Saturday, May 23, 2009


Lazlo of Pennlee

It was a great show, a classic.  It was my first encounter with the word "affidavit," which I've rarely encountered since and even more rarely used (I'm not a lawyer).  Many years ago, I watched (regularly, I think, around 6 p.m. on Sundays) a show called To Tell The Truth. I mention "many years ago"--and I only remember watching in Black and White so that means at latest 1966-- because I still remember the sponsor.  I vaguely remember other sponsorships; Hallmark sponsored something (a "Hall of Fame" but was that "theatre"?) and somebody (Hallmark?) sponsored theatre.  But the sponsoring association that most indelibly marked me was this one: I am sure as can be that Geritol sponsored To Tell The Truth. And that Geritol improved (or targeted improvement of, I'm not sure I remember the strength of the claim, I was only a child) iron-poor blood.

Today I discovered a similarly-named product.  Gerovetal seems to be targeting the animals of curators of aging animals.  It doesn't appear to target their animals' potentially iron-poor blood. It seems to be Novocaine pills. Yes, folk, I've forgotten a lot of chemistry, so I won't go trying to evaluate the extent to which

The procaine is a vitamin. Procaine is made up of two compounds hooked together, PABA a "B" vitamin and DEAE a biological precursor to the "B" vitamin Choline.
is true. But I'm pretty sure procaine and novocaine are the same thing. If I'm correct, even less reason to doubt that

Gerovital is a human Anti-Aging Teatment used by Movie Stars (M. Jackson, D. Clark),  Head of States (J.F. Kennedy, De Gaulle, Mao Tse Toung) and top Champions (Nadia  Comaneci, the incredible senior Ultra Marathoner Vladimir Kotov). ...
except the Anti-Aging Teatment part--why wouldn't these people have visited a dentist or been given novocaine for some other pain?

I note (and hope that you do, too) that no claim is made that the cat and dog in the photo demonstrate benefit from treatment with the product, or that they have even consumed the product.

Incidentally,  according to Wikipedia,
Geritol's claims were discredited in court findings as "conduct amounted to gross negligence and bordered on recklessness," ruled as a false and misleading claim, and heavily penalized with fines totaling $812,000, the largest FTC fine up to that date (1973).[4][5]
And that is what television imprinted on me as a child.

I'm intrigued by the dog's name.  Is "Pennlee" in this case a place, a title, the name of its purported father or mother?

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