Alka-Seltzer - The squeaky-voiced puppet mascot (voiced by Dick Beals)
for Miles Laboratories commercials in the 1950s & 1960s.
Created by Robert Watkins in 1952 for a magazine ad, Speedy had red hair,
blue eyes, a bottle cap for a hat and a midsection shaped like an Alka-Seltzer
tablet. Speedy was an instant success with the upset stomach crowd. His popular
jingle of "Plop, plop, Fizz, Fizz Oh, what a relief it is!" sold millions of
The cute little character first
debuted on television in 1953 in a B/W stop-action/live-action 60-second
commercial created by the Wade Advertising, Inc. of Chicago.
The commercial begins with "All over America...for fast relief, it's Speedy Alka-Seltzer!" The ad ended
with "Get Speedy Alka-Seltzer, for fast re-lief, you bet!"
Seltzer character was a doll with movable joints and animated by a stop-action
film technique called "Pixilation." Speedy's successful run as trademark for
Miles Laboratories ended in 1964 when the company decided to retire the
The 1976 Bicentennial revived the Speedy character; and in the 1980s Speedy was
seen in a Winter Olympics commercial and in 1985 lobbying in a "Save Big Boy
Campaign" when Bob's Big Boy restaurants were considering dumping their chubby
faced Big Boy trademark.
In the late 1980s, both H&R Block, the nation's No. 1 tax preparation company
teamed with Alka-Seltzer products and Speedy Alka-Seltzer to hawk the slogan
"Alka-Seltzer to the rescue for tax-time upsets."
Advertising artifacts of Speedy can be found warehoused in San Francisco at The
Museum of Modern Mythology. The voice of Speedy was performed by Richard Beales.
In South America, Speedy was known as "Prontito."
TRIVIA NOTE: In 1971, the original puppet
used in the commercials was shipped to the Philippines and lost in transit.
However, it was rediscovered in an Australian warehouse in 1976 and placed
within a glass case at Miles Laboratories located in Elkhart, Indiana, that is,
until Bayer Corporation purchased Miles Laboratories in 1979 and has since
slowly closed their USA Alka-Seltzer production facility and moved their
production to Mexico and Germany. The Speedy puppet is rumored to in their