1950s Prescription Drug Commercial

show-thumbIf annoying 21st century TV prescription drug ads were run as annoying 1950s TV ads (and taking into consideration 1950s morals and censorship).

Here is a pdf version of this post formatted as a screenplay, if you’d prefer (it looks nicer).

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CUT TO:

TITLE CARD.

“The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.” Theme music begins.

HARRY VON ZELL (V.O)
The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show,

CUT TO:

ADVERTISING FILM SNIPPET.

Zoom in on floating box of Vialis tablets, as if resting on a gray table, light source from left. Box is tilted at 45 degree angle, pointing upward. Music swells.

HARRY (V.O.) (CONT’D)
Presented by Eli Pfeltzer, the makers of many fine prescription drug products, including VIALIS, the miracle pill for men.

CUT TO:

ADVERTISING CARD.

“Eli Pfeltzer, Makers of VIALIS, the MIRACLE PILL for MEN.”

CUT TO:

INT. THEATER STAGE – DAY

Announcer Harry Von Zell is standing center stage in front of a live studio audience. Curtain is down and is behind Harry. Audience applause swells and terminates. Music fades and stops.

HARRY
Hi everybody.

Looks at watch.

HARRY (CONT’D)
Our curtain’s about to go up on George and Gracie, but first I want to let you in on a little secret. You’ve seen George get flustered at Gracie on many an occasion, and maybe you’ve asked yourself the question, “what keeps them together?”

Audience laughter.

HARRY
(chuckling)
Well, I’m not going to answer that directly. George already has fired me three times this month.

Audience laughter.

HARRY (CONT’D)
But instead I am going to tell you a story, a story about two women who meet while out shopping. Two old friends who haven’t seen each other for a while and need to catch up on what’s going on in their lives. Here they are, at the department store coffee shop.
(indicates to audience to watch film screen to left)

CUT TO:

INT. DEPARTMENT STORE COFFEE SHOP – AFTERNOON

Two women, Betty and Marge, middle-aged, dressed nicely, wearing modern clothes, gloves, and flowery hats are seated opposite each other. They are drinking coffee.

BETTY
(putting down her cup)
Oh, Marge, Fred and I are so happy together. My life is wonderful. He’s such an amazing man. He constantly brings me home flowers and candy. Gosh, he’s such an old-fashioned Romeo. He makes me feel like, well, like a real woman.

Marge starts sobbing uncontrollably.

BETTY (CONT’D)
I can’t begin to describe…
(she stops talking, suddenly observing Marge’s reaction to her words)
Oh my goodness! Marge! What’s the matter?

Marge brings herself under control.

MARGE
(still sobbing a little)
Oh, Betty, don’t get me wrong. I am so happy for you and Fred. It’s just, it’s just…
(she hesitates)
I wish I could say the same about my Alfred. I don’t know what’s happened to him. It’s like all the romance has vanished from our marriage. He’s just not the man I married.

Betty reaches over and pats Marge’s shoulder to console her.

BETTY
Oh Marge, I completely understand. In fact, Fred and I were having the same problems not too long ago. Then we learned about VIALIS.
MARGE
(puzzled)
VIALIS?
BETTY
Yes, VIALIS. It’s the new prescription drug from the Eli Pfeltzer company. It’s specially made just for men.
MARGE
(looking interested)
How’s it work?
BETTY
It improves the circulation of the blood. As men get older, they get tired blood. It really gets them down.
MARGE
How does improving the circulation help?
BETTY
(slyly)
You’ll see!
(she winks)
Here try these.
(she pulls out a box of VIALIS)
If they work, just have Alfred ask his doctor for more.
MARGE
(looking at the box, turning it over)
Well, I guess I’m ready to try anything.

FADE TO:

TITLE CARD

“A Month Later…” Brief interlude music

HARRY (V.O)
And now our two old friends meet again at the same department store, a month later. Let’s see how Marge is doing.

CUT TO:

INT. DEPARTMENT STORE COUNTER – AFTERNOON

Marge and Betty encounter one another for the first time in month. Attire similar but not identical to former meeting.

BETTY
Marge, Hello!
MARGE
Hi Betty.
BETTY
Well?
MARGE
(laughing)
Well what?
BETTY
You look happier than the last time I saw you.
MARGE
I am. Alfred’s blood circulation is so much better, thanks to you and VIALIS. It made a big difference. And I can tell you, when his circulation got better, mine did too!
(she laughs)
MARGE (CONT’D)
Oh, and more good news. I’m expecting!

Betty gasps.

BETTY
My goodness, that’s wonderful. How many is it now?
MARGE
It will be my tenth. I’m so happy!
(she pulls out the box of VIALIS from her purse and holds it up to the camera)
I think all wives should tell their husbands about VIALIS, don’t you?  It really is the MIRACLE PILL for MEN.

CUT TO:

INT. THEATER STAGE

Audience applause. Harry again stands center stage before the curtain.

HARRY
I too want to applaud these two modern wives who are willing to do the right thing for their husbands. We all know that often it’s the wife who needs to take the initiative in looking after the health of her husband. Lord knows, it’s the last thing we men think about.

Audience laughter.

HARRY
Uh-oh, curtain’s going up. It’s time for George and Gracie.

Audience applause. Harry exits stage left. Curtain rises.

EXT. OUTSIDE OF GEORGE AND GRACIE’S HOUSE – DAY

George is sitting on porch, smoking a cigar. Gracie enters from inside the house.

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REMAINDER OF SCRIPT HAS BEEN LOST

CUT TO BLACK

THE END

 

About mannd

I am a retired cardiac electrophysiologist who has worked both in private practice in Louisville, Kentucky and as a Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado in Denver. I am interested not only in medicine, but also in computer programming, music, science fiction, fantasy, 30s pulp literature, and a whole lot more.

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