“Mother, Please! I’d Rather Do It Myself!”

anacinMr. Inman: In the 1960s there was a famous commercial in which a woman was cooking something, and when her mother suggested that it could use more salt, the woman came completely unglued and screamed, “Mother, PLEASE! I’d rather do it myself!” What product was that commercial promoting? – R.M., via e-mail

Dear R.M.: You forgot what came after that – the daughter rubbing her head while her voiceover said, “Sure you’ve got a headache. You’re tense, irritable. But why take it out on her?” What a neatly encapsulated little drama of mother-daughter resentment.

The product was Anacin, which, as an animated graphic described it, fought your headache three ways – it got rid of the hammer in your head, the static in your cerebellum and the cracking steel balls in your cranium.

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8 Replies to ““Mother, Please! I’d Rather Do It Myself!””

  1. Then there was the follow up: A nicely dressed “business man” type dad arrives home after an assumed hectic day in the office and nearly collides with a bike lying on its side in the driveway. Dad jumps out of the car and screams at his wife, “Betty, can’t you keep Billie’s bike out of the driveway!?” And that voiceover as he rubs his forehead with poor Billy looking like he’s about to cry and Betty looking terribly distressed: “Sure you’ve got a headache, you’re tense; irritable, but don’t take it out on them!”

  2. A friend and I were trying to reconstruct that ‘Mother, please!’ commercial. Thank you so much for having the answer and for digging up that fabulous Anacin picture of what’s going on inside our skulls when we have a headache. You are a guardian of our best-loved moments!

  3. Does anyone remember a similar aspirin commercial where a local yokel says: “Feel like my head gonna bust WIDE open!” ? It may have also been for Anacin or Excedrin?

  4. My father was an advertising copy writer in the late 50s and early 60s and he wrote those Anacin commercials. They were based on consumer research and were the first commercials in which anger was expressed.

  5. Do you happen to know where I can view that particular commercial? I was telling my mom about it and I can’t believe that she can not remember that one. Then again, she is 84 years old.

  6. Okay, here’s a tough one..hope I’m on the right page. There was a television show about some journalists..I think..I was awfully young. The show was International Press..or something like that. It opened with a teletype and a bulletin or something like that. This must have been in the 50s..b&W of course. What was that show?

  7. “Mother, please! I’d rather do it myself!” got to be such a popular catch phrase when I was in high school that we would say it to crack each other up. I never forgot that commrecial.

  8. I’m trying to find that commercial with the man that says; I feel like my head is gonna bust open. Anyone know how I can find that?

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