Piels Campaign

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Thursday, April 04, 2013

As the new Mad Men season begins, WNYC’s Sara Fishko looks back to some “soft sell” advertising of the 1950s. Here is a new! Improved! Fishko Files…

Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding -- better known as the celebrated duo Bob and Ray, two of the biggest names in comedy -- are the voices behind Bert and Harry Piel. Their working relationship spanned over 50 years, and across several media: They got their start in radio, later appearing on television, Broadway and in the pages of Mad Magazine. Bob and Ray's success with the Piels Brothers campaign allowed them to start their own voice-over company, Goulding Elliott Greybar.

Ray died on March 24, 1990, but  Bob continued touring in a duo with his son, the actor Chris Elliott. They appeared together on episodes of Newhart, Late Night with David Letterman, among others. Bob is still very much around, and talked to us about his working relationship with Ray.



For a classic example of the 1950s advertising style, see this commercial for Old Gold Cigarettes.


  • Special thanks to Larry Josephson. For more Bob and Ray (from the Piels Campaign and elsewhere) visit Larry's website,


Mix Engineer: Wayne Shulmister

Associate Producer: Laura Mayer

WNYC Newsroom Editor: Karen Frillmann

Produced by:

Sara Fishko

Comments [3]

Scott MacDonald from Huntington, NY

This commercial was made by NY animation house Kim & Gifford Productions. I started my career there in 1982.
I met Bob & Ray up in their office in the Greybar building...I was 21 years old at the at that time. What friendly, and great guys. Bob gave me a cool Wally Ballou lapel pin, and I hope one day to meet Chris, to see if he might want it! I gave them a partially melted chocolate bunny sealed in cellophane with a mock-up "Chocolate Wobbly" label. It even had the ribbon melted into the bunny! They seemed to really like it. Here's to you, Bob and Ray! RIP Ray, and cheers to Chris as well!

Jun. 30 2013 06:23 PM

Thank you for your note. We're looking into the link problem, and will update it on this page.

Apr. 08 2013 10:17 AM

Your link to the Piels adds seems to be broken.
Gets a 404 error.

Apr. 07 2013 12:11 PM

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