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 Advertising Mascots - People

Mr. George Whipple - Fussy, uptight grocery store manager (played by actor Dick Wilson) who was famous for saying, "Ladies, please don't squeeze the Charmin!"

While Mr. Whipple always chastised his customers for squeezing the Charmin toilet paper, he himself was an habitual offender.

The Mr. Whipple campaign was created by the Benton & Bowles Agency in the mid 1960s.

Other characters on the TV spots were Whipple's twin brother, Elmer and Whipple's son, Gregory whom he instructed in the art of "Charmin."

The original 504 ads which ran from 1965 until 1989 put Wilson in the "Guinness Book of Records" for having the longest running television commercial.

In 1979, a poll showed that the Mr. Whipple character was the third best known American, behind Richard Nixon and Billy Graham.

Born July 30, 1916 in England, Dick Wilson, 82, returned to the small screen in 1999 after a 14 year hiatus (and two strokes and brain surgery) to film a series of new Charmin commercials as the still every fussy Mr. Whipple.

In retirement in Dick Wilson (a.k.a. "Mr. Whipple") received complimentary rolls of Charmin from Proctor & Gamble each month.

Dick Wilson died of natural causes at the age of 91 on November 19, 2007 at the Motion Picture & Television Fund Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.

Dick Wilson as Mr. Whipple - CHARMIN
An older Dick Wilson in ad

Prior to his Charmin involvement, Wilson had been a stand up comic, stuntman, acrobat, and a movie actor. Dick's Mr. Whipple character gave him such a high profile that his career in movies was basically over. After all who wants to see Mr. Whipple kissing or killing somebody.

Wilson's TV credits included the role of::

  • a local drunk on BEWITCHED for nine years
  • a cop on THE MUNSTERS
  • Colonel Gruber on HOGAN'S HEROES
  • Dino Baroni on MCHALE'S NAVY.

The Mr. Whipple character is immortalized in the 1998 book title: "Hey Whipple, Squeeze This!: A Guide to Creating Great Ads" by Luke Sullivan.

'Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This' Book Cover

Pop Culture psychologists conjecture that Mr. Whipple represents the primitive male authority figure. When he sees women finding satisfaction is squeezing large, round tubes of "irresistibly soft" Charmin, he asserts his male dominance over the tribe of female shoppers and nips their desires in the bud. Of course, the same women soon return to find Mr. Whipple wallowing in his own double standard of squeezing satisfaction.

TRIVIA NOTE: One night on December 19, 1973 Johnny Carson jokingly mentioned during his monologue on THE TONIGHT SHOW "But have you heard the latest? I'm not kidding. I saw it in the paper. There's a shortage of toilet paper."

Suddenly, the media impact of Johnny Carson as a communicator was quickly felt as thousands of viewers rushed into the night to hoard toilet paper products.

As the panic spread and still more people began to stockpile the precious paper, toilet paper manufacturers remarked they couldn't keep up with the demand.

A full scale investigation of the panic revealed that the entire incident was inspired by a warning sent by Wisconsin Republican Harold Froehlich that the government no longer maintained a four month storehouse of toilet paper.

The communiqué read: "I hope we don't have to ration toilet tissue...A toilet paper a problem that will touch every American."

In medical terms, Whipple refers to an embarrassing intestinal disorder known as Whipple's Disease.

Dick Wilson as Mr. Whipple

The first Charmin commercial was filmed in Flushing, New York.

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