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

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 1982 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, two years 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, three years later, played nosy neighbor Harriet on Small Wonder.

California Raisin commercial with Molly Ringwald (1982)

claymation California Raisins
Claymation raisins: Much livelier than Molly Ringwald

Sadly, it’s one of the most boring, snoozeworthy commercials I’ve ever seen. 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.

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