Monday, May 09, 2016


As sales for sugary soft drinks like Coke and Pepsi actually diminish slightly, and wary consumers choose variations on mineral water, "sparkling" drinks and other items that aren't loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners...we harken back once again to an earlier age.

"Funny Face" drinks (along with Kool-Aid and Keen) made kids HYPER. They (drinks and kids) were loaded with sugar. Add a snack to your "Funny Face" drink (a Little Debbie, a Ring Ding, a Sno-Ball, a Mounds bar) and you could run around and play all afternoon. Then what? Then come home and have a tall glass of Bosco or Cocoa-Marsh or Mountain Dew, and a Swanson TV dinner, and you'd be jumping up and down and cartwheeling like you were doin' the Freddie, begging to stay up for "Man from UNCLE" and even "The Tonight Show."

For most kids, the most popular flavor of the "Funny Face" drinks was GRAPE. Among slightly more "normal" or affluent kids, there was Welch's Grape Juice. Most certainly, any peanut butter and jelly sandwich required Welch's Grape Jelly (which you could empty pretty quickly, saving the container as a wonderful juice glass).

As you see from the above, there were plenty of "send away" premiums available on "Goofy Grape," including a kite and a sweatshirt and even a pillow.

Mr. Grape, and the other flavors, were voiced by that era's genius, Solomon Hersh, better known as Paul Frees. Yes, "Goofy Grape" (and the Pillsbury Doughboy, Ludwig von Drake, Boris Badenov, etc. etc.) was Jewish. Mr. Grape sounds a bit like Paul's "Captain Peachfuzz," who was based on comedian Ed Wynn. Paul was a man of a thousand voices, so he had no trouble making Goofy Grape pretty unique (complete with giggle).

Unlike the other Jewish man of a thousand voices, Mel Blanc, Paul Frees could do kid voices and even quasi-female voices. You get a sample of a kid voice via "Freckle Face Strawberry." Somehow the song manages to skirt the issue of how "funny" it is to be a freckle-faced kid by keeping him an actual strawberry, proud of his markings. I don't think there was a female "Funny Face," although "Chinese Cherry" was somewhat of an androgyne.

It's worth mentioning (since it's my blog) that Frees voiced "Daphne" in "Some Like It Hot." It's his most famous female voice. You thought Tony Curtis did a remarkable job changing his voice? Not by half. While Jack Lemmon had no trouble being a zany-voiced woman, Curtis couldn't master a convincing vocal. Paul Frees never revealed the secret that Curtis jealously kept. Finally, when Curtis was in his 80's, and it was common knowledge (thanks to Frees fans and some trivia-minded film buffs) Tony wrote a book on the making of "Some Like It Hot." He dropped a bare one sentence mention that "Daphne" was dubbed by Frees. If you were skimming for more paragraphs on Marilyn Monroe, you might've missed it.

"Here we are, back with you again..." (no, no, that was sung by Kukla Fran and Ollie), here's Goofy Grape, Freckle-Face Strawberry and a chorus...singing about the FUNNY FACE DRINKS.

Goofy Grape (Paul Frees) HOWDEE!

Freckle Face Strawberry (Paul Frees) I GOT 51 FRECKLES

Paul Frees and the Funny Face Choir The Drinking Song

1 comment:

Timmy said...

These are stupendous! Many thanx for rounding them up!