I’ve had Benny on the brain lately (more on Jack Benny and his old time radio program at another date) and came across this swell little ad. Jell-O ice cream, huh? Okay, doesn’t sound so bad at first if they just slapped their name on some fruit-based ice cream or sherbet but maple walnut “freezing mix”? I don’t know about that…
Ad is from sometime between the mid 1930s and early 1940s back when Jell-O was Benny’s sponsor.
… I know I almost did.
Sadly, I could not find a commercial (not much info is out there at all, really) but believe me when I tell you that Jell-O 1-2-3 was… kinda okay? I think..? Oh well, who cares? It’s Jell-O and it’s from 1980s and that’s all you need to know to say you wish you had a giant bowl of it sitting in front of you right now!
Here’s the idea behind this concoction: you mix up your Jell-O and let it sit and as it sits it magically separates into not one, not two but three (oh… I get it! 1-2-3!!!!) layers of Jell-O goodness. Going by memory and from the look of the box, the first layer is basically foam, which I remember thinking to be really weird. Think fruit-flavored shaving cream. The second layer is more of a mousse. Think Yoplait’s Whips! line of light & fluffy yogurt. Then the bottom layer is the traditional jiggly Jell-O gelatin. Think gelatin.
People like to add weird stuff on top of Jell-O (and even inside it), but I’ve always thought any gelatin can and should stand (wiggle) on its own. The mix of foam, mousse and gelatin made for a culture clash of textures in my mouth. Nothing wrong with the flavors at all (orange and strawberry) but it was just too many textures and consistencies at once. I would’ve eaten Jell-O Instant Mousse. I would have eaten Jell-O Instant Foam. I just don’t think they matched up well alongside Jell-O gelatin.
Does “Jell-O Jigglers” sound dirty to anyone else? I’m pretty sure Jell-O stole that phrase from every bar across America on the weekends when they had girls’ Jell-O wrestling matches.
Anyway, this is a classic commercial. It’s pretty funny though, it’s not like we couldn’t and weren’t making our own Jell-O molds all along, but somehow, with a proper endorsement from the Jell-O brand itself, it seemed more right.
Jell-O eventually smartened up and starting packaging their own cookie cutters to help with the Jiggler promotion.