Wednesday, July 27, 2011


It may be hard to believe, but even in the late 70s and early 80s, there were things that were considered taboo on commercial TV. Many taboos were broken by All In the Family and Saturday Night Live. Flatulence was not a subject dealt with on TV in those days.

What broke that taboo could be considered the first "viral" video or "meme." On the Tonight Show, Johnny Carson liked to show Cleo Award winner from all over the world. One got a big response. It was for Shiseido Olive Bath Soap. It featured several small naked boys bathing together, accompanied by military marching music. The commercial ends with one of the boys passing gas in the bath water and the other boys moving way from him.

It was shown several times during the mid 70s on the Tonight Show. Then in the early 80s, it was shown in prime time on both a Tonight Show anniversary special and a Steve Martin TV special. Then it was shown on a commercial retrospective TV special hosted by Ed McMahon. For a brief period in the late 70s and early 80s, this Japanese soap commercial was everywhere you turned on TV. Then it was gone. Surprisingly it was hard too find on You Tube until now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You're right; it was ubiquitous, for a while. Then I wanted to show it to my daughter recently, and I was surprised that it wasn't the top search result for "boy farting commercial". But I found it, thanks to your post. And she thought it was hilarious. Thank you!

I'd love to find out what effect it had on the actor who played the "guilty" boy.

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