The odd life of Joe Camel

Originally published at: The odd life of Joe Camel | Boing Boing


I always thought Joe Camel was strangely phallic.

tyler labine wink GIF by HULU


nicknamed “old scrotumface”.
yes. i’d have to agree.


ol Joe forms a classic lesson in advertising: it works. So any behavior we have eventually recognized as a notable social negative ought not to be advertised (“1st Amendment!!” …yes, but the “shouting ‘Fire’ in a crowded theater” provision ought to be active even with no implied conflagration). Have you espied any of the ads, often coupled with single shooter games, for automatic weapons? Banning such ads would be a tiny but definite step in the right direction as it was for happy cigarette cartoons.

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I used to collect “Camel Cash” when I was like… eleven or twelve years old, stealing them from my older brother. I’m almost certain I had Joe Camel posters on my wall, alongside “Spuds Mackenzie.” The advertising… it worked. When I began drinking and smoking at ~17, Camels and Budweiser were well-established in my brain as a the “cool” choices (not that I wasn’t drinking and smoking anything I could get my hands on).


My freshman year of college, I lived with 6 other women in a university apartment. As near as we could tell, the reason they put us together was that we all smoked, but all would be willing to smoke only outside. That was the year I switched to camels, because that’s what everyone else smoked, and we collected camel bucks.

By the Spring we had enough bucks to get us each a customized zippo, and that’s what we did. I did blur my initials because after all these years, you can still sorta read them.

And, I stuck with camels until I gave up tobacco completely, about 8 years ago.


NGL, that’s a pretty sweet lighter.


I might not smoke camels anymore, but sometimes other things do need to be set on fire.



Using kid-friendly mascots to sell toxic and destructive products and services is another tobacco industry “innovation” picked up by other horrible companies and organsations. I’ll just quote myself.


I actually smoked Camels back in the day and cashed in my Camel Cash for a monogrammed Zippo lighter - I still have it and use it today (not for cigarettes thankfully - I gave those up decades ago).

@cleveremi Here’s mine: A little tarnished but still in great condition. Date on the bottom reads 1992


Leave it to Robert Smigel:


The whole “his nose is a penis thing…” I gotta say, if that were the idea, then I was the prime audience for it. I was 13, I had a healthy vigorous interest in penises, and I was perfectly willing to let brands tell me what to think and do and buy.

I distinctly remember hearing the talk about how his dick-nose was supposed to enthrall the youths, so I took a good look, and found myself curiously unmoved. And that’s the age when every goddamn thing in your life has erotic overtones.

So I remain a non-smoker to this day. Maybe they should have given him tits, I dunno.


Zippos ARE nice lighters. I had one engraved and I left at a guys house and never got it back :frowning:
I didn’t even smoke cigarettes, I just had one to fiddle with for stupid tricks or as a fire starter.

I grew up with no only the cigarette commercials but also the beer commercials. Same kind of thing. I was lucky though. My dad smoked a pipe so I grew up hating the smell of tobacco and, for some reason, my body dislikes the effect of alcohol, so I avoided both vices.

It occurs to me that Joe Camel doesn’t seem to have taken off as much in furry circles as, say, Tony the Tiger. Not that I go looking for that sort of thing, but it’s been rather difficult to escape.

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Oh yeah, there’s definitely some cocknballs happening there

He is an amalgamation of all the genital combinations possible\

and cancer