The Atlanta weatherman, Mr. Clean and the angels of darkness

Longtime Atlantans will remember Guy Sharpe, the courtly, silver-maned weatherman who stayed on the air for decades. You may also recall that he was a religious fanatic (and Amway salesman) who spread a very nutty rumor about Proctor & Gamble. According to Guy, the company’s trademark symbolized an allegiance to Satan, to whom P&G tithed 10 percent of its earnings.

It was a major suburban legend in the 1980s, swallowed by people who today would be questioning Barack Obama’s birth certificate. Witness this excerpt from a 1982 edition of 20/20:

Fox (voice over): None of these Southern California women are religious fundamentalists. But all were troubled by the rumor. (to women) What makes you uncomfortable?

1st woman: The thought of Satan being behind it.

2nd woman: I knew that I was going to use Cascade soap for my dishwasher before I ever got a dishwasher. I knew that I was going to use Pampers before I had kids. It’s incredible now it has affected my mind — and I never thought of using anything but Tide.

Fox: And you wonder what, whether there was some sort of mysterious draw to the products, is that it?

2nd woman: Yes, exactly.

I can relate. I always knew I’d be watching Guy Sharpe forecast the weather. I was convinced. Without sampling his competition. It was like he had affected my mind — and I never thought of anything but watching Guy Sharpe.

P&G eventually sued Guy, who settled out of court and publicly recanted. Somehow, he kept his job.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 461 other followers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: