Everything I know, I learned from a public service announcement
One of my jobs at the station is to pick public service announcements to air on CBS 58 and its sister stations WMLW, This TV and Shorewest TV. By definition, a PSA is an advertisement created to raise public awareness of an issue. Like a lot of things these days, they just don’t make ‘em like they used to.
I grew up in the 1970’s and 1980’s…the golden age of PSAs. At the time, the whole mentality behind public service announcements was to make them look like actual programming. That way, kids didn’t know they were being taught something. They featured colorful characters, snappy jingles and sometimes, real live celebrities! Remember when C-3P0 busted R2-D2 for smoking? I didn’t even know droids could inhale!
Remember Timer from Saturday mornings on ABC? What was that guy?! He looked like a large intestine with a cowboy hat and neckerchief. Whether he was telling us not to drown our food or how to make a wagon wheel, that little dude always had sound advice for his little Saturday morning friends. They should resurrect him to warn kids about the dangers of crystal meth.
Who could forget the Poison Control Center’s evil minion Mr. Yuk? I still have nightmares about that guy. My mom could have put a Mr. Yuk sticker on my swing set and I would have stayed away from it. I can still remember running screaming from the family room whenever he came on.
In upcoming blogs I’ll post more of my favorites in a new feature I’m calling “PSA Theater” If you have a favorite, let me know. I’ll try to track it down.
Now, for your viewing pleasure here’s the mother of all public service announcements. It was only a few years ago that I learned this guy wasn’t really a Native American but an Italian dude from Louisiana. Click on the link for PSA gold!