The 30 second commercial spot first aired on television across the U.S on July 19, 1968, and its life on TV spanned nearly two years. It ran in prime-time slots with a number of popular TV series. A 12 second spot, edited down from the full length ad, also ran during this period. Two print ads appeared in issues of LIFE magazine.
Its enduring place in TV pop-culture history is evidenced in the many spoofs, skits, and jokes spawned by the commercial, covering 2 decades and appearing in a range of comedy shows and movies, newspapers, magazines, and literature.
Five single-panel cartoon gags were syndicated: one in MAD and two in PLAYBOY magazines. Comic-strip artist, Bil Keane, penned two panels. The first line of an Erma Bombeck book references it. Four or more television comedy/variety shows did skits and jokes about this ad in the late '60s/early '70s, such as The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, The Carol Burnett Show, and Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. A sketch based on it appears in 1977's Kentucky Fried Movie, and over 15 “riffs” on the commercial's dialogue feature in the long-running '80s and '90s television comedy series, Mystery Science Theater 3000.