Music, Variety and Drama (1948-1953)
The Philip Morris Playhouse grew from an earlier program called Johnny Presents, which included music and drama performances. Johnny Presents, too, was sponsored by Philip Morris. It was named after Philip Morris' trademark midget bellhop, Johnny Roventini. This show includes the famous commercial, "Callll for Philip Morrriiiiiiaaaasssss, yelled by none other than Johnny. This commercial began when ad man for Philip Morris spotted Johnny the bellhop in the Hotel New Yorker, and thought up the scheme to have him run around the lobby yelling "Last call for Philip Morris! He was an instant hit, henceforth receiving $20,000 a year for advertising for the company.
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Enjoy this bit of vintage advertising set amongst some fine dramas and lovely music with such great guest stars as Marlene Dietrich, Vincent Price and other top Hollywood stars of the day. Many stories are of suspense and murder. So relax, light up, and pin an ear to the speaker, because you won't want to miss a minute of The Philip Morris Playhouse.
See also: Call for Music.