Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Origins of 12 Modern Icons

Mr. Whipple

The expression "Do as I say, not as I do" took on a persona in the mid-1960s -- Mr. Whipple, to be specific. This fussy supermarket manager (played by actor Dick Wilson) was famous for admonishing his shoppers by saying, "Ladies, please don't squeeze the Charmin!" The people at Benton & Bowles Advertising figured that if, on camera, Mr. Whipple was a habitual offender of his own rule, Charmin toilet paper would be considered the cushiest on the market. The campaign included a total of 504 ads and ran from 1965 until 1989, landing it a coveted spot in the Guinness Book of World Records. A 1979 poll listed Mr. Whipple as the third most recognized American behind Richard Nixon and Billy Graham.