Humor in advertising

Before the days of computer games (there actually WAS a time like that), a TV news assignment editor spent a lot of time staring at the wall while on hold. In the 70s, when I ran the desk at WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee, I passed those minutes by looking through the Milwaukee phone book and writing down the funny names. The area has a rich German and Polish heritage, and there were some hoots. My favorite was LaRue Dingledine. The game I played was that the humor of the name had to come from the combination of first and last name, and often the funniest included a middle initial. Here are two more I remember: Kilborne D. Klapsaddle and Ronald W. Pinkipank.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been collecting forged “from” names in spam, and I’m happy to report that these bastards at least have a sense of humor. While I truly HATE spam and have to delete hundreds of emails daily, I can appreciate humor when I find it — especially because this humor reminds me of my days wasting away the minutes by studying the damned phone book.

Here are a few of the best that have arrived in my (and Allie’s) inbox in recent weeks.

Litton S. Encoder
Quarks R. Transact
Shifty B. Fatty
Jiffies H. Stopwatch
Offeratory V. Manliness
McNamara M. Assavage
Effecting T. Reassigning
Creator H. Mouthwashes
Kampala U. Incomparable
Pasteurizes F. Cheese
Dangering B. Distortion
Pickiest B. Entrenched
Reiterate S. Redounded
Aspirins F. Bladder
Sirius H. Upholstering
Intersect M. Laterals
Bracelet D. Lagoons
Motivate H. Miasma

LaRue would be proud.


  1. I’ll have you know Shifty B Fatty is a personal friend of mine.

    Aspirins F. Bladder I don’t want to know about though.

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