October has quite a few anniversaries at Coca-Cola, and I thought you might be interested in two of my favorite entertainment-related ones.
In October 1949, the Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy radio program for Coca-Cola had its debut. You might know Edgar Bergen from his role as father of actress Candice Bergen. But if you're not familiar with Bergen & McCarthy, Edgar Bergen was a radio, TV and movie star who most often appeared with his sidekick Charlie McCarthy (a puppet). I'm always surprised a ventriloquist act was popular on the radio, when no one could see the puppet "talk" or see Bergen's lips!
This wasn't the first radio show Coke sponsored (that had been decades before), but Bergen & McCarthy hold a special connection with us. In November 1950, the first television commercial for Coca-Cola aired during a special that featured the duo.
Just a month later, on Christmas Day, 1950, The Coca-Cola Company sponsored Disney's first appearance on television with a special called "One Hour in Wonderland."
A few years later, Coca-Cola began sponsoring The Mickey Mouse Club on TV. That was in October 1955 -- a sponsorship that continued until October 1957.
Do you have a favorite Coca-Cola-sponsored TV or radio show?
More on Journey
- How Coca-Cola Brands Make it to the Big (or Small) Screen
- Meet Mr K: Fred Kirkpatrick, 97, Celebrates 80 Years With Coca-Cola
- Disney and Coca-Cola Archivists Swap Stories on Shared History
- Coca-Cola Salesman's Career in Mississippi Started During Civil Rights Movement
- Primary Color: Why Sprite Has Sported Green Since 1961