Foggy Ruins of Time – What Gorilla Commercial?

by  in Comic News Comment
Foggy Ruins of Time – What Gorilla Commercial?

This is the latest in a series giving you the cultural context behind certain comic book characters/behaviors. You know, the sort of then-topical references that have faded into the “foggy ruins of time.” To wit, twenty years from now, a college senior watching episodes of Seinfeld will likely miss a lot of the then-topical pop culture humor (like the very specific references in “The Understudy” to the Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding scandal). Here is an archive of all the Foggy Ruins of Time installments so far.

Today, based on a suggestion by reader Scott F., we look at an obscure reference in an early issue of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero…

In G.I. Joe #23, written by Larry Hama with art by Mike Vosburg, Jon D’Agostino and John Tartaglione, Cobra Commander is being blackmailed by Major Bludd and is none too pleased about it…

The commercial that Cobra Commander is referencing was a very popular long-running ad campaign by the luggage company American Tourister. Here’s a 1980 version of the commercial…

In 1993, American Tourister was purchased by Astrum International, who produced Samsonite luggage and the whole company was renamed Samsonite Corporation in 1995. Nowadays, American Tourister is no longer a major brand (as Samsonite is the main brand of the company (obviously, as that’s the name of the corporation).

Thanks to Scott F. for the suggestion! If YOU have a suggestion for a future edition of Foggy Ruins of Time, drop me a line at!