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Celebrating Carosello

by Elena Guarneri last modified 2008-06-20 15:14

The TV programme Italians love to remember

Although it stopped broadcasting 25 years ago Carosello still holds a place in the heart of millions of Italians. Synonymous with bedtime for the generation that grew up through the sixties and seventies here are some of Carosello's best-loved characters.

Unlike his predecessors (all created by Armando Testa) the misfortunate black chick was devised by the Pagot brothers for Miralanza washing powder. Poor Calimero is shunned by everyone because they think he's dirty until a nice little Dutch girl washes him in Miralanza and he becomes spic and span once more. The jingle goes: "Mira mira l’olandesina, Miralanza ti è vicina!" ("Little Dutch girl, look over here. Miralanza is very near!")


This well-loved couple debuted in 1965 in a commercial for Paulista coffee. They lived in a spaghetti-western-style environment where the gunfighters all spoke with Neapolitan accents. Their stock phrases are still remembered to this day: "Bambina, sei già mia, chiudi il gas e vieni via!", "Pazzo, l’uomo che amo è un uomo molto in vista: è forte e bruno e ha il baffo che conquista!" ("Hey, baby! You're my gal, turn off that gas and leave your pal!" "O fool, the man I love is known all over town: he's dark and strong and his 'tache'd knock you down!")


Papalla arrives on screen in 1966 to endorse Philco electrical goods. Papalla is the planet of progress and discovery, home of the science guru Professor Von Krapfen. The Professor is regularly interviewed by a correspondent from earth and he finishes each conversation with: "Mia moglie aspetta un Philco!" ("My wife is expecting a Philco!")


Devised by Paul Campani for Bialetti coffee machines. L'omino coi baffi is now synonymous with Bialetti.

The blue hippo first appeared in 1966 in an advertisement for Lines nappies. This unlikely curvaceous ballerina wowed the audience with his rumba, samba and rock and roll routines while proffering advice to onlooking mothers on the best nappies for their babies.

La Linea

This character — also known as "l’omino Lagostina" (the Lagostina man) — was created in 1968 by Osvaldo Cavandoli for the aforementioned brand of pots and pans. Linea went on to star in a total of eighty-two short films, becoming a VIP in his own right.

Il perfido
JO Condor
For years Jo Condor was the symbol of the chocolate manufacturer Ferrero. He spent his time trying to outwit the Good Giant, who the villagers depended on for protection against Jo. His stock phrase was: "E che, ciò scritto Giò Condor?" ("Hey, have I got Giò Condor written across my forehead?" - Indeed Jo had his name written across his hat.)

The Spotlight is still on...
The father of Italian advertising in a major retrospective
. Castello di Rivoli in Turin hosts a retrospective of the work of Armando Testa.

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