Mar 15, 2015

Hi, Guy!: Cruising in a 1970s TV Commercial

Between 1969 and 1972, and then again in 1978, Right Guard deodorant aired a series of commercials in which an unsuspecting apartment dweller (Bill Fiore) opens his medicine chest, only to discover he's sharing it with the apartment next door.

The other occupant (Chuck McCann) opens his side of medicine chest.  He's big, brash, leering, apparently high.  I remember them both being shirtless, but I guess they weren't.

"Hi, guy!" McCann says, obviously cruising the uncomfortable Fiore, before extolling the wonders of Right Guard (which seems unnecessary, since Fiore already uses it).

By the way, the medicine chests contain nothing but two cans sticks of Right Guard deodorant, facing with the labels out regardless of which side they're on.

"Hi, guy!" became a catchphrase.  Everyone at Denkmann Elementary School tried to match Chuck McCann's intonation and leer, without realizing that we were imitating a gay pick-up line.

Bill Fiore was a cute, unassuming comedian of the 1970s.  He appeared on The Corner Bar, which had the first ongoing gay character on tv, Love, American Style, Mary Tyler Moore, Laverne and Shirley, Three's Company, and Alice.  

As this photo suggests, he had quite a nice physique.

Former children's show host Chuck McCann was also a comedy staple of the 1970s.  One of his more interesting roles was W.C. Fields in the 1982 biopic Mae West. He's played Santa Claus several times, notably in an ongoing role on the soap Santa Barbara (1987-88).

No indication that he was gay, or intended a gay reading to his leering "Hi, guy!"

But it's impossible to say without an innuendo.  Try it.

See also: The Eastwood Insurance Cowboy