At some point in the 1980’s The Two Ronnies starred in a series of adverts for Hertz Car Rentals. In the following series of posts, I’ll be exploring in depth each advert. Very little appears to be known about the series of adverts, but they’re quite interesting all the same. For the most part, this will be the first time I have seen these adverts.
Advert One: Rich Vs Poor
Click HERE to watch
(Arthur & Minnie Hobbs arrive at the airport)
In this advert Ronnie B & Ronnie C play two sets of husband and wife – each Ronnie taking turns to play the wife. The first couple (The Chumley-Pughs) opting to splash out on a rental car, and the other couple (Arthur & Minnie Hobbs) choosing not to. The results are typically ‘Two Ronnies-esque’.
This advert seems to follow the theme of the ‘grumble & grunt’ films Ronnie B was fond of. In 1982 The Two Ronnies starred in ‘By The Sea’ so one presumes this advert was filmed sometime shortly thereafter. The first thing to notice is the budget. All of the adverts in the Hertz range seem to have a sizeable budget. Filmed (presumably) in a studio airport set, this advert features a large number of extras, various set pieces and props. Several other characters get involved – including a Hertz Rental assistant and a Spanish guitar player. I don’t recognise any of the other actors, do you?
(A Hertz Rental Car assistant eagerly greets the two couples)
Given the Two Ronnies status at this time, (they’d finished a stint in Australia) I’m also assuming these adverts were made for an international market. The whole series of adverts has a very ‘european’ feel. Of course the ‘grumble & grunt’ adverts, wouldn’t need dubbing into the native language of the country they’re shown in.
(Ronnie C looking fabulous in drag)
All in all, as far as an advert goes, it’s probably one of the better ones. It’s high-end, with a large set and vast array of characters. It relies on the ‘grumble & grunt’ style comedy, and in some respects ‘cheapens’ the Two Ronnies true talents for comic timing and wordplay.