Mr. George Whipple - Fussy, uptight supermarket
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
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
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.
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
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
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 shortage...is a problem that will touch every American."
In medical terms, Whipple refers to an embarrassing intestinal disorder known as
The first Charmin commercial was filmed in Flushing, New York.
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