Happy birthday, Dabney Coleman! Enjoy your diet canned fruit!
The film and TV actor Dabney Coleman turns 81 on Jan. 3. He is best known for playing smarmy, greedy characters, including Franklin Hart, the piggish boss in the 1980 film 9 to 5. I first saw Coleman on the TV show Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman in the late 1970s. He played Merle Jeeter, mayor of the fictional town of Fernwood, Ohio, and father of child evangelist Jimmy Joe Jeeter.
Before he was famous, Coleman appeared in this commercial for Diet Delight canned fruit. Here, a youngish Coleman frets about what the calories in regular canned fruit will do to his waistline. I can only guess that this was a major concern among men in the 1960s, right up there with getting drafted. But not to worry, Dabney! Diet Delight is artificially sweetened and has only half the calories of ordinary canned fruit.
As a side note, who in the world thought that putting the word “diet” in front of “fruit” would make it more appealing? Here’s a tip for you dieters out there: Fresh fruit has zero points on Weight Watchers. I know this for a fact.
Video: Vintage Diet Delight commercial featuring Dabney Coleman (1960s)