The ad appears to star either Billy De Wolfe or Will Greer in drag. (De Wolfe, with a similar trademark mustache, was a vaudeville performer and played the voice of Professor Hinkle on the animated favorite "Frosty the Snowman." De Wolfe occasionally appeared as an old woman in drag for other performances. Greer was a gay actor who was partnered with gay activist Harry Hay in the 1930s. Known for his radical politics and being blacklisted as a Communist, Greer later played Grandpa Zeb on "The Waltons.")
Sitting in an elaborate rocking chair next to an old lamp, an "older woman" in granny glasses, shawl and hat, speaks to the camera, "Pa says this Ban Roll-On deodorant is good for what ails me. But I don't feel sick!"
The narrator adds, "Maybe he does." She (with a thin mustache) scowls in appalled insult. "You devil!" she replies.
The tagline: "Ban won't wear off as the day wears on."
At the end, granny now has a flowery blouse on and says, "Kiss me quick!" with a smack of her lips.
This is the earliest example of drag in the Commercial Closet archive.
In 1952, Bristol-Myers introduced Ban, the first deodorant of its kind -- an anti-perspirant deodorant made in lotion form. While other lotion and liquid deodorants were already on the market, it was the packaging that made Ban a pioneer: a bottle with a plastic applicator that rolled deodorant directly to the underarms. Ban’s was the first roll-on deodorant.