Private Memorial $5.99, Public Memorial $7.99!

I don’t remember the last time I saw a K-Tel commercial on TV, but back in the day they used to be every damn where selling every damn thing. Kitchen gadgets,

compilation albums with names like Explosive Hits, Hit Machine and Goofy Greats (I think I still possess a cassette copy of that one to this day),

mood rings

and lord knows what else. It was even the company that helped bring the world the Mini Pops.

Company founder Phil Kives died this week at age 87, and I felt it needed a mention since without him and his ads, TV advertising could easily be a lot different today. If he wasn’t the originator of the as seen on TV style commercial, he was certainly pretty close to it. So depending on your perspective, you either have him to thank or blame for all the Ronco, Time Life and Billy Mays type infomercials we have now.

The world of comedy owes him a huge debt of gratitude as well. If you’ve ever seen a sketch troop do a fake commercial, odds are good it borrowed heavily from the format of every video up above.

Yet again I’m having that problem where I’m not sure how to end something, so I guess I’ll just say thanks for all the cheap music you gave us, and for the decades of laughs, whether or not they were intentional. Seriously, mood rings?

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