• Lina in L.A. - Hello Kitty Night at Dodger Stadium
    It's always a purr-fect pairing when Dodger fans collide with Hello Kitty lovers, and last night's home game against the San Diego Padres was no exception. Though fans were given vouchers for the night's free H.K. travel mug, the cat craziness was still in full effect with discounts on Kitty merchandise and fans in feline-inspired gear... and of course lots of blue! Actress Kate Walsh threw out the first pitch and Miss Kitty herself was on hand to pose for pics on the field.
  • Cal Worthington: Alive and Pitching 

    Thursday, May 19 2011

    An icon of L.A. popular culture, Calvin Coolidge "Cal" Worthington, star of generations' worth of television ads, is at age 90 finishing up yet another ad campaign. He still does the Worthington Ford commercials, and, admitting with a sigh resembling the sound made by a nose set to a grindstone for decades, "As I have for the last 50 years, I'm here every single Monday doing new commercials. It gets to be a real drag after a while," he says with a hearty laugh.

    Despite his protestations, he's lost none of his energy for selling cars, that most grueling of all possible avenues to consumerism. Two things that brought him to it: poverty and energy.

    "My family was desperately poor — I was one of nine children, and we were barefoot all the time, we didn't have shoes. No plumbing, no running water, no lights.

    click to enlarge Cal Worthington
    • Cal Worthington

    Related Stories

    • Proposition 41 Housing for Poor Veterans Wins Big 3

      Looks like California voters like the idea of helping out troubled vets with special new housing, as early returns show a strong 65.8 percent in favor of the Veterans Housing & Homeless Bond Act of 2014, with 34.2 percent of voters opposed. The proposition is being closely watched by angry...
    • Chinese Sausages + Where to Find Four Regional Versions

      When you think of sausage, Chinese cuisine is probably not what immediately comes to mind. Germany, obviously, then probably Italy. But China has an incredibly rich history of sausage-making. Chinese sausages tend to be much sweeter than sausages familiar to American palates and, as you might expect from a country
    • Soccer Streaming

      In perhaps a sign of the growing popularity of soccer in the United States, the L.A. Department of Water and Power recorded a modest spike in water usage at halftime of Thursday's World Cup game between the U.S. and Germany. Water usage then dropped sharply during the second half. It...
    • Damani Nkosi Flips His Whole Script

      Inglewood rapper Damani Nkosi got his mainstream introduction on Kurupt's 2001 album, Space Boogie: Smoke Odyssey. Having spent much of the decade hanging around Snoop Dogg and his crew, Nkosi was known for his tales of pimpin' and sexual conquests with songs like, "In Love With A Hoe," "You Ain't My Lady."...
    • L.A. County Craft Brewers Win at the 2014 World Beer Cup

      The World Beer Cup is the Olympics of beer. There is no better way to describe one of the biggest and most prestigious commercial beer competitions open to breweries from around the world. Held in Denver on Fri., April 11, at the end of the Craft Brewers Conference, the World Beer Cup awards ceremony...

    "My chance really came when war broke out and I went into the Air Force and trained to be a bomber pilot. I flew 29 missions over Germany — every mission a fight, I mean a fierce firefight, for hours. And the next day, you'd go again.

    "When the war ended, I became so restless. I was used to tremendous activity, and now it was a terrible letdown, and I understand that that's very common. It was a real letdown — I wanted to go bomb something."

    First aired in 1950, his commercials were sung — accompanied by a fast banjo — to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It." His signature line, "Go see Cal," was a clarion call that brought in prospective buyers by the thousands. It also made the wait through commercials running before the next segment of KHJ's Kung Fu Theater much more bearable. The late-night spots starring "his dog Spot" — never a dog, always some kind of exotic beast — hold the same kind of fascination that greeted the wild animals zookeeper Jack Hanna brought on Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show.

    Even in those cynical days of the post-Vietnam era, Worthington imparted that most elusive quality of trust to consumers roundly abused by things like midnight-madness sales and the illusion of prices ending in .99.

    The avuncular Worthington succeeded precisely because of his offbeat qualities, easily trumping competing pitchmen like the unctuous Chick Lambert (Ralph Williams Ford) or the cloying Pete Ellis (Dodge, Long Beach Freeway, Firestone Exit, South Gate).

    At age 90, has the daily grind let up? "The car business is the most competitive business you could ever be in," Worthington says.

    Fellow TV pitchman Shadoe "Fred Rated" Stevens testifies: "Cal Worthington is a legend. His approach was inspired. He was funny without being funny, and buying up all the inexpensive, late-night advertising with massive repetition was brilliant.

    "We all grovel at his feet."

    Click here to see all our Best of L.A. People 2011 profiles.

    And click here for more photographs of the Best of L.A. People 2011.


    Related Content


    • Onch Movement for Hello Kitty Jewelry Launch @ JapanLA
      Hello Kitty and designer Onch Movement collaborated on a new line of jewelry just in time for the holiday season. The launch party and trunk show showcased a limited number of pieces for purchase and gave fans a preview opportunity to try the collection on for size. The event also featured art work by Malcolm Stuart, The Pocky truck and a visit from Hello Kitty, who stopped by for photo opps. The limited edition Onch Movement for Hello Kitty jewelry collection is available exclusively at Sanrio.com starting November 20. All photos by Shannon Cottrell.

      See also: Lina in L.A.- All Aboard EVA Air's Hello Kitty Jet!
    • WeHo Gogo Appreciation Day
      West Hollywood paid tribute to the male gogo dancer with a little friendly competition Saturday night in Boystown, featuring plenty of pecs and very little clothing. All photos by Matt Baume.
    • Lina In L.A.- FROCK YEAH at FYF Fest!
      Dressing practical didn't mean plain at this year's FYF Fest. The hot and dirty grounds brought out bandannas, combat boots, and loose get-ups, from overalls to sundresses. Knee socks, DIY denim, colorful hair, band and statement tees and still-bold boho accessories made for a style mix that meshed multiple eras, though grungy '90s statements rocked loudest!