This news may be tough to come to grips with, but believe it or not, everyone’s favorite amphibian once took delight in torturing and murdering another muppet. Picture if you will our little Kermie, just past tadpole stage, without his trademark collar and as slick and bald as the villain John Doe from the movie “Se7en”, starring in a series of coffee commercials where he bangs, shoots, stabs, bonks, blows up, shoots out of a canyon, and even electrocutes another hapless poor muppet just because the fellow doesn’t like Wilkins coffee!
OK, so the muppet really isn’t Kermit. Although he looks an awfully lot like a prototype of him, he’s really spokespuppet Wilkins, shilling Wilkins coffee and trying to convince his unassuming buddy Wontkins to drink it. Lest we think gratuitous muppet violence is disturbing, keep in mind that Jim Henson’s creations started out with adult appeal, often appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show. I personally LMAO watching one collection of clips after another – these brilliant 8 second spots came to be when a young Henson was commissioned by Wilkins coffee to create a series of television commercials beginning in 1957 and lasting until 1961. With such a short time to make a lasting branding impression, the spots had to be lightning quick and deliver some bang! I think that’s just what they accomplished. 179 commercials featuring Wilkins and Wontkins aired, and Wilkins coffee even offered vinyl puppet renditions to purchase, which I imagine would be collector’s items today.
Essentially these ads are saying, “Drink Wilkins coffee…or die!” They are a hoot.
Enjoy these, and I’d love to hear your comments. Now if only we could get Kermit to do some of these things to the ultra-annoying Miss Piggy…