Charlie Tuna - Deep sea tuna fish featured on numerous television
commercials for Star-Kist Tuna Company.
a hip, tuna fish who wore a beret and sunglasses. His goal in life was to be
caught by the fishermen who worked for the Star-Kist Tuna Company. Herschel Bernardi
(died 1986) provided the original voice of Charlie Tuna.
Charlie's attempts at proving he was cultured enough
for Star-Kist always ended with a refusal note attached to the end of a fishing
hook that read "Sorry, Charlie" and one his fish buddies reminding him "But
Charlie, they don't want tunas with good taste, they want tunas that taste
Charlie Tuna was created in 1961 by Tom Rogers of the the Leo
Burnett Agency. Reportedly, the Charlie Tuna character was inspired by Harry
Nemo, Roger's a beatnik musician friend from 1950s New York City. However, Maila
Nurmi, who played Vampira, a horror show host in the 1950s claims that her
friend actor James Dean created the Charlie character. She believes that the
James Dean cartoon sketch made its way to an advertising agency which procured
the idea for their own campaign.
Rogers also worked such memorable ad campaigns for the cooking-baking Keebler
elves who lived in a tree and finicky feline Morris the Cat who pushed products
for 9 Lives cat food ads.
Ironically, Rogers whose claim to fame was a fish, drowned alone in 2005 in
his family's Charlottesville backyard pool.
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