Throwback Thursday: It's Mr. Pathmark!
James Karen plays Mr. Pathmark in a 1985 commercial for the supermarket chain. (Video via mycommercials on YouTube)
Last Thursday, we pushed our shopping cart down NYC's memory aisle and pulled the disco ShopRite Can Can commercial off the shelf. Which got us to thinking about another New York supermarket commercial classic: The ads for Pathmark starring James Karen.
Don't know his name? Not a surprise. But you no doubt know his face. In addition to those Pathmark ads, Karen has had a rich career, often playing rather contemptible characters. On "The Jeffersons," he played a white supremacist who would have rather died than have George Jefferson revive him after a heart attack. On "Lou Grant," he played a heartless real-estate developer who throws an elderly artist (played brilliantly by James Earl Jones' dad) out of a skid-row building he wants to tear down.
But there was nary a hint of that bad guy in his Pathmark commercials, where he played an avuncular spokesman who eagerly shared all manner of deals that awaited you at Pathmark.
He represented the chain from the 1970s to, we believe, the early 1990s. The commercial below is from 1985, part of the catchy Pathmark "No. 1" campaign. (Which was even more memorable on the Spanish stations, where it was "Pathmark Numero Uno!")
-- Rolando Pujol