Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

John Havlicek commercial

ON EDIT: Thanks to Sandy Varno for telling me it's now on YouTube!!

Oh, dear--it's probably because of the NBA championship, but suddenly I can't get a commercial from about 1970 out of my head. John Havlicek (I had SUCH a crush on Hondo!) was SINGING a song--his voice was great!--about a diet cola (maybe Diet Rite?) that went, "No, sir, I'm not on a diet. That's not why I buy it. 't's just got the taste that's right for me." It went on another stanza that I can't remember, and then he's in the locker room with the other Celtics and sings (with them repeating) "What a waste! (What a waste!) What a waste! (What a waste!) When it's got the greatest cola taste!"

Anyway, I never did try the cola, so it must not have been that compelling a commercial, but it sure was delightful. But it doesn't seem to be anywhere on YouTube. If you know where I can see it, let me know.

I think it's such a rooky deal that my brain is so filled with this kind of thing from 1970, but I have trouble remembering people's names and other important details of my life in 2008. Chickadees have it so much better than us. Every fall they can selectively allow brain neurons to die, presumably when the neurons are storing memories they no longer need, and they can actually replace them. I wish I could delete unnecessary files and defrag MY hard drive.


  1. "Never wanna get thinner. Like it, cause it's a winner. Just like the taste of Diet Rite"!!

  2. I too have been searching for that
    commercial. It's funny what sticks
    with you.

  3. Now it make four of us looking for that commercial.

  4. I have also been looking in vain for that commercial. Don't forget that John also did a slight soft-shoe dance in that commercial. Some of the lyrics were: "What a waste..... what a waste.... when it's got the greatest cola taste. You there, not on a diet forget those calories.... gotta try it, just wish they'd change that silly name."

    BTW, Diet Rite Cola was the worst tasting cola ever. It had an after taste that would stay with you all day.

  5. Looking for the commercial also! I actually was able to get a poster of him with the Diet Rite and had him autograph it, but unfortunately when I moved out of my parents' house, I forgot to take it with me and it disappeared when I asked about it years later. Surprised that commercial isn't on YouTube!

  6. Oh, wow, Sandy! I had that poster--it was, I think, an insert in the Daily Illini, the campus newspaper at the University of Illinois. But it disappeared with my other stuff from back then. :-(

    1. If anyone is still looking for that commercial, it is now on You Tube!!! Check it out!!!

  7. The original commercial was from the 60's, and it featured Twiggy singing the Diet Rite jingle. I can't find it, either.

  8. Twiggy did one, too, but that was a separate commercial.

  9. Nanette Fabray and Lena Horne also in separate commercials.

  10. So sad to hear about John Havlicek! What a wonderful man and basketball player. Rest In Peace Hondo!