo w/ Michael Jordan – YouTube

Filed under: commercials,what,You Tube Garbage — Anita @ 4:00 pm


Food Lion / Coca-Cola promo w/ Michael Jordan – YouTube.

I ❤ this cheesy commercial so much.

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