Jeno’s Pizza Rolls Commercial with the Lone Ranger

Among the achievements of the late food magnate Jeno Paulucci is the launch of the pizza roll, a pizza and egg roll combination dubbed “Jeno’s Pizza Rolls.” Paulucci died in Duluth on Nov. 24, 2011.

The 1968 television commercial embedded above was created by Stan Freberg and was a spoof of the “Show Us Your Lark” cigarette commercials of the day, which also utilized “The William Tell Overture,” music that was, of course, the theme music to the television series The Lone Ranger.

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about 3 years ago

In the early-to-mid 1970s, I was a Television Director at KDLH-TV, Channel 3, in downtown Duluth.  Our studio had a fairly strong reputation as a "regional" TV Production company.  On one day, we had a client, JFP & Associates, (Jeno Palucci's own ad agency) come into our studios with the idea that we would provide technical and creative services for the agency.  Little did we know that the agency had brought-in Stan Freberg as Producer/Director for the spot we were creating.  

I had the pleasure of sitting in the booth with Freberg as we worked through the various shots on a spot that seemed to have no script.   Freberg knew what he was looking for.  Our job was to delive Freberg's "vision." The product was some sort of new "bun" the Jeno was cranking out of his Duluth ovens.  

 At one point, the shot we were doing was a simple tabletop scene consisting of: a plate of the buns, a cup of coffee in the background, and a quarter-pound stick of butter on a plate next to the buns.   

Freberg was not happy with the set-up.  The agency food stylist (such as they were in those days) was fidgeting down on the studio floor as Freberg stared at the color monitor up in the Director's booth.  He kept saying, "Something's just not right...just not right."  Freberg would run down the flight of stairs into the studio, fidget a bit with the simple set-up, then run back upstairs and stare unhappily at the monitor again.  

Finally, after a half-hour, Freberg went back down on the studio floor.  Grabbing a common knife from the silverware drawer, he dragged the serrated edge along the long-side of the butter stick facing the camers, giving dimension to the butter.  He ran back up into the booth.  Standing behind me, his hand on my shoulder, he gazed intently into the monitor.  After about 10-seconds he shouted, "That's it!  Go ahead and record it."    It was a day I will never forget.

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