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Date: Wednesday August 14, 2002 - 05:43AM
Name: The Burke Family
Email: burkes.grape-nuts(at)earthlink.net
Location: USA
Homepage: http://BurkesGrapeNuts.com
Comments: Welcome to the Burke Family Grape-Nuts Television Commercial Archives "guest-book." Share your comments, and enjoy those you find here. [Please note that any objectionable content will be removed. This will remain a "family-friendly" site.]

With permission granted from KF Holdings to "air" the Burke family Grape-Nuts TV commercial from our site, this link takes you to our "Multi-Media" section, where you can view the original 30 second spot just as it ran -- from July, 1968 through 1970 -- on network television across the U.S.:


We've also added a special bonus feature: a video segment about the making of the Burke commercial, complete with out-takes!

You may notice that some of the archival media resources on the main page are not yet available (such as the Johnny Carson and "Carol Burnett Show" video segments, or "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" skits that aired during the commercial's era). If you have any of this media, or know where it can be obtained, please let us know. We'd love to truly complete our Archives!

The Burkes hope you enjoy reliving, or discovering anew, this bit of American pop-culture history.

Thanks for visiting!
The Burkes

Date: Wednesday August 14, 2002 - 02:47PM
Name: The entire Burke family!
Email: burkes.grape-nuts(at)earthlink.net
Comments: It was the best phone call I never made. And I never made it because the line was busy. And as I placed the newspaper by the telephone to try to call again later, my eye caught an ad in the "Personals" column next to the ad I'd tried to call.

I had thought it would be fun to buy some quail eggs to hatch, which were advertised in the "Pets For Sale" column of our daily newspaper. We are animal lovers, and no desert garden, I thought, was complete without a few baby quail running around.

The line was busy. And I never did make that call because, as I said, my eye caught the ad next to it. "Searching," it said, "for mother and daughter team to give testimony regarding use of commercial product."

The quail eggs were quickly forgotten. My daughter and I were definitely a team. I dialed the number.

The product was a breakfast cereal, and I answered all the ad agency's inquiries. It was the best phone call I ever made. Of course we ate "Grape-Nuts" cereal. We set up an appointment for an interview in our home in two weeks.

They were planning to make a T.V. commercial regarding mothers and daughters who "stayed slim" because of their diet and exercise.

There were 100 other Mother-daughter teams in contention here in the Phoenix, Arizona, area.

The day of our scheduled interview my daughter, Dale, and I dressed alike, clear down to our shoes, earrings, and wrist-watches. By the time Mrs. Salter, the agency representative, left, we were pretty sure we had at least a chance to compete for this commercial. Lots of interviews and questionnaires and photo sessions later, we were told that we were among the top ten teams. They would call in two weeks.

One day my son, Adam, who was six years old at the time, came dashing out into the backyard to where I was working in the garden. "Mom!!" he shouted. "Phone! It's New York!!" It was three-fifteen in the afternoon. I don't remember the date.

"Caroline?" a voice from New York asked. "Yes!" I said. It was Paul McDonough, the Producer. "Congratulations!" he said. "You won!"

Of course, the rest is history. What a glorious time it was! Such frenetic activity fit into only a couple of days. An extremely memorable occasion! And now, thanks to my son, Adam, who has created the "Burke Family Commercial" web site, our memories are forever preserved.

So now, after more than thirty years, my daughter Dale and I are greatly amused to find that we are still "often mistaken." We are are both doll collectors and, at the various doll shows where we buy and sell, we dress alike and enjoy the fun of being confused, one for the other. And we still are a team!

-- Caroline H. Burke, 4/20/03


Making our commercial was a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. My poor mother had bruises from being hoisted out of the water so many times!! You cannot believe how many times she had to do a scene over again because the line "Oh, no...Mrs. Burke... I thought were Dale" didn't come out right. Eventually the producer decided it would be best to do a "voice-over" after the scene was filmed. Everyone involved in making the commercial was wonderful to us.

Even today Mom and I are sometimes "often mistaken" for each other or people think we are sisters!! We dress alike at some of our doll shows and, unintentionally, we find ourselves wearing the same colors/type of clothing when we go shopping!! As she said, we are a team!

Much admiration and appreciation goes to my brother Adam for creating this wonderful website to share with our family and other Grape-Nuts fans. Thanks Adam!!

-- Dale [Pyeatt] Burke, 5/3/03


I was a mere child of seven years when our commercial was made, and it left a big impression. I was an impressionable kid, anyway, but the lights, the camera, and the on-set action for the filming were enchanting. Then, over the ensuing two years, the almost nightly family assemblies in front of the living room TV set, watching ourselves in the commercial, made the impression indelible. This was during a time when reports of landing on the moon and the "action" in Vietnam were standard TV fare. All of this really affected me, and echoes of this era continue to have an influence in my life.

As for the filming, I was still too young to really understand what making a network TV commercial was all about, but I had been a ham since I was a kid, so it seemed to fit right in. I especially liked the packaged chicken and tuna-fish sandwiches we ate during breaks. And I remember the milk going warm in the cereal bowl as we took, and re-took the breakfast table scene. Between each take, a grip would pour a heap of cereal on top, to freshen it up; also, the usual dabbing of sweat under the hot lights.

I continue to enjoy the enduring attention the commercial has received, such as the references in "Kentucky Fried Movie" and "Mystery Science Theater 3000." Also, the MAD Magazine and Bil Keane ["Channel Chuckles"] comic spoofs.

I also keenly remember wanting to be in more commercials, but I'm not as attractive as my mom and sister, so I'm not holding my breath (anymore)!

-- Adam Burke


Grape Nuts Memories

A long time ago, in a life far, far away. Wait – that’s not Grape Nuts, that’s Star Wars! Well, after nearly forty years, perhaps I can beg forgiveness for being a bit confused. I’ve slept a few times since then.

We filmed the commercial during my eighth year at Squaw Peak Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona. Perhaps coincidentally (and perhaps not), I write this less than two weeks before my eighth-grade class reunion!

The first thing I remember? Someone from a local agency coming to our house to interview Mom, after she had answered a classified ad seeking “mother-daughter” lookalikes (even I couldn’t tell my mother and sister apart from a distance). When the woman arrived to do the interview, she said something like, “First, I need to see a box of Grape Nuts.” Mom promptly retrieved one from the kitchen. Turns out the interview would have ended abruptly had she not. Seems like “truth in advertising” actually meant something 36 years ago.

Then, I remember waiting through the first cut and the final cut, until the day we found out our family had been selected from among dozens (hundreds?) to film one of three Grape Nuts commercials in Arizona - two of the “mistaken-identity” variety (swimming and horseback riding), and one with a different approach (water skiing). Of the three, only ours achieved cult status, as evidenced by the wealth of satirical material compiled by my brother, Adam, on this excellent web site. Mom recently reminded me that I insisted we drive by the school, where I hung out the window screaming, “We’re going to be in a commercial!” I’ll take her word for that, since I don’t really remember doing it. But I do remember being excited. I had barely ever even been out of Arizona at that point, and now I was going to be famous!

After that, I remember getting my “Screen Actor’s Guild” card. Yep – I was a “professional” actor, if only for a day, and if only for “scale.” But it was never really about the money. It was about seeing my face on television!

Or perhaps it should have been about seeing my face on the cutting room floor. Because that’s where my few brief scenes ended up. Or almost all of them, but what should I have expected in a short commercial! It took me several viewings to spot even a bit of myself – “Look! There’s the back of my head at the breakfast table,” and “If you look really, really close, you can see me for about a nano-second standing in the background on the diving board!”

But that’s OK. My mother and sister filled the starring roles, according to the Grape Nuts “healthy breakfast commercial” raison d’etre – the rest of us were “extras.” And believe me, the reflected glory was lots of fun, too! Wish I had a dollar for every time some kid said to me, “I thought you were Dale!” My “extra” pay for a day’s “acting” work would pale in comparison!

(Bennett D. Burke, August 2004)


The first memory of our Grape-Nuts commercial was when Caroline phoned me at work to tell me of an ad in the newspaper that interested her. She said that some company was looking for a mother and daughter who looked alike, to enter some sort of contest, and that they wanted to take pictures. Sure they did.

Knowing that photographers run many similar ads for children, potential actors, beautiful women, dogs and cats, I warned her to be careful, as to me it sounded like some kind of scam.

After some thought and questions, she agreed to be interviewed. She and Dale dressed exactly alike, had similar bleached hair-dos, crossed their legs the same at the interview, and both chewed the same kind of gum. After this interview the ad looked more legitimate. Even though, I was still skeptical until I later learned that our whole family would be involved, and that we would compete with other Arizona families to be in a commercial.

It seems that almost overnight, Caroline took on the airs of a star, and in fact became one. There was now no turning back. You can't keep them down on the farm once they have seen the city, or something to that effect.

I think that we were all surprised at how well she and Dale did in the horseback and swimming practices. Who knew?

Caroline did an excellent job with her lines, make-up, dressing up, acting and confidence. Dale performed very well in her part and, for their limited roles, Adam and Bennett really got into it. During this whole process they were also very well behaved. People probably thought I was a father from Heaven with a family like this.

During all of these proceedings (of course, who wouldn't be), I was quite puffed up and close to getting "the big head."

At work I did an awful lot of bragging (probably got on some people's nerves) and did much the same to neighbors, my friends, my mother, brothers and sisters.

This event was a great experience and time for our family. We got more than our 15 minutes of fame.

Viewing the commercial, and knowing that it was being seen nationwide, was awesome. The fallouts from the commercial, i.e. local, national, cartoons, jokes and references were amazing.

I at work, the kids at school, Dale and Caroline at their homes, received many comments and questions about the commercial.

Lest I forget, during the filming, and whenever I saw an opportunity, I would saunter or kind of drift toward the camera, only to be told, "move away, we are aiming at the girls." I wonder why.

-- Robert Burke, 8-11-04

Date: Sunday September 1, 2002 - 11:40AM
Name: Mike Ransom
Email: mike@tulsaTVmemories.com
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Homepage: http://tulsaTVmemories.com
Comments: "Oh no, Mrs. Burke! I thought you...you were Dale!"

That phrase is indelibly etched in my mind along with "You're soaking in it". Thanks for the web site. I had forgotten that the Burkes were not actors, but real people (before television blurred the distinction.). I look forward to seeing the video clip on your site.

Date: Tuesday February 4, 2003 - 12:28PM
Name: Mike
Location: maine, USA
Comments: What a cool idea to document this on the internet. I feel privileged to get the insight and memories directly from the people involved. I do remember the commercial fondly and have enjoyed reliving it on this site (it would be great if you could post the video footage of the commercial!). Browsing this site and remembering the commercial takes me back to my childhood, a time of innocence. I've got a big smile on my face and "the warm fuzzies". Thanks!

(Tuesday February 18, 2003 -- From the host:) Thanks, Mike, for your comments! We appreciate your interest. The video of the commercial is now viewable from our site!

Date: Tuesday March 11, 2003 - 10:56AM
Name: Bonnie Lykes
Email: bebon@earthlink.net
Location: seattle
Homepage: epigenemusic.com
Comments: Great to see that again!! I completely remember it, thanks for sharing! How did you guys get the gig, by just looking fab in your suits? Is the "boyfriend" just an actor? Thanks again!

Date: Wednesday March 12, 2003 - 05:37PM
Name: April Tamuty
Email: April.PeopleStuff@Verizon.net
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Homepage: http://www.geocities.com/apriltamutyoriginals
Comments: OH MY GAWD...that was hysterical! I remember that commercial like it was yesterday! Please send my best to the movie stars!

Date: Thursday March 13, 2003 - 10:43PM
Name: Naj
Comments: That is real cute. My dad was with CBS-WGN and I was on tv a lot and I am not usually impressed because someone was on TV. But, this is a piece of Americana and American attitudes. I think it is really great!

Date: Friday March 28, 2003 - 12:19PM
Name: Willy Krause
Homepage: http://tesla.liketelevision.com/
Comments: hey... cool... I loved that commercial !!!
We used to joke about it all the time when we
were kids... why... I thought you were Dale. HA!

great stuff. Thank for pointing me to your site.

Willy Krause

Date: Sunday April 20, 2003 - 07:58AM
Name: Marilyn
Email: mcfarley9@aol.com
Location: Phx
Comments: Boy, Erma Bombeck didn't know when she said what she did, how true it would become, re babies raising babies! Loved this look at the past, and your idea of a scrapbook.

Date: Thursday March 18, 2004 - 02:33AM
Name: Mike Ransom
Email: mike@tulsatvmemories.com
Location: Tulsa
Homepage: http://tulsaTVmemories.com
Comments: Adam, congratulations on finding the Mad and Playboy cartoons. Great work!

Date: Thursday March 18, 2004 - 11:31PM
Name: Greg
Email: gregcyphers@photon.net
Comments: ...memories growing up with my cousins who looked like your mom and sister...using the famous line on them [ and others ] relentlessly...

Date: Monday May 3, 2004 - 07:22PM
Name: RJ, Webmaster
Location: TVObscurities.com
Homepage: http://www.tvobscurities.com/
Comments: I have to tell you I don't think I've ever gone to a website and clicked on just about every single link found there. At least, I hadn't until I went to your site. It was a blast! I checked out everything. I've got to say, you've done an awesome job archiving the commercial. I'm impressed.

Date: Thursday May 6, 2004 - 02:33PM
Name: Vida Pernick
Email: vidanrica@aol.com
Comments: I was the copywriter of that commercial, as well as several other appearing in different locales. We did a skiing mistaken-identity that was filmed in Lake Tahoe, and a horseback riding sequence filmed in the desert outside of Phoenix. All the participants were delightful to work with and were really such look-alikes, that it was hard to select the best of the lot. It was a most enjoyable time, filming the Burke family. A very attractive, personable and very-real mother/daughter subject.

Date: Monday June 14, 2004 - 04:13PM
Name: Raymond
Email: raymond [AT] sacmail.com
Location: California
Comments: Well imagine that! The great gems one can find on the internet. A new guy just started @ work today -- named Dale -- and of course I mentioned the famous "I thought you were Dale!" commercial. It's one of those great pieces of Americana (did you ever imagine the ad would become legendary?). I was about 8 when the spot appeared, and for 36 years now I still remember the product and even the guy's southern twang when he said, "Dale." BTW, remember the actor's name? There's a great nugget of trivia. Was he an actor, or just "some guy"?

Congrats on being such landmarks! And what a great idea to put this on the internet. I especially loved the behind-the-scenes clip. Imagine that: 36 years later and I'm still enjoying something new about that great GrapeNuts commercial.


Date: Monday July 26, 2004 - 07:55AM
Name: Tom Burke
Email: wddog@att.net
Location: Dewey, AZ
Comments: Brings back memories of the excitement generated within our family and being able to boast that the Burke family in the commercials just happen to be our relatives.
Well done website with the exception of some blurry print. A pleasure to have viewed the website. Good going Adam.

Tom Burke

Date: Monday July 26, 2004 - 04:02PM
Name: Susan Dial
Email: susan@commspeed.net
Location: Paulden, AZ
Comments: Hi Adam

Great website!!! Nice to see the commercial again. Saw your dad a week or so ago! Hope you're doing great!

Love Susan ("Biddle"...your cousin!)

Date: Friday August 13, 2004 - 11:36AM
Name: Forrest A Redford Burke
Comments: I've just taken a few minutes to read all the Burke memory entries on your web site...nice to have the entire 360 view of the event. The web site is lovely!

Date: Monday September 6, 2004 - 09:05PM
Comments: It was not an actor. It was me! An Arizona cowboy from Springerville, Az. I was rodeoing for ASU and working at a gas station at the time I landed the spot with the Burke girls.

Just a fun side note. I got an agent and did a bit of other stuff before going and flying jets in the Marine Corps, but before that I had to have some pictures taken for a portfolio and my agent lined me up with a struggling young actor who was doing photography on the side. I spent several days with him, met his family and had a great time doing the shoot. His name....Nick Nolte.

Nice to see the stuff and would like to hear from you all.

Dennis Sherwood

Date: Friday January 14, 2005 - 04:48AM
Name: Bill Long
Email: loyaltubist@dslextreme.com
Location: Riverside, CA
Homepage: http://members.dslexteme.com/users/loyaltubist
Comments: This was one of the classic TV commercials of all time. When I was a freshman in high school, the tuba section in the band was very large and the section leader's name was a boy named Dale. I would guess that poor guy got more jokes from that commercial than anybody. People would always greet him with, "Ah thought yew were Di-ale!" And you guys are all for real. That's great!

Date: Thursday May 10, 2007 - 05:00PM
Name: Rick Calic
Email: rick@jazzrockworld.com
Location: San Fransisco Bay Area
Homepage: http://www.jazzrockworld.com
Comments: Hello Burkes,

I must confess that I've used your name thousands of times over the years whenever I mistake the person I'm talking to. Thanks to the internet I was able to use your picture as well - just today.

On old flame emailed me pictures of her daughter helping her son dress for his prom, and her daughter's back was turned. I emailed back suggesting it was my friend in the picture. She quickly snapped back - that's not me, that's my daughter! So, a little Google and I used you again.

Thanks for all the great memories - now all I really want is to meet Farfil, the Nestle Quick dog...

All the best,

Rick Calic

Date: Wednesday May 14, 2008 - 01:23PM
Name: Brenda
Email: gatsbytroy@aol.com
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Comments: I was surfing the web and found this site and I remember the commercial well because I worked at Benton & Bowles for the producer of the commercial,Paul McDonough at that time. He was so excited about this project and got everyone else in the creative/production department excited as well. It's a fun memory to see this.

Date: Thursday June 9, 2011 - 05:39PM
Name: Dale Annette
Comments: Hi,

I was born in 1966 and was going to be named Brigette until my dad saw this commercial and thought "Dale" was such a cool name for a girl. He always told me that I was named after a girl in a "Grape Nuts" commercial and NOT after Dale Evans. For 44 years and 363 days, I have wanted to see this commercial and see what Dale looked like.

Last night I met a guy last night named Dale at a party and he quoted that commercial to me. I said "Oh My Goodness! No one has ever known what I am referring to when I tell them who I was named after and finally after all these years... a perfect stranger with the same name as me remembers the commercial."

He suggested I Google "I thought you were Dale" and sure enough I find this on You Tube and then your site. My 45th birthday is in two days and you have just given me the best present ever!... to finally see who I was named after all these years! I would love to see some more close up photos past and present of the one I was named after! Thanks for what you have already posted!!


Dale Annette

Showing 22 entries.