For ABC Drama
"Take Pepto-Bismol to soothe it, calm
and feel good again."
--- Charles Irving
Lincoln, Me. (DG)---
Radio programs with sponsors had a tendency of staying on the air longer
than sustaining programs (radio programs without a sponsor). The ABC
drama THE FAT MAN began its run as a sustaining program. After its initial season, the program was looking for a sponsor. Not only
did the program find a sponsor, it was a product that was tailor made
for the program's main character. On Friday, February 14, 1947, THE
FAT MAN aired its first broadcast for Pepto-Bismol.
The program's main character was Brad Runyon (played by J. Scott Smart). Although he was a tough, hard-nosed private detective, Runyon was best
known for being overweight (237 lbs. to be exact). Since Runyon had a
large stomach, it was appropriate the program's new sponsor, Pepto-Bismol,
was a remedy for upset stomach.
When it was time for the commercial, announcer Charles Irving narrated
a dramatization when someone had an upset stomach. The regulation upset
stomach has been around as long as humans set foot on this planet. In
simple terms, it's a penalty from the result of overeating. Being the
good egg that it was (and is), the upset stomach didn't discriminate on
who could suffer from it. It didn't care if the human was a man, woman,
or child--- when humans overate, the stomach became a little testy. To
supposedly counteract this problem, some misguided people took antacids.
Unfortunately, antacids were made for relieving stomach acid--- not cure
its upset. In fact, when antacids were taken for this purpose, it was
inclined to upset the stomach even more than before--- that meant, get
ready to lose your lunch in a very unpleasant manner! That's where Pepto-Bismol
comes in. Once it was taken, Pepto-Bismol's protective coating
calmed down the stomach and intestinal walls, which were the main causes
of upset stomach.
Since Pepto-Bismol was known for soothing, the conclusion
of its radio commercials had a soothing affect. When Irving was about
to read the closing, he was accompanied with the soothing music from a
harp. In the process, Irving used a soothing tone in his speaking voice.
When the commercial concluded, Irving opened up where the story left off
by saying a rather unflattering line, "Now, let's catch up with
The Fat Man."
Pepto-Bismol was catching up with THE FAT MAN
for over 3 ½ years. After the sponsor moved on, other sponsors (Camel
Cigarettes and American Chicle) sponsored the
program for the remainder of its run. While the 2 sponsors kept the program
on the air, neither one fit as perfectly with the program as Pepto-Bismol