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American Express - This credit card and travelers check company sponsored the now classic TV commercial starring actor Karl Malden as the American Express Guy who starred in over 100 TV commercial spots.

American Express Guy

Malden's classic catchphrase proclaimed: "Don't leave home without it." The "it" being the American Express Card. The American Express campaign was created by Olgilvy & Mather Agency.

In a take-off of these commercials, late night talk show host Johnny Carson on a segment of NBC's THE TONIGHT SHOW dressed like Karl Malden. When Carson told the viewing audience "Don't leave home with out it," he got hit in the face with a cream pie.

TRIVIA NOTE: Karl Malden, formerly starred as Detective Lt. Mike Stone (the persona he used on the commercials) on the police drama THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO/ABC/1972-77.


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