Sunday, April 6, 2014

One of the Funniest and Tackiest Commercials in Bay Area TV History, Hi Kids, Ed Barbara, Furniture USA

 Ed Barbara was a Bay Area TV pitchman extraordinaire --he had a furniture store that was the subject of a series of commercials in the 80's that were so bad and yet funny, they, (and he too), developed a cult following.


"Hi kids, ED BARBARA, Furniture USA" was the opening line of this ubiquitous and annoying ad--didn't matter what type of credit you had, Ed would take good care of you, got it? Bye Kids


The deals, as it turned out, were too good to be true. Barbara was eventually investigated by the cops and ended up in a ton of legal woes and had to do time. Bye Kids.


Ed Barbara, Junior, his son, to the rescue.


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20 comments:

  1. I think Ed Barbara was operating, and advertising, down in LA before his Bay Area days. Definitely a character and blast from the past, as was Steven Matthew David:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsPTgYMjNcs

    "Matthew's Top of the Hill" had one sweet and very large advertising display in centerfield at Candlestick back in the store's heyday!

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  2. Worse than Furniture USA was The Diamond Center ads of the same era.

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  3. I seem to remember this guy's commercials. Good memories. Does anyone know if he's still with us?

    On a side note he sort of reminds me of the hairpiece guy from Goodfellas.

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  4. Apparently Ed is dead. http://unsolvedmysteries.wikia.com/wiki/Ed_Barbara

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  5. Steven Matthew David, Ed Barbara, Leon Heskitt, Paul from the Diamond Center. Hucksters from a bygone era. Interesting almost homemade commercials. Better than commercials for Viagra or the crap commercials you see on the CBS Evening News (what ever happened to good ole beer or douche commercials?)

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    Replies
    1. From the aforementioned crooks on a low advertising budget, to today's dope dealing super crooks who (using the guises of "medicine" and "science") spend the big bucks to hook their marks. Better profits through chemistry!

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  6. Walked into the Santa Clara store one afternoon looking for a sofa. An acre of inventory, but not a price tag to be found. Approached by a guy who looked like "Gunsel #3" from a cheesy mob flick, I asked him how I was I supposed to shop without knowing the prices of the merchandise. He tugged on his labels and said, "Not to worry, I know all the prices."

    Something told me it was time to say, "Bye kids!"

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  7. OMG I thought this was Karel?

    http://belmont-ca.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/woman-busted-for-allegedly-swiping-diamonds-from-san-mateo-jewelry-store

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  8. johnny bom bonneyApril 6, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    They're all coming back now!...Marty Sherman from the Saw Mill...Tom LaBrie and his waterbeds...and, "...This is yer ol' Uncle Sol sayin' nothin' but thanks"

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    1. The "Nobody Beats Berkeley, They Never Have and They Never Will" car salesman with the halo over his head and the extremely insincere, forced smile and voice. In the late '70s, when most guys had sideburns and hair over their ears, this guy had a 'do right out of the '50s Marine Corp! And in Berkeley, no less!

      I've heard that Ralph Williams did ads for one of his dealerships in the Bay Area, but I only remember him from his LA spots. I think that "Go See Cal" Worthington did a few ads in NorCal, too.

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  9. Jay Brown here for Spartan Dodge. We're hackin' and a hewing our sticker prices, so come on down.

    Back to Movies 'till Dawn on the Perfect 36.

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  10. You forgot the horse, Marty Sherman and George from the saw mill.

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    1. Thanks! Last night, I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of that horse!

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  11. I always admired Marty Sherman. Buy something from him-no way on God's Green Earth. No, I admired him because he found a way to write off his (I think) Arabian horse as part of his business expense. Damn thing was in every commercial. And let's not forget the late, sainted Cal Worthington. And his dog Spot.

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  12. The REAL Ed ....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK-w5_UJTjk

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    1. Great find!

      Here is another one, for Ralph Williams:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hjgIF71lio

      Notice the shamed look on the German Shepard's face. In that operation, the dog was the only one with a conscience!

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  13. That was a blast from the past.. Didn't Barbara go missing after a warrant was issued on him for fraud? Later died while on the run?

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  14. The most annoying commercials on local radio today are that husband and wife team who compare prices for big screen TVs for the stores Video Only. I wish I could reach through the radio and slap them both in the face, they're so annoying! Why they're still doing the commercials is astonishing to me. But then, so too are those uber-annoying 'K-A-R-S FOR KIDS!' spots. If I hear one more of those I'm going to scream!

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  15. Did Tom LaBrie ever advertise on Bay Area TV? He had one store in the East Bay but Night Comfort Theatre was only on in Sacramento from what I remember, I also recall all his other locations being in the valley.

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  16. Did The Saw Mill produce good furniture? It had a nice sign. What was Leon Heskett's product? I forgot. And remember the Camino Camper guy perched on his stool, looking like it was atop the big Camino Camper sign on El Camino in San Carlos! Also, remember the MMM Carpets guy??

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