Here's a pretty innocuous, run-of-the-mill 1950 ad from Jockey, with the typical over-inflated claim. But there's something intriguing of about the illustrated model with the weathered but still handsome looks and that insouciant smile. Could it be--?
You decide. Here's a side by side comparison between the man from the Jockey ad and silver screen legend Clark Gable
Coincidence? Maybe, but it sure seems an intentional homage, doesn't it? If so, then the question that naturally follows is, why?
I'm guessing it was a bit of an in-joke between the illustrator and client, referencing Gable in 1934's "It Happened One Night
." According to pop culture lore, when Gable took off his shirt in that film and revealed a bare chest, undershirt sales supposedly plummeted by 75%. Could be the ad-makers, needing a face for their model, found it funny to show a Clark Gablesque fellow in both undershirt and underwear -- poetic justice, I suppose for his inadvertent effect on the foundation garments industry.
(By the way, though the Gable undershirt story has endured for 7 decades, it's been more recently called into question, if not outright debunked, at Snopes.com
Labels: Artists, Celebrities, Culture, Movies, The 50s