This week: The facts of life about those small wonders, raisins

Raisins: They’re all right, but do they really merit eight days of celebration?

April 30 was National Raisin Day, but if you missed it, never fear: The first week of May is National Raisin Week. So we’re supposed to celebrate raisins for eight consecutive days? That’s a lot to ask. Will I get time off from work for that?

According to the 1980 California Raisin commercial embedded below, parents love it when babysitters feed raisins to their kids. I’m not so sure that’s true. Someone I know wound up in the emergency room as a toddler because she stuffed raisins up her nose. True story.

The raisin-pushing babysitter is none other than Molly Ringwald, shortly after she was sacked from The Facts of Life in its infamous second-season character purge, but before hitting it big with the Brat Pack. The kid sticking her greedy hand into the raisin box is Emily Schulman, who later played nosy neighbor Harriet on Small Wonder.

California Raisin commercial with Molly Ringwald (1980)

Sadly, it’s a pretty snoozeworthy commercial. You can see why some California Raisin ad exec decided to replace Molly, Emily, and the other kid with something livelier—claymation raisins that sing and dance. But Molly had bigger things in store for her anyway, so it all worked out.

claymation California Raisins
Claymation raisins: Much livelier than Molly Ringwald


  1. This was filmed in 1980 shortly after Molly Ringwald quit the Facts of Life. She did not have the pixie haircut she sported in The Tempest nor was she as tall in that commercial. She has the same hair style as in her last appearance on the Facts of Life.

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