Wilkins and Wontkins (partially lost series of commercials; 1957-1969)
In 1957, puppeteer Jim Henson was asked by a Washington D.C. coffee company, Wilkins Coffee, to make commercials for their company. The company only had 10 seconds of screen time, so the ads had to be lightning-speed fast. From 1957 to 1961, Jim Henson created 179 ads for Wilkins Coffee, all of which revolve around the titular characters of Wilkins and Wontkins. In each commercial, Wilkins attempts to promote Wilkins Coffee to Wontkins, who states his distaste for the product before experiencing various slapstick misfortunes-- more often than not by Wilkins's hand-- for his opinion. The popularity of these ads sparked Wilkins and Wontkins to appear in commercials for various companies (Community Coffee, Red Diamond Coffee, Faygo, etc.). The various Wilkins and Wontkins commercials were initially produced in black and white before shifting to color in 1966. The last known Wilkins and Wontkins commercials made were for Community Coffee, made around 1969.
Companies that Wilkins and Wontkins promoted.
|#||Company||Runtime||# of ads made||Status|
|1||Wilkins Coffee||1957-1961||179||Partially Found|
|2||Community Coffee||1959-1969||37||Partially Found|
|3||Donovan Coffee Company||1961-1966||13||Partially Found|
|4||Nash's Coffee||1958-1961||20||Partially Found|
|5||La Touraine Coffee||1958-1962||15||Partially Found|
|10||Kraml Dairy||1962||18||Partially Found|
|11||Merita Bread||1963||6||Partially Found|
|12||Taystee Bread||1967||9||Partially Found|
|13||Dugan's Bread||1962-1963||3||Partially Found|
|14||Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio)||1960||Unknown||Partially Found|
Out of the 179 Wilkins Coffee commercials, only 99 have been released on the internet. It is unknown how many of these commercials Jim Henson made, let alone how many ads The Jim Henson Company has stored in their archives.
Wilkins and Wontkins commercials that can only be found in images.