Mr. Clean gets rid of dirt and grime,
And grease in just a minute.
Mr. Clean will clean your whole house,
And everything that’s in it.
Mr. Clean. Mr. Clean. Mr. Clean.

Mr. Clean is a brand of cleaning products owned by Procter & Gamble. Originally started as a liquid cleaner in 1958, Mr. Clean products now cover a wide range of household cleaners including the Magic Eraser, and recently, in 2007, a full-service car wash franchise opened.

The advertising icon was created in 1957 as a drawing by Richard Black1 (or maybe it was Ernie Allen2), alongside the brand’s full minute-long jingle recorded by Thomas Scott Cadden.

Usually the character appears as a cartoon taking the form of a muscular, tan, bald man in a skin-tight, white, t-shirt. He has white eyebrows, and occasionally a white mustache. P&G claim the character was intended to be a US Navy sailor, but his tendency to appear out of nowhere or in reflective surfaces, along with the earring in his left ear, have led some to believe he is meant to be a genie. House Peters, Jr. was the first person to portray the character in live action. While he normally doesn’t speak, in the mid-1960’s, he was given his only speaking lines via actor Mark Dana.

During the “Give Mr. Clean a First Name” promotion in 1962, he was given the first name “Veritably”. With a name like that, I’d be embarrassed to use it also.

Over the decades there have been many homages and parodies of the character. The SimpsonsMr. Sparkle is probably the most well-known of these.


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