Tag Archives: heinz homestyle gravy

Internet Gauntlet Answered: Heinz Homestyle Gravy

Almost a year ago, I threw down an Internet Gauntlet demanding to see the original version of a Heinz Homestyle Gravy commercial from the mid-80s. As you may recall–look, I know you don’t, but just say you do–there were several instances of this ad on the web, but not the original, long-form, unexpurgated version that I remember my grandfather loving so much.

How do I know? Because I could tell there were a few subtle differences between the original and the harshly edited variation that later polluted the airwaves. Either they reshot the thing or they used a different take. In the later version, the old man mugs a bit more, and addresses his sad lament (“oh no…”) directly to the camera. But in the majestic original, he keeps laughing to himself even as he realizes he just pissed off his old battle axe of a wife and will probably get a rolling pin on the dome for his insolence.

I couldn’t have been older than 10 when these ads first aired, and yet I remember being mad when they switched them up. Why? Because I recognized the comedic superiority of the first version, and because I was a really weird kid. I thought we’ve been through this already, jeez.

And yet, when I asked for the original version from you, the internet, I received not one response. Not one! You should all hang your heads in shame, you cowards.

And you should now raise your heads to witness this!

That’s right, some brave American patriot has posted the original Heinz Homestyle Gravy commercial! Tell me the delivery employed in this ad does not make it a million times better than that cheap hack job remake. You can’t tell me that, because it is not true and you are not a liar. Also, I now realize that the old man went on to play Louis CK’s agent in an episode of Louie. You know, the one where he was forced into playing a cop in a Matthew Broderick movie. Amazing how these things come back around.

I think I’m gonna go lie down for a while.

Internet Gauntlet Thrown: Heinz Homestyle Gravy

The results of my first Internet Gauntlet throwing remain inconclusive. However, I still feel confident hurling another one. Because that’s what leaders do, they charge right ahead, regardless of results or consequences.

Around Thanksgiving, a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of gravy. And when I think of gravy, I inevitably think of an ad that aired during my childhood. This commercial always cracked up both of my grandparents, possibly because it featured an elderly couple who (barely) resembled themselves.

The ad in question was for Heinz Homestyle Gravy. The narrator regaled the aforementioned couple with all of the preparation and care that went into the making of their product, insisting it was just as good as gravy you could make in your own kitchen. With each point the narrator made, the wife responded, “Oh really?” At the very end of the ad, when the narrator insists it’s exactly the same as homemade, the husband quips, “Oh yeah? Where are the lumps?” As he chuckles, the wife shoots him a withering look, and he croaks out a sheepish, “oh no…” realizing he is now in the doghouse.

There are versions of this ad on the internets. Here’s the most common example:

But I declare this version the most ripe of shit from bulls. This is not the original ad. How do I know? Because the original was longer, for one thing; this video is 15 seconds long, and I’m sure the original was a standard 30 second spot.

Secondly, I distinctly remember one key aspect of the joke at the end, something that made it so funny. In the original version, the husband still has a smile on his face, and is looking right at his wife, when he says “oh no…” That made it much funnier than this redux version, where the husband mugs, double-takes, and speaks right into the camera. The earlier version had subtlety. Don’t try to pass off this Velveeta as fine cheddar, Heinz.

So the Internet Gauntlet I am now throwing: Somebody find me the original, 30-second version of this ad. I know it’s lurking out there somewhere. You have the power to bring this to light! You are the people we’ve been waiting for!