Santa Claus: Loveable Old Elf or Smoking, Seducing Stalker?

Karin has nearly every issue of LIFE magazine ever printed. I was thumbing through a few stacks of them over the weekend and found some wonderfully timely advertisements from waaaaaaaaaay back. Thought I’d share them with you here.

By the way, I’m thinking about making a regular thing of posting these scans here at Cthulhu is my Copilot, so if you want to see more of this old stuff, be sure to let me know.

Santa: Smoker

Hey, look! Santa Claus reeks of filterless Lucky Strikes! If this ad from the back cover of the December 21, 1936 issue of LIFE magazine is any indicator, Jolly Ol’ St. Nick probably smelled like sweaty Uncle Louie:

OK, not only does he smoke these bad boys himself, but he signs his name to written testimony declaring that Luckies express “the spirit of Christmas-giving” and “bring pleasure to every home”. That’s sort of like boozing a hole through your stomach and then claiming a bleeding ulcer epitomizes human well-being and is an asset to each and every body.

Of course, his proclivity towards bare-ass Lucky Strikes doesn’t preclude him from being a shill for RJ Reynolds on the side, as this ad from page 29 of the same issue demonstrates:

Note that he isn’t smoking a Camel, nor does he actually have a lit Camel anywhere about. There is also no signed document of lofty praise. No, Santa’s a Lucky Strike man and this merely covers the difference on that fancy organic feed Rudolph and Vixen demand.

Santa: Seducer

Take a look at this sultry ad from page 8 of the December 4, 1950 issue of LIFE magazine:

The obvious message one takes away from this ad is: “Give Your Lady Stockings and Lingerie by Mojud!” The second half to the advertisement’s directive is subtle, but just as important: “Or Someone Else Will, Loser.”

Just look at Kris Kringle blowing his warm cocoa-breath in her ear. Who knows what raunchy things he’s suggesting to her, but it’s unmistakable that she’s liking it! Can you believe it? Look at that! Santa Claus is seducing your wife! I bet he’s got a pair of silk and lace crotchless in his sack just for her, too! Geez, you might as well put the new gravy boat away, dumbass; you’ve clearly misread the woman’s holiday desires!

Santa: Staker

By the early sixties, Santa had moved on to voyeurism, as this ad from the inside front cover of the December 13, 1963 issue shows:

The ad says “Color in 50 seconds is only half of it”. Yeah, no shit. The other half is the police uncovering the torture den of some slimy Santa-Gacy and finding it lined with Polaroids like this one of little Christopher and his new toy truck. Plus a few other snapshots we won’t discuss.

I'm going to keep searching these mags for other Santa ads. There has to be one of him swilling some Bacardi or Johnny Walker in here somewhere!

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About kirkstarr

I draw pictures for a living.
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11 Responses to Santa Claus: Loveable Old Elf or Smoking, Seducing Stalker?

  1. Red Pen says:

    LOL. Santa's been very, very bad.

  2. Jay says:

    Santa is apparently quite the turncoat….I always thought he was a Chesterfield man.I don't know about you but there's something quite unnerving about Old Nick's youthful hands up there. He clearly soaks in it.

  3. R.G. Ryan says:

    Well, between you and me, I'm terribly disturbed about that bit in the "Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town" ditty…you know, the part about how he "sees you when you're sleeping?" What's up with that! How does he even get into my bedroom! What kind of weird, twisted individual are we dealing with here anyway???

  4. Jenn says:

    naughty santa….that's hot. LOL

  5. Erin says:

    I am throughly creeped out now.

  6. Ruth says:

    Hey, where are the attractive yellow nicotine stains in the beard? What? You mean advertising isn't REAL?I love old ads like these…maybe because they make me feel like we've overcome so many old stereotypes…we really haven't, but it's good to pretend.

  7. Brown Suga' says:

    Um … ok, this guy is beginning to creep me out!

  8. tom says:

    In Santa's defense, I think he was only shilling for RJR because the Camel cartons were already festively decorated, so he and the elves didn't have to put their Lucky's down and wrap them. Which is convenient, so they could just toss the colorful Camel cartons under the tree, then go take 50 second color phot(can't finish sentence; must go vomit at horrible image)

  9. Lauri says:

    Omg, these are really really FUNNY, Kirk!!!To think all this crap has been floating around since the 1930s and before. Ha. And here we thought we were the depraved generation. I guess it's human beans in general! ;)Great post! *still snickering*

  10. Hubbicula says:

    You do not even want to know what Santa is endorsing on p.97 of Hustler these days.

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