Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Dancing Bellboy

Hard to believe that the manufacturers in Fargo, North Dakota really thought that this Dancing Bellboy was "your chance to 'MAKE IT' in 1951." Note that "MAKE IT" is in quotation marks. They're covering themselves. They know that the road to fame and fortune is not likely to be populated with little Dancing Bellboy toys.

The C.A.M. Distributing Company (which was short, no doubt, for Creepy And Misbegotten) made this horrid little thing. They thought that it "looks ALIVE...acts ALIVE."

Everyone else was thinking: cheap marionette, jiggling on a table.

How was this supposed to be educational? What would it teach you? How to carry luggage? How to demand tips? Not really. Or how to dance jerkily on top of a table? Possibly. But this is not something that one needs to know to succeed in life.

In fact, if you really want to "MAKE IT," perhaps you do not want to emulate the Dancing Bellboy. Maybe, like George Costanza, you should do the opposite!

So: Not Entertaining! Not Educational! It was New, though. They got that bit right, at least.

From Billboard, March 21, 1951.

9 comments:

Eric said...

I always tip bellhops that don't dance $5 per bag more.

Tori Lennox said...

I think I saw the dancing bellboy in a Fred Astaire movie.... Or maybe I just had a nightmare about it.

Grace said...

This is a novelty only in that it is the basic Dancing Joe toy rigged up as a bellboy. I had a plain old wooden Dancing Joe toy.

http://www.crafttoys.com/Dancin-Joe-wooden-dancing-toy.html

Grace said...

Oh, and a marionette has strings. Takes a bit of dexterity and rhythm to use this toy.

Amy said...

oh my goodness, even back then when this ad came out how on earth would little dancing bellboys have made a living from dancing?

Lidian said...

Eric - The only bellboys that really stand out in my memory were in the Marx Brothers' first movie, The Cocoanuts (1929)...I think they may have danced a little bit. Or at least got chased by Harpo. They were actually bellgirls dressed up as boys.

Tori - Which movie was that?

Grace - Thanks for the link!

Amy - Maybe dancing was their hobby, in between carrying suitcases...

Hairball said...

You know people sometimes like to give you gifts that tie in with your profession? I'm thinking there were some mighty unhappy bellboys that year!!

Lidian said...

Hairball - LOL! Can you imagine getting this as jokey Christmas gift, if you were a bellboy? Or even not a bellboy, actually.

adrian said...

If you are willing to learn to dance with the help of online dance lessons, than you can avail dance video and easy to follow dance instruction dvd. For more online dance sites you can visit : http://www.learn-dance-online.com/links.html