CLOSE
YouTube / ScottithGames
YouTube / ScottithGames

Chubby Checker's Lost "Dig Dug" Atari Commercial

YouTube / ScottithGames
YouTube / ScottithGames

In 1982, Chubby Checker recorded a song about Dig Dug, the classic Atari game, for a commercial. Checker's "Twist"-style recording was not used in the commercial—it appears to have been re-recorded by somebody else—though it's unclear why.

Three days ago, Matt Osborne (son of the late Atari VP of Marketing Don Osborne) posted the song online for the first time. Here it is on SoundCloud:

(Compare to Checker's hit "The Twist." The similarities are obvious, though hearing Checker describe Dig Dug gameplay is pretty trippy.)

Matt Osborne wrote:

My father, Don Osborne, was the Vice President of Marketing of ATARI's Coin-op division at the time and he brought this home one day for us to listen to. I'm not sure how I actually ended up with it, but he may have lent it to me and I just never gave it back or he never asked for it to be returned. The only info that I have about it was that ATARI had envisioned a somewhat '50's styled take on the song, inspired, in part, by Chubby Checker's hit "The Twist." At the time that I'd heard the song and had got possession of the tape, it was fully intended that Chubby's song would be used in the final commercial. It's been over 30 years, that and I was about 13 at the time, so details are fuzzy, but I remember my father being extra excited that Chubby was involved in the project and had great things to say about having met him. After that, I don't recall why his [song] was eventually dropped in lieu of the one in the final cut of the commercial. The only thing that makes sense is that Chubby might have appealed to a much older audience and not the one that the commercial was targeted towards, so they eventually [chose] a younger representation for the band singing the song. Still, try going online and digging up any history, or even a mention of Chubby's involvement, and you will find very little. I'd love to know more myself, so please share if you find anything out.

Compare the audio above with the (Clio Award-winning) commercial as it actually aired:

The song is present, but the singer is not Chubby Checker. What's up with that?

So, people on the internet, it's your move. Does anyone know the true story of why Chubby Checker's vocals were not used in the final Dig Dug commercial? (I suppose we could just ask Chubby Checker; he's 72 and still performing.)

If you're not sure what this game is, or want a heavy dose of nostalgia, you can play Dig Dug online courtesy of The Internet Archive. Watch out for rocks!

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
quiz
Multi-Category Television Blitz
iStock
iStock
nextArticle.image_alt|e
Pop Chart Lab
arrow
Comics
The Origins of 36 Marvel Characters, Illustrated
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

No matter what their powers, every super hero has an origin story, from Spider-Man’s radioactive bite to Iron Man’s life-threatening chest shrapnel. In their latest poster, the designers at Pop Chart Lab have taken their infographic savvy to the Marvel Universe, charting the heroic origins of 36 different Marvel characters through miniature, minimalist comics.

Without using any words, they’ve managed to illustrate Bucky Barnes's plane explosion and subsequent transformation into the Winter Soldier, Jessica Jones’s car crash, the death of the Punisher’s family, and other classic stories from the major Marvel canon while paying tribute to the comic book form.

Explore the poster below, and see a zoomable version on Pop Chart Lab’s website.

A poster featuring 36 minimalist illustrations of superhero origin stories.
Pop Chart Lab

Keep your eyes open for future Marvel-Pop Chart crossovers. The Marvel Origins: A Sequential Compendium poster is “the first release of what we hope to be a marvelous partnership,” as Pop Chart Lab’s Galvin Chow puts it. Prints are available for pre-order starting at $37 and are scheduled to start shipping on March 8.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios