Mr. George Whipple, also known as George the Grocer is a recognizable face you might have seen at some point in television commercials that ran from 1964-1985 to advertise Charmin toilet paper. Actor Dick Wilson, the pop culture icon who played the fictional uptight grocer, would scold customers and perfect strangers with his catchphrase, "Please, don't squeeze the Charmin." This was Charmin's way of promoting the "squeezable softness" of the bathroom tissue.
Where Did Mr. Whipple Go?
Funny enough, when Mr. Whipple thought customers weren't looking, you would see him doing those same actions himself. I guess it was hard to resist the softness of Charmin toilet paper! Both the character and catchphrase were created by John Chervokas, an American advertising writer and executive.
Check out this Charmin commercial from the 1960s.
Well, before Dick Wilson was famously known as Mr.Whipple, this British-born character actor appeared in many TV sitcoms, like Bewitched, during the 60s and 70s. During his career in the mid-'60s, Dick Wilson starred in over 500 Charmin commercials over the course of 20 years for the Procter & Gamble Co.'s bathroom tissue. In some TV commercials, the Mr. Whipple character was accompanied by a stock boy named Jimmy and in the late 70s, a competing grocer named Mr. Hoffmeier also appeared in Charmin commercials.
In 1978, Mr. Whipple was named the third best-known American, just behind former President Richard Nixon and Christian figure, Billy Graham. And in 1999, after a 14-year hiatus, Dick Wilson returned to the screen to star at Mr. Whipple in various Charmin commercials to introduce the new Charmin upgrade. The new slogan, "Is Mr. Whipple watching?" was also featured.
A year later, Procter & Gamble presented Dick Wilson with the lifetime achievement award to recognize and honor his long career for the company. Sadly, in November of 2007, Charmin said its final goodbye to Dick Wilson aka Mr. Whipple who passed away at the age of 91 due to natural causes. He was survived by his wife, Meg, and their three children, including actress Melanie Wilson and five grandchildren.
Shortly after his death, Charmin came out with a new commercial featuring old clips of Mr. Whipple to pay tribute to his loveable character. Check it out below.
So, next time you're at the grocery store with a stash of soft, Charmin toilet paper, don't forget about Mr. Whipple!