My Family’s Secret Life as TV Commercial Superstars from the 1980’s
Over the weekend, several of us were staying at Stacey and Shane’s house. On Friday night, Jahnu was queuing up YouTube videos (he recently discovered some of the vieos I’ve posted of him and Jasmine), and tracked down several of the commercials that my family was involved in, circa the mid 1980’s.
That’s right – we’ve done commercials. And more than one. Weird, isn’t it?
Here we all are, watching the famous Jung family “Wag’s” commercial. I wish you could see Courtney’s face, because she had not known about these commercials and was just in total shock.
I think that the first ever commercial we did involved just me. Though it’s hard for me to remember which commercial came first. I’m not sure how it even happened, but I got cast as one of many multi-cultural kids for a toy called “Linkits.”
Linkits were sort of Lego-like, but they were more like plastic ball-and-joint connectors. They were made by Matchbox, but never really caught on (I’m not sure if I ever saw this commercial on TV or not).
That’s me in the far back (top left). Random side note: the girl in the front row is Ingie Bruggeman (I would later date her sister, Dzintra, while we were in high school). Somehow, we randomly discovered this info many years later.
In addition to me being part of the chorus, I also had a small role as the “Eskimo” kid. I guess mostly because they already had casted another Asian kid. So yeah – Eskimo. Why not?
It’s fast, but you can spot a dog they also had on set (top right), who pops his head up at the very last second.
So, here’s the commercial:
I think the Linkits commercial then made it possible, somehow, for my family to get cast for yet another commercial. This time, we starred in something called “The Stir Fry Experts,” made for a restaurant called Wag’s (which was a kind of chain ownd by Walgreen’s).
This is us at the table, getting ready to order. And yes, my parents dress like that all the time when we go out together.
This is me and my sister, though she got the closeup. But I swear to you, the camera loves me. She just muscled into the shot.
I remember that the director, along with numerous other girls I would later encounter, found my glasses to be too thick and distracting. So they had me take them off for the shoot.
And without further ado, here’s our family commercial for Wag’s:
It didn’t really click, until many years later, that they really just went all-out with the gong sound effect. I’m not sure you could really fit another one in there, without overlapping an existing gong sound.
Seeing these videos over the weekend made me realize I hadn’t uploaded them to YouTube myself (they were all QuickTime pop-ups from years ago, back when I converted them from VHS tapes).
A bit more info on each commercial can be found on the original posts, below.
For anyone interested, my family is still available for commercial shoots, meet and greets, and autograph signing sessions. I don’t have a showreel available just yet, but I think the body of our work speaks for itself. Drop us a line, if you’re interested.