Shoot in Nebraska

Well, there was this time in the late 1960’s, when I was in Omaha, Nebraska doing a T.V. commer­cial for that renowned product Bux Corn­root­worm Insec­ti­cide. This was part of the array of bene­fi­cial farm prod­ucts that were being produced by Chevron Ortho prod­ucts (and we wonder why the Autism rate increase so dramatically).

I was there with Larry Duke (a genius art director and later Levis Poster, etc. Illus­trator). Our chosen actor for our commer­cial was Pat Buttrum (Gene Autry’s former movie side kick). Mr. Buttrum was currently appearing in a T.V. series called Green Acres (star­ring Ava Gabor, etc.). It was about city folk who buy a farm. Their neighbor was Pat Buttrum. So we figured he was perfect to sell Bux to the farming community.

We went to dinner the night before the “shoot” and across the restau­rant Mr. Buttrum spies an old friend, singer “?” Robert Goulet — who was appearing at that great Omaha venue, The Aksarben Theater (that’s Nebraska spelled back­wards, get it?). So the two of them wander off to partake of way too many drinks.

Cut to the next day, when we stop to ask some farmer on a dirt road for direc­tions to one partic­ular corn field in an area of corn­fields as far as you can see in any direc­tion. As the farmer is pointing, Pat Buttrum opened the back door of the car and puked on that poor farmer’s shoes. We could only imagine how proud the farmer must have felt when he went home tracking vomit into the house and proudly announcing that Pat Buttrum from Green Acres puked on his shoes not more than10 minutes ago.

I won’t go into the video camera­man’s concern with color adjust­ment saying, “there must be some­thing wrong with this equipment.…I can’t get that green cast out of Mr. Buttrum’s face”. It was that green of someone who’d been up drinking all night. And I won’t elab­o­rate further by discussing how many chickens Mr. Buttrum sat on when making himself comfort­able sitting on those bags of Bux Corn­root­worm Insecticide).

Todd Miller