Hal Riney loved to use minor celebrities in the Henry’s spots. We were at odds with this because I espoused casting unknowns without baggage. Hal said that the use of somewhat recognizable people made this regional advertising look more important. To wit, we used an actor, Edward Andrews, in several commercials. Andrews had a terrific career playing unsavory characters in myriad television shows and movies. His signature look was his horn-rimmed glasses and without them he was unrecognizable.
One of the commercials with him concerned a bunch of businessmen on a convention visiting an authentic cowboy bar. When the older actors put on cowboy boots, they strained their backs and we had to provide slant boards for them to rest as they couldn’t sit down. Andrews looked particularly absurd with the cowboy wardrobe.
Maybe too absurd?
Jerry Andelin, Hal’s right hand man, asked me:
Can we see Edward without his glasses?
Are you serious?
I looked around for help. Hal was nowhere to be seen. I approached Edward and asked:
Edward…could you…can we…
Can we see you without your glasses?
IF YOU WANT TO DESTROY A LIFETIME OF CHARACTER BUILDING, DEAR BOY!
He took off his glasses and his character disappeared.
I went back to Jerry. He had disappeared.