The late, great Don Adams (1923-2005) gained long-lived pop culture fame for his role as Agent 86, Maxwell Smart, in Buck Henry’s 007 spoof Get Smart (1965-1970), and later as Inspector Gadget in the 1980s and 1990s.
For these roles, Adams perfected his own unique brand of crisp, dead-pan staccato delivery he called “glicking” after his character in The Bill Dana Show (1963-1965), and it became his trademark.
After Get Smart’s cancellation, Adams ported his one-of-a-kind approach to dialogue to TV advertisements, and became a pitch man.
Kids loved him in his new role, because he became Aurora’s spokesman for a whole line of “Skittle” games.
These games included Skittle Tic-Tac Toe, Skittle Poker, Skittle Baseball, Skittle Pendulum Pool, Skittle Bowling, Skittle Tennis, Skittle Horse Shoes and even Skittle Score Ball.
The Don Adams skittle commercials ran from approximately 1971-1973, but were still playing mid-decade, often timed to Get Smart reruns in syndication.
In some of these commercials, Adams appeared to reprise his Agent 86 persona as a spy, battling Blofeld-type villains. Other commercials appeared to be parodies of The Godfather (1972) gangster milieu, or even Edgar Allan Poe stories.
Here are a few examples Don Adams glicking his way through Skittle TV commercials of the early years of the disco-decade:
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