I wasn’t in Los Angeles during the years of Federated “Fred Rated”, although I’ve heard of these local ads told in folklore to be among the weirdest shit put to bad 80’s video.
Courtesy of Hidden Los Angeles:
One of the most berserk, outrageous and unforgettable TV comedies of the 1980s, doled out thirty seconds at a time, was the unending series of wacky, ultra-fast-paced commercial spots for the So Cal electronics chain The Federated Group that starred “Fred Rated”, the half-insane “Bass-O-Matic”-style spokesman with a smooth baritone and a suave smile (played by broadcasting legend Shadoe Stevens). Before he was the voice of “Hollywood Squares”, Stevens and his round-the-clock gung-ho skeleton crew tirelessly cranked out highly memorable, frenetic nuggets of dadaist Monty Python-esque video art disguised in the form of VCR and car stereo ads — amassing the astounding figure of over 1000 genius commercials in the span of just a few years, and leaving an indelible mark on the psyche of every L.A. TV-watcher.
Hidden Los Angeles held a contest to create your own “Fred Rated” commercial, and I was pleasantly surprised to see guest of the blog Jon Tomashefsky and & co won. They’ll be joing the H.L.A. crew at the Silent Movie Theater on June 15th premiering their piece along with a host of other shorts. Check out their video: