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Background on the Pizza Hut commercial *LINK* *PIC*

Posted By: Lee Exline
Date: Thursday, 28 February 2008, at 5:55 a.m.

Most of the regulars here on the forums are familiar with the 1965 Pizza Hut commercial Putt Putt to Pizza Hut? Well I was contacted by the son of the guy that made the commercial and then by the father that gave me this bit of background on the making of the commercial

Lee, Thanks for the picture of Randy in one of his least bizarre costumes. Randy was my first cinematographer when I went into business in 1968. Actually he was the first employee of my company (even before me, as I had to finish my two weeks at KAKE TV) In regard to the Pizza Hut Spot. At the time,
I was a local salesman at KAKE-TV and had a great relationship with a local advertising company, the
Harry Crow Agency who handled Pizza Hut at that time. I worked with Byron Boothe (now deceased) and
Bob Peck, both employees of Harry's. While drinking beer and being creative one evening it was noted that the Pizza Hut had a radio jingle that wasn't very good, but was kinda catchy. As an old movie freak, I suggested a chase to get across the fact that you could call in order a pizza and go pick it up. One thing led to another and we decided to speed up; the action and the jingle to get the "Old Movie" look. We devised several scenes and proceeded to cast the spot with Harry's employees, myself and one of my daughters, a neighborhood kid, and some KAKE-TV employees. Randy was not involved in the shoot. Bob Kyle, production supervisor at KAKE-TV was the cameraman. P.K. Smith is the guy who was working on the tire of the VW bus. (the bus was mine) He was a director at the time at KAKE. Ron Williams is the tall guy who orders the Pizza and drives the car. He was Promotion Manager at KAKE. The car belonged to a Franchisee of the Pizza Hut in Topeka, and was shipped in for the shoot. We put the sticker on the back and started out. The house where we established the start belonged to Bob Kyle's mother, and was located in East Wichita. I have sent an E-mail to Bob to get the address. Anyway, as always is the case, we no sooner got started and the car broke down. We had to hire a mechanic for the shoot to keep it running. The Store we used was at Kellogg and Rock Road. The intersection we used for the four car stop was South of Kellogg and west of Rock Road. The red VW to the right was mine, and that was myself and my daughter Debbie getting out and joining the chase. That scene included Harry's secretary and Bob Peck. In the final scene
where the two guys eat the last piece of pizza, we see the guy to the right in a white jump suit. Neither of
these two guys were introduced in the spot. Mike, the guy in the jumpsuit was a truck driver in an 18 wheeler
who came to a stop and the Mustang drives under the trailer. The crowd chasing him follows under the
trailer and come out on the other side, and do not spot the car. As they are standing there, the car comes
out from under the trailer and the chase continues. (a standard thing in old comedies). We had already
shot the finish, and the truck scene was too long to include, so there we were. I noticed the guy to the
left in this scene, and he was a salesman at KAKE. That would make me local sales manager at that
time as I hired him. The kid whose foot was run over was a neighborhood kid of mine. As you noticed the
crowd swelled as they entered the house to eat the pizza. We used everyone who was available. The
spot first ran in the tape delayed football game between Notre Dame and Michigan State. It was the famous
10-10 tie. The spot ran in the half-time, and Harry Crow called me at home stating they were not going to
pay for the spot as it was during half time, and they bought in the game. He also stated that it was tape
delayed, and no one would be watching the half time. When dealt with this the following Monday, the
report came in that Saturday and Sunday were the two biggest gross sales locally for Pizza Hut ever!
We struck oil! The next few weeks several spots were ran in late afternoon and produced amazing sales
in Wichita. From there this spot took on a life of its own. We did a "Blow up" to 35mm and it ran in
theaters around the country. It became the most requested TV spot ever by the franchisees and actually
ran for 8 years. I presently have a 16mm film print of the spot. We shot it on EFB film which was to be
processed, cut and run as is, and was not a film stock from which to make prints. Thus, all the prints
are dark and not of a high quality, but once again, the message is the thing, I guess. It amazes me that
this spot still lives in the memory of those who were around at that time (1965). Oh, by the way we
spent 3 days filming this spot, along with copious amounts of beer and pizza. Yes, I too miss the paper
sacks with which we carried our pizza home. When you popped them open, the steam created quite a
mouth watering smell in your kitchen. That's about all I can remember at this time. Oh, the spot was
entered into the Clio awards and was listed. (We claim we got 2nd place, as there is only one winner in
a category. Of course there were several others who also got {2nd place} with us. In that publication,
I was listed as producer. It was truly a group project.
Thanks for what you have done. Bob Walterscheid"
End quote

Below is the picture of Randy that I sent him. And also a link to the Youtube video of the Pizza Hut commercial. I find it particularly Ironic that his nametag says Randy Roadkill and I am known as roadkillontheweb around the world.

The commercial

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