97. “Rosie, the early years.”

The episode:The Girl in Lover’s Lane,” ep. 509

The riff: Observed by Servo as a harried waitress sizes up the movie’s two protagonists with barely veiled contempt in her face.

The explanation: I believe this is a reference to a series of commercials and print ads for Bounty paper towels that existed from 1970-1990. Actress Nancy Walker played a waitress character named “Rosie” for years in the ads, which touted Bounty’s absorbency and coined its slogan “The Quicker Picker Upper.” The writers make it slightly more difficult to pick out the source of the riff by just saying “Rosie” instead of “Rosie the waitress” or making a direct reference to Bounty. “The early years,” on the other hand, is a very popular MST3k-ism when describing characters.

Novelty factor: I’ve never heard of these ads before, but I’m surprised by the thought that an actress could play a specific character in an ad campaign for 20 years.


4 thoughts on “97. “Rosie, the early years.”

  1. Then there was Mr. (“Please, don’t squeeze the Chamin!”) Whipple, who played that character for well over 20 yrs.

  2. As well as the Maytag repairman, I thought he would live forever. If you were watching TV back then these characters were unavoidable. You should see the parody she did of those commercials when she guest hosted Saturday Night Live.

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