The Daily Ping

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March 24th, 2000

Local TV Ad Bonanza

I recently rediscovered The Unofficial Menards Guy Homepage, and immediately put a link to it in my weblog. Seeing this site brought on a flurry of memories from when I was growing up, watching WFLD’s Lunchtime Cartoons after school and having its commercials firmly implanted into my brain.

The Menards Guy is really a guy named Ray who is employed at a Menards, and started doing their TV spots. His fluffy white hair and dark-rimmed glasses matched his slightly-crooked smile and booming, enthusiastic voice. "Save big money… at Menards!" is his calling card.

It ranks up there with great slogans and jingles from my past. First Metropolitan Builders (later First Metropolitan Builders and Carpets… whew!) had a jingle with their name, phone number, and an 80s synth drum beat: "282-8600!" Lincoln Carpets still used their old, old telephone number in their "NAtional 2-9000, NAtional 2-9… thousand!" bit.

But I think the Empire Carpet Guy has endured the most. The legend has it that he was in charge of advertising for Empire back in the 60s (or so). At the last minute the person who was to depict an Empire employee bailed out. So he put on the trademark blue shirt with the embroidered "EMPIRE" patch, and the rest is history. Today the Empire Carpet Guy still dominates the airwaves. The phone number’s jingle is the same, although the phone number has endured the change of Chicago area codes and now, toll-free area codes.

And to think, I could have been storing useful information in my head! -pm

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

FROM: hope martin
DATE: Wednesday November 23, 2005 -- 11:38:48 am
can you please tell me the name of the Empire Carpet guy? And if he is still alive, hasn't been on lately, just the cartoon and his voice overs. This is one of those things, totally unimportaint that is bugging me to know. And, I always thought he was kind of sweet.
Any help you can give is very much appreciated.

P.S. with or without an answer, glad I found this site!

FROM: Sammy Reed
DATE: Wednesday November 23, 2005 -- 11:47:44 am
You mean, this thing's been around for 5 years and nobody left any comments here until NOW?

FROM: Paul
DATE: Wednesday November 23, 2005 -- 5:19:01 pm
That's the beauty of the Ping.

FROM: Hope Martin
DATE: Friday November 25, 2005 -- 10:54:09 am
Well, would have written sooner, but I just thought of the question! does anyone know the answer?

FROM: hope martin
DATE: Saturday November 26, 2005 -- 8:44:16 am
I found the information from someone else, who had the courtesy to actually acknowlege my question. So thanks for nothing!

FROM: Paul
DATE: Saturday November 26, 2005 -- 11:33:35 am
The web is still not a chat room.

Incidentally, I saw the Empire Carpet Guy on an Empire commercial (or two) this weekend - plus, he was in the State Street Thanksgiving Parade.

uptown girl June 20, 2008, 2:03 pm

His name was Lynn something. I remember reading an article about him in the 80’s

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