For anyone growing up in California, it’s likely that you saw used-car impresario Cal Worthington and his dog Spot imploring shoppers to “Go see Cal.” And if you didn’t, your local salesman probably lifted a few tips from him. One of the most famous, wackiest of wacky car commercial salesmen, Worthington passed away on Sunday at age 92, prompting an outpouring of nostalgic tributes. Whether or not you ever went to see Cal, here are seven reasons never to forget him.
1. His jingle is an earworm of epic proportions, guaranteed to stick in even the unstickiest of heads:
“If you need a better car, go see Cal/For the best deal by far, go see Cal/If you want your payments low, if you want to save some dough/Go see Cal, go see Cal, go see Cal.”
2. He wasn’t above hanging upside down from a plane:
3. His “dog” Spot was once played by a lion:
4. Oh and also a bear:
5. Okay so most of these are animals, but just add pigs, snakes, an elephant, a bull, a tiger, a chimpanzee on roller skates, a killer whale, goats and a hippo to the list to name a few. “I’d say the craziest one was the hippo,” Worthington told NPR in 2009:
6. We can’t find YouTube proof of it, but Worthington was often a guest on the Tonight Show, and was parodied by Johnny Carson himself. Once Johnny’s poked fun at you, your legend can never die.
7. And last not but not least, that white cowboy hat stayed with him throughout them all:
For more Cal ads, check out MyDogSpot.com.