Tuesday, Aug. 24, 1999 | 1:08 a.m.
Mr. Whipple says it's time to pass the toilet paper.
Veteran character actor Dick Wilson, who over the past seven years has had brain surgery, two strokes and deteriorating eyesight, would like his 37-year-old son, Stuart, to begin squeezing the Charmin when Wilson's current contract for the commercial runs out at the end of the year.
The 83-year-old Henderson resident is flying to Los Angeles this morning to film several new commercials for the toilet paper maker but doesn't foresee making any more when his contract ends.
With hopes of turning Mr. Whipple into a family franchise, Wilson said he is going to ask the producers of the commercial to allow his son to don the familiar smock and half-glasses of the Mr. Whipple character and to squeeze some new life into the product.
Stuart Wilson, a Los Angeles resident, is a physical fitness expert who teaches boxing and martial arts.
"I've been training him to be Mr. Whipple," Dick Wilson said. "He looks like me if he puts on the glasses."
A spokesman for D'Arcy, Masius, Benton and Bowles of New York City, the agency that handles the Charmin account for Procter & Gamble, could not be reached this morning.
Wilson has made 504 Charmin commercials since the first one aired in 1964.
"I thought it was just going to be a one-shot deal," said Wilson.
But the one-shot deal turned into a commercial career that has allowed him to squeeze out a comfortable living by telling ladies "Don't squeeze the Charmin."
A number of years ago producers of the Charmin commercial decided to try something different and replaced Mr. Whipple with a cartoon and then a couple of cats but about seven months ago brought Wilson's character back to the small screen.
Wilson says he is paid $320 each time he makes a Charmin commercial, and $320 each time it airs.
Except when it airs on Nick at Night, a nostalgia channel that occasionally runs some of the earlier commercials.
"I don't get paid anything for that," said Wilson, with the exasperated look.