National Enquirer Commercial with Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden)
My entire family did their grocery shopping once a month. While there, we all had specific assignments. As the youngest, my assignment was probably the easiest, I pushed the cart.
It was insanely boring until I discovered the magic contained with the tabloid newspapers that they kept near the registers. Once I realized I could spend the entire visit reading them, I would grab one of each and then just stare at all the odd stories while the rest of my family filled the cart. When I found a particularly good story, say about Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster, I would illuminate everyone around me, family or not, about what I had learned.
I preferred the “less reputable” and more sensationalist Weekly World News, but I got more attention from the people around me when I talked about the gossip in The National Enquirer.
The National Enquirer was founded in 1926 in New York City as the The New York Evening Enquirer. In the Fifties, the paper changed its format and focus and also changed its name to The National Enquirer.
A decade later, the paper, realizing it could make more money at the registers of supermarkets than at newspaper stands, changed its reporting. They abandoned the sleazier and more graphic stories and instead began focusing on celebrity gossip and Big Foot-like stories.
That was the format I was familiar with when I was pushing that grocery cart. A format that was captured perfectly in this commercial in 1983.
Did you see who that was?! It’s Gates McFadden.
Well a few years after this commercial aired, I remember watching the premier of Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG), and thinking, that doctor sure looked familiar. Perhaps I had seen Gates McFadden’s soap opera work and didn’t remember, but I doubt it. My memory of her, my complete knowledge of her career up till that point, was as one of those people who “want to know.”
While looking up McFadden’s career, one of my favorite things to find was this brief cameo where she gets kissed by Bill Murray on Saturday Night Live back in 1981.
McFadden is great in this commercial. She has a natural charisma that makes her the standout among the actors. After this ad ran, she would go onto to appear in a few TV shows and films, most notably for me the TV series, The Wizard.
It makes me wonder if when she was being cast for her role in TNG, if this is the thing people remembered her most for? Whatever the case, it’s a fun bit of history and a great commercial.