My dad, Billy Hardwick, was one of the greatest professional bowlers of all time. Believe it or not, in the 60s that was actually a pretty cool thing. This was the first beer commercial done by a professional athlete (yes, bowlers are athletes) and IT IS AWESOME. After this, though, they mandated that only retired athletes could do them so that it wouldn’t send the wrong message, like “Drinking makes you a champion.”
The 6-7 split he picks up the commercial was one he had picked up the day before to win a tournament. Apparently, the shot in the commercial was the second take.
My favorite tidbit about this is by far that fact that he was supposed to have lines and then take a swig, but quickly got too hammered after several takes. Lucy Ricardo’s “Vitameatavegemin” sketch actually happened to someone, and that someone was my dad.
My other favorite thing are the Bowery Boys schmoes in the background and their “Heeeeeeey Buddy!” reactions. Top to bottom, I love this commercial. How many of us get to see our parents in action in their prime? Cool stuff.
And yes, at one point in my young life I thought about being a professional bowler. Weird, huh?