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Arby's - "America's Roast Beef Yes Sir!" (Commercial, 1981)

Here's a commercial for Arby's featuring Wolfman Jack and some Laurel & Hardy impersonators.

"The names of the two Laurel & Hardy impressionists who appear are Jim MacGeorge (Who plays Stan Laurel) and Chuck McCann (who Plays Oliver Hardy). MacGeorge is also known for doing voice overs for many tv cartoon series: EG "Capt. Huffenpuff" for "The Beany & Cecil Show" and "Whimper" For "Clue Club" and "Woofer & Whimper:Dog Detecives". McCann has also done voice overs for many tv cartoon series and for radio and tv commercials. He has also acted in many tv commercials, in the movies and on many tv series. McCann was also the host/performer of many former NYC based kids tv shows EG's "Laurel & Hardy & Chuck!", "Let's Have Fun!", "The Chuck McCann Shows", "The Great Bombo's Magic Cartoon Circus Lunchtime Show" and "Chuck McCann's L&H Hardy Show". (On "L&H&C" he didn't play Oliver Hardy in the flesh - he voiced and manipulated an Oliver Hardy Hand puppet. He played Oliver Hardy as a real person and oftimes as a hand puppet on "Chuck McCann's L&H Show")" - 143AC

How many of you remembered that Arby's stood for "America's Roast Beef Yes Sir!" Yeah, that's what I thought...

Ahh, I could go for a giant cup of horsey sauce disguised as a vanilla shake right now...

This aired on local Chicago TV on Tuesday, March 24th 1981.

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Viewer Comments

Was one of the Laurel or Hardy impersonators portrayed by Chuck McCann who was famous for other TV commercials like Right Guard ("Hi guy, one shot and I'm good for the whole day!"), Cocoa Puffs (voicing Sonny the Cuckoo Bird), and Dr. Pepper?
Comment posted by dth1971 on Monday, February 4th 2008 at 10:19pm.

Yup...that's Chuck McCann as Hardy in the commercial. McCann also provided the voice of Cool McCool. (Cool McCool was created by Bob Kane, the creator of BatMan.) The actor playing Laurel is Jim MacGeorge. Jim MacGeorge did the voice of Oliver Hardy in the Laurel & Hardy cartoons. (The voice of Stan Laurel in these were voiced by Larry Harmon, who owns the rights to both Bozo the Clown and Laurel & Hardy.) Another interesting bit of trivia on Mr. MacGeorge...He wrote every episode of Jay Ward's cartoon, Super Chicken.
Comment posted by MATSYLPOFF on Monday, February 4th 2008 at 11:34pm.

WOAH!!! That's a catchy jingle!!! And it makes me HUNGRY!!! I used to have an Arby's where I live and I LOVE their sandwiches, but we don't have one anymore!! :( :( :(

ETA: I also used to love their Jamocha shakes!! My mother loved the potato cakes!!

Comment posted by michiganfan on Tuesday, February 5th 2008 at 6:12am.

I love Arby's.
Comment posted by 1980sfan on Tuesday, February 5th 2008 at 10:12am.

Is it too late to say I DID know that's what Arby's stood for? I thought so. :( When I was a kid, a friend of mine & I always said when we became famous rock stars we were going to have a pool shaped like the Arby's hat sign.
Comment posted by kietdoke on Tuesday, February 5th 2008 at 7:33pm.

I'll take a roast beef sandwich, an order of potato cakes WELL DONE, the biggest Pepsi you have and a cherry turnover please...
Comment posted by madsixtian on Tuesday, February 5th 2008 at 11:22pm.

Fuzzymemories: Do you have the other Arby's America's Roast Beef Yes Sir campaign commercials:
* One with an appearance by Bowzer of Sha Na Na.
* One with an appearance by Batman and Robin (Adam West and Burt Ward in costume?)
* One for B.C. Ice Age Glasses (Summer 1981)?

Comment posted by dth1971 on Thursday, February 7th 2008 at 10:30pm.

Actually, Arby's name comes from the Raffel Brothers. R & B. They wanted to name their restaurants "Big Tex" but it was already being used by an Akron, Ohio business.
Comment posted by Pete on Tuesday, April 13th 2010 at 1:47am.

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This clip has been viewed 6916 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Monday, February 4th 2008.
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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by LaPrincess on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 9:20pm CT

My great grandma had this record. Strangely Boxcar Willie looks like he could be related to my guy friend.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by pvx on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 12:49am CT

In reply to Szake's, T.K.'s, and Fuzzy's comments regarding the letters flashing in the corners of the screen at the beginning--I have seen this as well in other national TV commercials on film from this era.

I have a really good hunch as to what this is--going from my experience working master control in local commercial television and handling the physical airing of commercial spots (albeit much later in the early 2000s on videotape and satellite-delivered video files for on-air playout, as opposed to the film print this commercial is most likely from), this is more than likely an ISCI (Industry Standard Commercial Identifier) code, an unique 4 letter & 4 number identification code assigned to national commercial spots that receive national network and/or local affiliate airing. Each ISCI code is unique to the spot for identification for advertisers, ad agencies, post-production staff, and the station's/network's traffic/logging, ad sales, and and master control personnel. A typical ISCI code is usually in the format of ABCD1234.

I'd hazard to guess that it must of been the industry standard in the 70s to have the ISCI code digits show up on the corners of the first few film frames of the spot, to ease identification for the master control/projectionist/editor at a station to know what spot it was while splicing it together with other commercial films to make a spot reel (or when threading the spot by itself up in a film-chain projector) for airing in a local commercial break.

When the transition to delivering commercials to stations/networks on videotape became more common practice, usually the ISCI code was displayed during the slate & countdown before the spot on the beginning of the tape (obviously not aired, unless the MCO screwed up and switched it up too early ;) )).

I wonder of the ISCI code of this spot is something like xMxHx0x3 (the "x"s being whatever letters/numbers displayed at the left side of the screen, which is mostly cut off in this video), say, something like IMGH1023?


Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by Phantom on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 5:10pm CT

This album came from Suffolk Marketing which also sold records of Slim Whitman, Jim Nabors, Jim Reeves & Cristy Lane.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by T.K. on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 4:04pm CT

I was able to stop on two frames... the first with M in the upper-right corner and H in the lower-right and the second frame with O in the upper-right and 3 in the lower-right. So... MO, H3? If it was flashing M-O-M, I'd think maybe it was a subliminal message to ask your mother to buy a ticket.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:39pm CT

Seriously though, it seems like the letters change in each corner very quickly, like it is cycling through something. I also see an 'O' in the upper-right hand corner. Can't we get the conspiracy nuts to break this down for us? This is probably bigger than the "subliminal" station sign-off message. ;-)


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:36pm CT

I still see the X. ;-)


Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - 10th Inning with Jack Brickhouse - "Interview with Bob Lurie" (1976) by T.K. on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 8:51am CT

When Lurie said, "Toronto certainly is a great city and I know the commissioner wants to get a team in Washington," he's referring to the Seattle Mariners, the other American League expansion team that had been announced in January 1976.

The A.L. had been embroiled in a lawsuit with the state of Washington, which accused the league of breach of contract for not allowing a local nonprofit group to purchase the bankrupt Seattle Pilots prior to the 1970 season. (The other owners believed their clubs would be devalued as a result of such an arrangement. Instead, the team was sold to Bud Selig and moved to Milwaukee between the end of spring training and Opening Day 1970.) Granting another expansion franchise to Seattle was the league's way of settling the case and avoid paying $32 million in damages.


Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by Duck 182 on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 3:40am CT

I think I remember my Grandma and Aunt having this on 8 track.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by ER3017 on Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 1:19pm CT

I see it too


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by Szake on Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 9:14pm CT

You can see a M in the upper right hand corner, an H in the lower right hand corner and an I in the upper left hand corner one second into the video.


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