“Punchy” (left) is the Hawaiian Punch mascot, originally created by artist/cartoonist Joe Malerba, animated by Jan Svochak, with voice-over by Len Maxwell. Punchy’s tagline “How about a nice Hawaiian Punch?” is an essential part of pop culture language. Punchy was not exactly the nicest of characters – he’d always punch his cohort Opie, who routinely answered “Sure!” when asked whether he wanted a punch. You’d think he’d learn.
The same line was an excuse for many New York kids to let loose with a wallop. Who said puns don’t hurt?
Comment from Jean-Guy Jacques, animation director at John Urie & Associates in 1962, July 2014:
You have made a monumental error in the ‘Hawaiian Punch’ article dated Feb. 18 2011 by Steven Heller.
So here’s the real dope.– In 1962, the Atherton-Privett ad agency created a 20-second commercial to advertise Hawaiian Punch drink.– The commercial was produced by John Urie and Associates in Hollywood.– Jean Guy Jacques was the animation director.– Bob Guidi, a West Coast graphic designers and John Urie designed the two characters, Punchy and Oaf.– Ross Martin, from The Wild Wild West TV series did Punchy’s voice,– “Hey! How ’bout a nice Hawaiian Punch?” and John Urie did Oaf’s line, “Sure”.– Rod Scribner, animated the commercials.– Sam Cornell worked on the later sport versions.– Bob Curtis and I produced and directed on the annual report film.
The commercial ended with Punchy leaning on a can of Hawaiian Punch, saying, “Wasn’t that a nice commercial?”
After airing in February 1962 on THE TONIGHT SHOW with Jack Paar,the Punchy commercial was so special that Jack Paar said “Let’s play that again… the second time is free.”