KC's View: If you don't know who Cal Worthington was, go check him out on YouTube. He was a legendary car salesman in Southern California who at one point had 29 dealerships as far south as Long Beach and as far north as Anchorage. But even more importantly, he was a canny marketer who understood the power of television and the role that a strong spokesman could play in making a business successful.
There were two consistent elements in his TV commercials, which have been ubiquitous for decades in the markets he served. One was the jingle:
If you need a better car, go see Cal For the best deal by far, go see Cal If you want your payments low If you want to save some dough Go see Cal Go see Cal Go see Cal...
The other was the line that introduced him, before he made his on camera pitch:
Here's Cal Worthington and his dog, Spot!
Spot, of course, was never a dog. It could be a hippo, or a monkey, or a lion, or a tiger, or even a skunk. But never a dog.
Ultimately, what came through was that Cal Worthington was a guy with a sense of humor who would do anything to sell you a car, while somehow avoiding the sleaze factor that attaches itself to so many car salesmen. You know that if you bought a car from Cal Worthington, there was a real guy standing behind it. And despite the hokey commercials, that was immensely important ... and a lesson worth remembering.
Originally posted by Leroy I'm kind of surprised at the traction this is getting, as I thought he was just a regional SoCal car dealer.
He goes in my childhood memory bank along side Wally George and Elvira as people I grew up watching on TV while being a little too young understand the... nuance... of their performances.
He was huge in the Seattle area too when I was growing up. I actually was way,Hong some of his old commercials earlier this year and didn't know he was in the SoCal area as well. Was surprised he was still alive he seemed old then.
Always thought it was Pussy Cal. Glad I'm not totally alone.
The one thing that struck me most about Deal was how absolutely, unbearably horrible the editing was. Every episode had at least four obvious overdubs, and these were caught not just by me (broadcasting major with experience listening to Michael Cole)