Culligan Lady - Female character who shouts "Hey
Culligan Man!" in a series of successful print, radio and TV spots since the
late 1950s. The Culligan company is an international water softener business
that treats hard water and sells water purification and bottled water. Today,
the Culligan brands include such products as Everpure, Elga, and Bruner.
Culligan was founded by Emmett Joseph Culligan in 1936. Initially, he began his
water softener firm in 1924 in Saint Paul, Minnesota, but he soon learned it was
more profitable selling franchises than direct sales.
In 1959, the Dassas Williams Productions of Los Angeles created the now famous
Culligan advertising campaign which used a boisterous female voice shouting "Hey
Culligan Man!" By 1961, company sales had risen to over 11 million dollars.
The Culligan Lady in the ads is shouting "Hey Culligan Man!" to one of their
many service trucks that roamed suburbia of the late 1950s. With so many other
housewives using the franchised service, our Culligan Lady didn't want to be
left out and so she gives a hearty shout to one of the company trucks as it
passes through the neighborhood. In later commercials, the Culligan Lady is seen
shouting into a
In 2004, the investment firm of Clayton, Dubulier and Rice acquired the company
from Veolia Environnement for $610 million. In 2006, Culligan closed its
Northbrook, Illinois plant and relocated its headquarters.
Host Peter Marshall:
Question: True or false? At a recent hearing in
New Jersey, opponents of fluorinated water argued that too much fluorine
in a persons system can cause an uncontrollable desire for sex.
[excitedly] HEY, CULLIGAN
The Hollywood Squares
Culligan, water is all we do. For over 50 years we've been solving all
types of water problems with the highest quality water products. So for
brighter clothes, dishes that sparkle and great-tasting water there's only
one name to trust."
TRIVIA NOTE: Emmett J. Culligan, a devout
Catholic, wrote the book: The Last World War and the End of Time (1950, 1975
by TAN Books and Publishers, Inc.) which examines prophecies and apparitions
that suggest that we are in the final era.
Culligan was born in Yankton, South Dakota, on March 5, 1893. He retired to
San Bernardino, California in 1965 and died in 1970.
The idea for the "Hey Culligan Man!" campaign is also attributed to a 1959
ad campaign created by the Dallas Williams Productions of Los Angeles.
According to Dan Bessie, "It was Dallas Williams who first created the
Culligan commercials (on radio). In about 1961, as I recall. They went to TV
the following year, with the original animation designs created by designer
/ animator Lee Mishkin. After Mishkin did the spots for the first year, I
did them for the next 15, with Dallas and I jointly creating the stories,
and myself doing the animation."
Dan Bessie, a filmmaker and former animator began his career at MGM
Animation Department. He co-wrote, directed and animated the award-winning
"Hey Culligan Man!" soft water commercials for 15 years. His book, Reeling
Through Hollywood: How I Spent 40 Fabulous Years in Film and Never Made a
Nickel traces his humorous and sometimes desperate career from Tom & Jerry
to the award-winning Hey Culligan Man! commercials.
Back to Top