Our philosophy about commercials here at Commonplace Fun Facts is that we don’t watch them. Watching commercials only encourages advertisers to flood the airwaves with more, especially during the times we want to watch our favorite programming. We therefore refuse to engage in negotiations with these entertainment-interrupting terrorists.
Having said that, there are a few exceptions to our rule, and Little Baby’s Ice Cream certainly falls within this category.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream was a Philadelphia-based company that started in 2011. It never managed to expand much beyond Philadelphia and Baltimore. The owner, Pete Angevine, hoped to hit it big with such flavors as Chipotle Chocolate, Cucumber Dill, and Buttered Popcorn. Angevine said he was inspired to start his distinctive ice cream business one night when, “I was making an Earl Grey base, and I was like, ‘What else could I throw in here?’” He squirted some Sriracha hot sauce over the Earl Grey base. “I threw it in the freezer, and I woke up the next day, and it was absolutely delicious and totally bizarre, and unlike anything I had ever tasted.”
The 2012 commercial, “It’s a Special Time,” was, like his ice cream, totally bizarre and unlike anything anyone had ever encountered. It featured a man who was either made of ice cream or covered in ice cream (the actual substance was marshmallow cream), eating ice cream from his skull while a somewhat creepy voiceover intones, “There’s good reason for my glistening skin and how I shine and how my pores are so clean and clear. I eat Little Baby’s Ice Cream.”
For a brief moment, it really sounds as if the voice is saying that the reason for his healthy appearance is that he eats little babies. One look at the bulging eyes and unnerving facial expression of the self-consuming ice cream man leaves little doubt that baby consumption is a distinct possibility.
The commercial did a good job of leaving an impression on viewers. Unfortunately, it was probably not the impression the company hoped for. The specter of the strange ice cream man silently eating his own body while staring intently into the very depths of your soul as a creepy voice drones on in the background just didn’t seem to inspire a lot of people to run out and buy Little Baby’s — or even little babies.
Another commercial, “Love Lickers,” gave us an additional look at the ice cream man. In this commercial, we see him preparing to lick an ice cream cone in which there is a little ice cream man who is, in turn, preparing to lick a cone. As the scene widens, we see an ever-cascading scene of ice cream men preparing to lick ice cream men, until we are graced with the not-at-all-creepy sight of a massive disembodied tongue slowly extending from the upper left corner of the screen.
Another commercial further establishes Little Baby’s advertising as a prime topic for some future psychology Ph.D. dissertation. Entitled “Eyes Scream,” it features three people whose eyes have been horrifyingly replaced by mouths. Tongues extend creepily from eye sockets as the individuals eat ice cream, while exuding all the charm of some genetic experiment gone awry.
Seriously… The surreal creatures look like the prom dates of Doctor Who’s Whisper Men.
The commercials’ director, Doug Garth Williams, prepared an “Official Behind the Scenes and FAQ.” In the video, he says that the general consensus among those who watched the commercials — fans and nonfans alike — is that “I’m a creepy weirdo… Everyone thinks that.” [Editor’s Note: Add us to that list.]
Williams offers some helpful advice to anyone who wants to become an ice cream person. “I encourage you to go to your cabinet where you keep your marshmallow cream, get 20 or 30 of your freshest jars, and cover your nude body in marshmallow fluff, and that’s about what it takes.” Inasmuch as we only see the ice cream man from the chest, up in the commercials, this revelation that the guy’s entire naked body is covered in marshmallow cream only serves to provide even further fuel for nightmares.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream folded in November 2019. While the company’s distinctly-odd flavors have passed into history, its legacy lives on through commercials that are just too bizarre to die.