Throughout most of the 1970s and ’80s, Jim and Gloria Berkey, who owned the now-defunct store at the corner of N. May Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, sponsored movies on TV with “Trust House Theatre” every Sunday night. The husband-wife team appeared during commercial breaks to trumpet — in their decidedly enthusiasm-challenged tones — sparkly for-sale items.
George Salisbury remembers those ads well. As creative director of OKC’s Delo Creative, he joined forces a couple of years ago with Forward Foods owners Steve “Wampus” Reynolds and Suzy Thompson to cut a dead-on parody of the old “Trust House Theatre.” In this latter-day incarnation, however, Forward Foods’ exotic cheeses fill in for jewels.
“For a year, I was joking with them about doing an ad like that, ’cause I grew up with those ads,” said Salisbury. “It was a joke and they were willing to play along. We just did it for fun.”
The video subsequently languished on YouTube, but won a new lease on life when it recently screened before a Kyle Kinane stand-up comedy show at City Arts Center.
Reynolds, a lifelong city native, said he was excited to do the parody.
“I have very fond memories of the Trust House from when I was 4. I get very nostalgic for them,” said the 41-year-old Reynolds. “We did like the Berkeys and they did have an impression on Oklahoma.”
Gloria Berkey died in 2006, and her husband died a year later.
Salisbury added that he would someday love to do a spoof of the old Del Rancho ads for the steak sandwich supreme. Hey, we need dreamers.