Do you know the Maytag Man?
The iconic Maytag repairman has been around for more than half a century, but do you know all about the iconic character nicknamed
Ol’ Lonely? May is Maytag month and the perfect time to learn more about this classic American persona.
The loneliest guy in town was introduced in a 1967 TV commercial. Actor Jesse White played the original Maytag repairman who had no calls to make and nothing to do because of the reliability of Maytag appliances. His repair kit was full of tools to beat boredom, including a deck of cards and word puzzles.
An Exclusive Club
Only five men have held the role of the Maytag man, starring in print ads, commercials and making public appearances as the character. White held the title of Maytag repairman the longest—appearing in 68 commercials over 22 years.
Man’s Best Friend
In the 1980s, Ol’ Lonely got a little less lonesome when a canine sidekick, Newton, was introduced in commercials. The basset hound was named after Maytag’s headquarters in Newton, Iowa.
Calling All Maytag Men
In 2007, Whirlpool, Maytag’s parent company, launched nationwide open auditions to find the next Maytag man. One notable hopeful looking to land the role was professional football player Jim Sorgi—then-backup quarterback for Peyton Manning. The gig eventually went to Clay Jackson of Virginia, a real estate agent who had done some professional acting.
A Makeover for the Man
The Maytag repairman got his first-ever makeover in 2014.
Repair was dropped from the character’s title and he became simply
The Maytag Man. This new, modernized Maytag Man now appears in commercials as the appliances themselves instead of the bored repairman. The Maytag Man is younger and hipper than his repairmen predecessors, but he still wears the classic blue Maytag uniform.