Your Good Humor Personality

I have a memory. I am in my room in Oceanside, NY–I’m about 9 or 10 or maybe even 11. I remember the Beaches soundtrack playing on my low-grade tape player (or was it Dirty Dancing?) (and people wonder if homosexuality is genetic?); I remember my Apple IIgs sitting on my glossy beige desk; and I remember a large rectangular window that looked out on the street. West Waukena Avenue. Hey what’s that noise? It sounds like angel music; or a music box; or… it’s the ice cream truck!!

The ice cream truck is such an integral experience of childhood that if any of you didn’t have one growing up I’d find it perfectly acceptable for you to regress, dress like a toddler, and track one down in your nearest suburb. There’s no thrill like the thrill of running downstairs, yelling “mom! the ice cream truck’s here!” and darting out the door to make the most important decision of your day. And here it is:

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This image is iconic. These choices haven’t changed over the course of my lifetime. I still remember my mom choosing the candy center crunch because of the chocolate in the middle. Dad, I think, liked the premium ice cream bar. Me? I always got the same thing–time and time again:

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That’s the strawberry shortcake pop and it does for me what madelines did for Proust. Whisked back to those days of innocence, of summers spent at the public pool–the Oceanside Pool–where I flopped around the urine-saturated kiddie pool or risked death in the deep end of the adult pool. I remember our family forming a huddle around me so I could change my bathing suit; I remember cousins visiting and running to the snack bar in bare feet (ouch! ouch!) and them choosing Charleston Chews and me choosing my Good Humor Strawberry Shortcake pop. That perfect rectangle on a stick with a mysterious crunchy strawberry crumble on the outside: that’s what life’s all about.

Do you remember your flavor? What’s your Good Humor personality? I’m a Strawberry Shortcake man, through and through.

37 comments

  1. I don’t have to remember my favorite flavor, because I had one on Sunday and every time we go to the beach – Good Humor Toasted Almond, though Strawberry Shortcake is my runner-up, and when it all got boring: the candy center one.

  2. Oh, “Algida” is called “good humor” in the states? I never noticed this! And in Germany it is called “langnese”.I am a “magnum” personality, that is very much like the premium ice cream bar in your picture, but not so rectangular, rather with rounded edges, looks more like… well i can’t write it here….

    What is it called in your country, fellow commenter?

  3. Loved this post. Reminded me of my mother’s favorite ice cream, of course Strawberry Shortcake. Oh, by the way, blame the music. I do!

  4. Our local truck played the Mexican Hat Dance – like Pavlov’s dog, whenever I hear it I drool and think of Bomb Pops.

  5. Chipwich!

    I have been longing to hear that sound outside my window lately… but I haven’t seen an ice cream man in my neighborhood since last summer.

  6. Rocket Pop! I could never finish the thing, before it melted into a purply sticky mess, and the last bits fell off the stick. It was always fun playing beat the clock, though. Cherry, lemon, and…uh…blue. Best flavors, ever.

  7. I think it was called a cannon ball – a plastic cone filled with sherbet, and at the bottom, nestled in the pointy end, was a gumdrop. Two treats in one!!

    ahhh….

  8. I think it was called a cannon ball – a plastic cone filled with sherbet, and at the bottom, nestled in the pointy end, was a gumdrop. Two treats in one!!

    and they always gave you that little wooden paddle to eat it with. Always thought I was going to get a splinter in my tongue…

    ahhh….

  9. Didn’t they have a chocolate version of the strawberry shortcake? I seem to remember loving both versions, back in my fat kid days. Those, and the purple sorbet Pac-Man ghost popsicle, with a gumdrop nose! Too good.

  10. Rocket pop! That alternated with the Frozen Toes– a bright blue sherbet-like popsicle shaped like a foot with a gumball in the big toe. And our ice cream truck played Joplin’s The Entertainer. Ahh, good stuff. :)

  11. Oh geez, never mind… i see the chocolate version right there on the poster. In Toronto we have what we call the Dickie Dee, which is a sort of bike with a deep refrigerator at front. The kid driving it would ring the Dickie Dee bell and we’d all go racing out to it screaming. Our ice cream trucks mainly sell soft ice creams. Mmm, chocolate dipped…

  12. Our ice cream truck in San Diego also had every flavor imaginable of the twin popsicles. I’d get root beer, or lime if they were out.

    Just last week in downtown Iowa (yeah, big move) I ran into a bicycling ice cream man. He plays the music by hand cranking this contraption on the side of the icebox, which is mounted somehow over the front tire.

    Summer memories!

  13. While the strawberry shortcake and king cone can, from time to time, call to me, I am a chocolate eclair girl to the last.

  14. I always got the King Cone. Something about the weirdly artificial vanilla ice cream and the way the “cone” was always sort of soggy and chewy just seemed RIGHT to me.

  15. Ohhh… I liked the Chocolate Eclair Bar. That would be the Strawberry Shortcake’s more soulful cousin.

  16. Oh yes! Chocolate Eclair was the winner every time for me! I couldn’t get enough of those growing up! Just a little crunch on the outside that tasting like cake! Kinda like eating cake and ice cream on a stick without all of the mess!

  17. I never really got to eat from the ice cream truck cause my parents were too cheap and I had usually already spent my money on My Little Ponies. That and we couldn’t have food colouring because my Mom thought it turned us into little devil children( she never believed me when I said we were really just the spawn of Satan). But I really love tandem bars. I can’t ever decide between an ice cream sandwich and a bar. With Tandem-I don’t have to! half bar, half sandwich! Beautiful!

  18. When I was growing up in the ‘burbs, they had actual Good Humor trucks, not just generic ice cream trucks. They didn’t play a tune, but had a melodic tinkling bell. They were driven by guys dressed in immaculate white uniforms with visored white hats: the Good Humor Man! He was akin to a superhero. Like AG’s mom, I loved the candy center crunch — but like all promiscuous eaters, I dabbled in toasted almond, chocolate eclair, and others…

  19. Chocolate Eclair, baby!

    (And, erm, maybe once or twice I ordered the Choco Taco… but I was in California. Yea, that’s my excuse.)

  20. I remember a different strawberry shortcake popsicle… it was some odd brand that didn’t last very long but it was the best thing ever. And I can remember coming home from school and my mom and I sitting down with our ice cream treat… and I also remember the horror and confusion when that popsicle dissapeared…

  21. I have to go with the Toasted Almond bar – there’s an ice cream guy in my subway station who always has them. This article has inspired me to say – TODAY! Today is the day for Toasted Almond Ice Cream after work!

  22. does any one remember super sunday supreme. im looking to get some for a friend of mine who is turning 50 next month

  23. Does anyone know if there is a website where I can order some old flavors that aren’t sold on ice cream trucks or in stores. My mother loves the coconut bar Good humor used to make. And although she knows the ice cream truck doesn’t have she asks him anyway when we stop him for my 6 year old daughter. OK I can’t lie I stop him for me too!!!!

  24. In Pittsfield, MA, it was called the Ding Dong Cart, and my favorite was a cone of ice cream with a gumball at the end of the cone. King Cone, perhaps? In jr. high school I OD’d on chocolate eclair bars, but looking at the picture of them now makes me drool just a wee bit.

  25. I’ve never met an ice cream I didn’t like but I have to say…Strawberry Shortcake was tops on my list for quite some time. 1985…Like it was yesterday, mid afternoons skipping class and hanging in the cafeteria with my friends and Strawberry Shortcake. I think the crumbly coating must have been crack on the outside!

    Thank you for the memory.

  26. hi,

    my family loves good humor bars…………but i wasn’t satisfied when i opened my dark and milk chocolate box i found 2 milk chocolat bars and 4 dark chocolate bars and i was very unhappy

  27. From NYC ..Does anyone recall the sherbert pop with the animal popsicle sticks..If you got the animal of the week..you get a free cone? What was the name?

  28. Hello, does anybody recall a good humor flavor from the early 70’s that was called Tiger______? It was a orangy brown color that tasted like a rootbeer orange mixture?

  29. Does anyone remember the “Cherry Bomb”

    It had cherry sorbet in the center, vanilla ice cream around that, themn coated with chocolate shell! Yum!

  30. My earliest memories of the ice cream truck date back to when I was about two or three (circa ’86 or ’87, as was born in ’84). I remember getting something my mom called “blueberry ghost.” I loved that thing! It was blueberry flavored—not blue raspberry, but blueberry—and of course it had bubble gum eyes. My memory sometimes gets kinda fuzzy thinking back to when I was that young, but I think it may have been on a paddleball paddle instead of a regular stick. I dunno.

    “Rabsy” mentioned a purple Pac-Man ghost popsicle—maybe this was it? I looked up “Pac Man Popsicle” but was only able to find info on a yellow Pac-Man and a red ghost.

    At any rate, that disappeared when I was young. The ice cream truck made a big comeback in my life circa ’93 or ’94. I’d grab my dollar and chase the truck down wherever it was. I remember one time I was at Elder-Beermans with my parents and on the way home we passed an ice cream truck and I chose something called Dinosaur something-or-other, which had a crunchy chocolate coating and bright blue vanilla ice cream inside. That was really good too. I also used to get Bugs Bunny. Those three are, to this day, my all-time favorites. I haven’t had any of them since I had a Bugs bar back in summer of either ’04 or ’05. I know Bugs and Ninja Turtles are still being sold but only in certain ice cream trucks which don’t operate out of my small town.

    At any rate, I still, to this day, have a very good ear for ice cream trucks…I had to go home from my college (about an hour away) to do some stuff today and definitely heard an ice cream truck playing the tune properly known as “Turkey in the Straw.” But I haven’t been able to catch them lately. Sometimes the wind plays with my ears and I can’t tell which direction the sound is coming from.

    By the way, does anyone remember Ninja Turtle Pies that could be found at Hostess? I used to eat those when I was seven or eight. They were just regular pies with a green creamy filling; nothing too out-of-the-ordinary but I still remember the smell and the taste, and eating them while I was putting up glow-in-the-dark stickers on the wall of my bedroom closet. :P

  31. I remember the free stick the good humor tune and the man with the white uniform and white cap…I also remember the yummy “real chocolate” coated ice cream bar!I’m talking 50’s here!! ;)I too yearn for that tune…

  32. the sherbet pops of the early-mid 70’s I believe was called “the animal circus”. I used to get them all the time.I always got the orange sherbet.If they ran out I would settle for the raspberry. there were 6 or 7 different animals on the plastic stick.If you got a “monkey” you would get a free sherbet.this was the best tasting sherbet I have ever had in my life.I dont know if it was really that great.Maybe because it reminds me of my childhood that I remember it as being so tasty.the closest thing that tastes the same is the orange sherbet available in breyers half gallon “take two” of vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet.whenever i eat the sherbet it reminds me of being a kid and eating the sherbet cones hoping to get a “monkey”

  33. I have been trying to remember the name of the “cannon ball”. I had to finally google the idea. Thank you all for allowing me to relive my childhood memories.

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