The Bootleg Files: The Calgon ‘Ancient Chinese Secret’ Commercial

BOOTLEG FILES 769: “Calgon ‘Ancient Chinese Secret’ Commercial” (1970s commercial that made an extraordinary impression).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.


REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: No commercial reissue value.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Maybe in an anthology of vintage commercials, but that’s unlikely.

During the 1970s, Asian Americans received minimal screen time on television. The series “Hawaii Five-O.” “Kung Fu” and M*A*S*H* kept its Asian American actors in supporting roles while giving the leads to White actors, while comic actors Pat Morita and Jack Soo were also stuck in supporting parts in “Happy Days” and “Barney Miller,” respectively. (Morita scored the lead in a sitcom called “Mr. T and Tina,” but that effort was so atrocious that it was canceled after five episodes.) There was an animated Hanna-Barbera series “The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan” based on the Charlie Chan mysteries, but a mix of White and Asian American actors did the voice performances (including a young Jodie Foster).
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