Josephine the Plumber

I’d forgotten all about this ad campaign until Andrew Sullivan asked whether I remembered:

Josephine the Plumber Comet Ad (1964)

Josephine the Plumber Comet Ad (1964)

Although, since I didn’t remember until clicking the link, I’m not sure whether the answer to his question is Yes or No.

As to the ads themselves, I wasn’t born when the print spot above ran in 1964.  I do remember, fuzzily, the television spots from the early 1970s.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bystander says:

    You weren’t born yet!!!!
    I was in high school. Jeez – I’m getting old!

  2. sam says:

    Yeah, and the actress was Jane Withers, who’d been in pictures since the 40s.

  3. Bystander says:


  4. rodney dill says:

    Earns 69% of what Joe does.

    (and yes I remember the ad)

  5. sam says:

    Earns 69% of what Joe does.

    (and yes I remember the ad)

    But she was licensed and paid her taxes.

  6. Bithead says:

    Yeah, I remember those.
    Of course, they were always on TV during the soaps and gameshows that my neighbor’s mom always watched. If I recall right, Comet is/was a Proctor and Gamble product, and since they owned a chunk of the soap opera business too… you could hardly avoid those ads, back in the day… much the same as Madge, soaking hands in diswashing soap, and the maytag guy, and so on.

  7. Sam, check the other thread before spreading your licensing Olbermannia any further. But, hey, only if common decency matters to you.

  8. sam says:

    Charles, check my response to you in the other thread before you intimate I lack decency.

  9. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Sam, I don’t know how closely you follow these issues, and I do not know if honesty is an important trait for a President to possess in your view. I have witnessed Obama flat out lying to the American public about what he has done and what he says. Example. What he told Joe the Plumber at Obama’s own rally and then to deny he made that statement at the debate was a lie. Got that, a lie. Obama has the audacity to deny what he said the day before. If he will lie about Joe about wealth redistribution, imagine if he would lie about to who he will remove the wealth from. Obama hates the middle class but he must make the middle class believe he is on their side. Read Alinski’s book, Rules for Radicals.

  10. armchairpunter says:

    I just noticed in the left middle panel of the ad that Comet was being dumped into the sink alongside “Other Cleanser”. It could get interesting pretty fast if “Other Cleanser” is ammonia based.

  11. Bystander says:

    If you ever really watched the commercials and listened to Josephine, you might believe that she actually did inhale some of such a toxic mixture. Good observation!

  12. markm says:

    But she was licensed and paid her taxes.

    Dunno if O’s campaign treasurer is licensed but he isn’t up to snuff on his taxes either. Tough times out there in Gotchaville.