Saturday, December 21, 2013

Houdini the Budget Gourmet

Here's something from our friend Joe Fox that might jog the memory of a few. These two Budget Gourmet TV spots appeared in the late 1980s and featured "The Great Houdini." The first ad is titled "Houdini Jr." and the longer ad "Houdini 79."

Maybe the concept here is that this is a Houdini protege and not Houdini himself? That would explain the mustache. But whatever the intent, they're good fun, and I've not seen these online anywhere else. I've uploaded them to the WILD ABOUT HARRY YouTube page. Hopefully Budget Gourmet, which is still around today, won't make them disappear.

Thanks to Joe Fox for this blast from the past.


  1. I love how they gave him a moustache and a rrrrravishing Brrrritish accent. :p

    Cute commercials, thanks for sharing. :)

    1. My pleasure, Beth. They are fun. I had forgotten all about these until Joe sent them to me.

    2. I think it's meant to be him. The assistant kind of looks like a very thin, tall, blonde Bess. Well, sort of. :p And anyway, Houdini wouldn't appreciate no "protege" calling himself "The Great Houdini". (And didn't he not even like being called "The Great Houdini" himself? Too cheesy for Houdini? LOL)

    3. Yeah, he never used the billing "The Great Houdini".

      You know, it's funny you would mention the British accent, because I didn't even notice that! I knew something was weird. I thought it was just the mustache. :p

    4. And the assistant does look like a tall blonde Bess. She has her hair.

  2. Re: the British accent...

    I have the actual SCRIPT for both of the TV ads.

    On the 30 second spot, the announcer is heard to say:

    "Each for around a PUZZLING seventy-nine cents"

    .....BUT the actual script text is as follows:

    "Each for around a POUND and seventy-nine cents".

    This perhaps shows that these ads were first created in the UK??

    ---Joe Fox

    1. Interesting! I hadn't caught that on the script. Thanks, Joe.