Video Archive: Movie “White Palace” too racy for Duluth

This clip from The Tonight Show features guest host Jay Leno showing the evolution of an ad in the Duluth News Tribune for the 1990 film White Palace at Superior’s Mariner 4 Theatres. Watch as Susan Sarandon’s dress expands up her torso.

The Duluth Central Trojans Facebook page released this gem of a clip today, noting the segment is from 1991. We later learned the clip has been on Bruce Ojard’s YouTube channel since 2016.

Leno mentions at the end of the clip that Johnny Mathis is the upcoming guest. Numerous internet sources give the date Dec. 19, 1990 for Mathis appearing on the show, but Leno also says the last newspaper clip is from the week of Feb. 9, which would indicate the episode is indeed from 1991. Either way, it’s from roughly 30 years ago.


T. Heinonen

about 3 years ago

This brought back memories. I was part of the Duluth News Tribune's three-artist staff in the former marketing department when it was part of Knight-Ridder. As an artist back then we did real board work (i.e. illustration with pencil, pen and airbrush -- no computers then). When the ad for White Palace came to the Tribune we got what we called a "slick" and the composing department would paste it up on the page. We could not do any of the paste-up work due to union restrictions, all we did as artists was illustrating, photo touch-up and creating sales layouts for the sales staff to present to the clients. 

After the first ad run we got complaints that the ad was "too racy" and the ad department manager was hyper sensitive to any complaints (we did far too many make-good ads then because of this). Anyway, the ad was brought down to the art department to see if we could fix the image. Our lead artist then took some zip-a-tone and valiantly tried to censor the ad ... and did so several times with little success as the complaints kept coming. 

The Superior theater manager loved the attention and we kept at it until it was plopped onto my drawing board where I finally put the fork into it. The final version was not part of Jay Leno's show. So here it is with an editorial that Jim Heffernan wrote about the whole ordeal. I sure miss those 31+ years I worked for Knight-Ridder and the Duluth News Tribune and Herald.

T. Heinonen

about 3 years ago

This was the last version of the ad - sticking a fork into it...

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