Minutes from the mall!

As I mentioned previously, this past weekend was the memorial service for my great aunt Freda, who died at the age of 96 — sharp until the end.  And because I have you here, I’ll mention that she was married to my great uncle for over 70 years before his death. I know. I once asked my uncle, who also died in his nineties, how he and my aunt stayed so sharp and healthy. He said, “Garlic.” Do with that information what you will, people.

Anyway, in order to get to the memorial service, my sister Pens Fan and I drove together through West Mifflin and out past the Pittsburgh Institute of Aeronautics and eventually to the South Hills.

Uh, I think. Pretty sure that’s where we ended up. I don’t know.

It isn’t the most familiar of territory for us as the last time we were anywhere near that place was maybe a trip to Century III Mall as teenagers.

As she drove, guided by me telling her where her iPhone GPS was telling us to go, this happened:

Me: “Okay, you’re going to stay on this road for a few miles and it’ll turn into another road and then it’ll turn into another road and then you’ll make a soft left onto Baptist.”

Her: “Got it. Wait. Is this road Lebanon Church Road Pittsburgh?”

Me: [blink]

Her: [blink]

Us: [LOL!]

This immediately turned into an entire conversation during which we broke into commercial jingle at least three times.

YouTube Preview Image

“Century Three! Chevrolet! Lebanon Church Road Pittsburgh!”

“Minutes from the mall!”

“You can’t just say Lebanon Church Road … you have to say the Pittsburgh, too.”

“Remember in the commercial how the little dot would jump on the words like karaoke?”

“Hey look! There’s Century Three Chevrolet!”

“Lebanon Church Road!”

“Pittsburgh!”

“Minutes from the mall!”

I swear we were totally sober.

Then that very evening at my parents’ house with the whole family there for my birthday dinner, I kid you not, a Century III Chevrolet commercial came on the TV, bouncing-ball accompanied jingle and all.

We were ecstatic. “Century Three … come on, EVERYBODY! … Chevrolet.”

I swear we were still totally sober.

My points are that 1. Century III Chevrolet has an incredible, timeless jingle. 2. the 90-20 guys wish they were that catchy, 3. I apologize in advance for getting that jingle stuck in your head.

And finally, 4. I also apologize for the essence of garlic that will be oozing from my pores from this day forward.





51 Comments


  1. Marci
    June 2, 2010 4:06 pm

    That jingle used to irritate the daylights out of my father. His point is this is WEST MIFFLIN, not Pittsburgh. He didn’t care that nothing really rhymes with West Mifflin.
    Not to mention since you drove through West Mifflin you were only 10 minutes away from Pido’s Pub – and Zima. :)



  2. Al
    June 2, 2010 4:24 pm

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one that does this anytime I happen to be on Lebanon Church Road (Pittsburgh).



  3. Tara
    June 2, 2010 4:30 pm

    Today my husband and I had to run out to Wilmerding (don’t ask) and he was navigating as I drove. At one point he says “Turn right onto Electric Avenue”. Two beats later and I’m singing ‘We gonna rock down to Electric Avenue…’

    He just glared at me.

    ‘…And then we’ll take it higher’

    Stone cold sober here too.



  4. Diana
    June 2, 2010 4:36 pm

    This post makes me happy. I’m from the South Hills and have traveled Lebanon Church Road (Pittsburgh) more times than I could possibly count. And the jingle never gets old.



  5. LucyLou
    June 2, 2010 4:52 pm

    Little known fact…I actually worked for the agency that created that jingle and did Century III commercials. It was my first job out of college. The “minutes from the mall” voice was a pre-pubescent 5th grader from the eastern side of the state who is well in his 30’s by now, I’m sure, and probably has no inkling of his rock star status in western pa. I participated in one of the commercial shoots at the dealership…got to drive the GEO Tracker (hot item at the time) off the set. Wow…those are way back memories!



  6. strugglingwriter
    June 2, 2010 4:55 pm

    That jingle will outlive us all. I don’t even live in Pittsburgh (I’m in Centre County) but I’ve heart that jingle a zillion times thanks to FSN Pittsburgh and the Pirates and Penguins.

    I hate those 90-20 cartoon superhero guys.



  7. hello haha narf
    June 2, 2010 5:50 pm

    praise the sweet baby jesus, i'[m not the only one who does these things. SOBER!

    whew…



  8. hello haha narf
    June 2, 2010 5:51 pm

    look at that…you had me all excited to the point where i can’t even type. i had to actually look to see where the [ came from.
    hmmmmmmmmm. maybe i actually do need a drink…



  9. Dana
    June 2, 2010 6:53 pm

    When I first moved to Pittsburgh and heard that jingle, I thought the last line was “KIDS AT THE MALL!” I didn’t get it, but I thought it was a weird Pittsburgh thing until my roommate told me it was actually “minutes from the mall.”



  10. Ecstatic Pitt Student
    June 2, 2010 7:38 pm

    Would like to let you know that this jingle is SO GOOD that it ended up in Dallas-Forth Worth in the early 90s. Here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3i6_Rz0nrM

    Oh, and this is why everyone should love Pittsburgh transplants (and students!) (And not tax us!): we can show you how far reaching the ‘Burgh goes.



  11. who
    June 2, 2010 7:52 pm

    Freeman’s Dodge
    Long Breach freeway
    brimstone and fire exit
    locked South Gate

    beacon call released 6/2/2010 @ 16:52:36



  12. mfj
    June 2, 2010 8:29 pm

    I remember the girl from those commercials was really cute. We need to find out whatever happened to her.



  13. redram1
    June 2, 2010 9:08 pm

    @6, Those 90/20 guys remind me of The Ambiguosly Gay Duo from the ’90’s

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ambiguously_Gay_Duo

    Just a side, my father, sister and myself all bought vehicles from that place. Never again!



  14. Jen
    June 2, 2010 9:16 pm

    aaaaaand, yes. Totally stuck in my head! Thank you for that ;)



  15. LucyLou
    June 2, 2010 10:08 pm

    @Ecstatic Pitt – Good call! They did run in Dallas/Ft Worth and also in Tulsa. There was one family that owned all of those dealerships. There was also a separate dealership in southern california that used the jingle. Who knew the bouncing ball was so far-reaching, eh?



  16. Andy T.
    June 2, 2010 10:16 pm

    Ever actually looked at a car at Century III? I did almost exactly 17 years ago and I still am pissed about how I was treated. Hate the place. Hate the jingle.



  17. Rachel
    June 2, 2010 10:57 pm

    Being a displaced Pittsburgher, this post is like Smiley Face cookies, traffic congestion at the Squirrel Hill Tunnel and IC on tap. I cannot get enough of this commercial.

    Husband and I drove by Century III Chevrolet countless times during our last trip to PGH and every time we passed, it, each of us busted out into the jingle.

    So it’s not just you, PittGirl!



  18. Dotty
    June 2, 2010 11:38 pm

    Loved that post…..remembered that commercial…needed the laugh!



  19. Heather
    June 2, 2010 11:42 pm

    Another relocated PA gal, and I knew where this was going the moment I read your title. Love it!



  20. Nader Hydar
    June 3, 2010 12:13 am

    That mall sucks



  21. PittinDC
    June 3, 2010 12:16 am

    Totally have that stuck in my head now! As someone who grew up in the South Hills, we drove past there all the time. My grandparents lived right behind it. I’m pretty sure my parents wanted to kill my brother and I for many years because we would always sing that when we passed it.. every single week.



  22. Chris
    June 3, 2010 6:17 am

    Here’s one for you….I used to work at Century III Mall eons ago and the marketing guy at the time actually was pissed because they used the name of the mall in the jingle. I remember thinking…HELLO?!?!?!?! FREE ADVERTISING!!!

    He was a dolt.



  23. lovesthenorthside
    June 3, 2010 7:47 am

    that commercial leaves aunt penny and the 90/20 guys in the dust (don’t even get me started on aunt penny). my son used to think it was “treats from the mall,” which is what we say now. we rarely get to lebanon church road (pittsburgh, but when we do, we’re singing. and sober.



  24. Beatrice
    June 3, 2010 8:27 am

    That’s great. My sister and I would have had the exact same conversation if it were us driving down Lebanon Church Road…Pittsburgh. :)



  25. Christine
    June 3, 2010 11:13 am

    Jing-a-ling-a-ling give Roth a ring.



  26. Kathy
    June 3, 2010 11:14 am

    The jingle definitely gets stuck in your head. I used to drive past it every day and the darn thing does become the worst ear bug. However, I would not recommend Century III Chevrolet to anyone. The salesmen there are the worst kind of pushy vultures and don’t expect to be told the truth about your vechicle.



  27. pghsciencenerd
    June 3, 2010 11:15 am

    My old work carpool detoured on Lebanon Church Road once due to some insane construction on 837, and when we passed Century III Chevy everyone in the car, without warning, burst out into the jingle. What a classic.



  28. elysianfantasy
    June 3, 2010 11:30 am

    @Tara, one of my best friends used to live in Wilmerding and I could NEVER stop singing “We’re gonna rock down to Electric Avenue” every time I turned onto that street. You kind of just have to! It’s an automatic response.

    I seriously love that jingle. It sucks that people have had bad experiences with the dealership, though. It sort of taints the jingle for me…just a little.



  29. Becky
    June 3, 2010 11:40 am

    No lie, when I read the title of this post, Minutes from the Mall, I knew exactly what it was going to be about AND I sang the jingle! :)



  30. Kate
    June 3, 2010 12:10 pm

    How about Edgar Snyder?

    That’s 391-2101. 391-2101.

    I totally ran into him waiting to be seated downtown. He had reservations under the name “Barman” or “Lawman” or something like that.

    I was all SPARKLE SPARKLE SPARKLE because it was Edgar Snyder.



  31. T
    June 3, 2010 12:16 pm

    I got my first car from Century III Chevrolet. It took me years to figure out what that kid was saying! Oh and that mall does suck…



  32. unsatisfied
    June 3, 2010 12:35 pm

    God, how I hate that jingle.

    for me — as far as local commercials go, sorry — the ones with cindy “why, yes, as a matter of fact, I am made of wood” berger and larry “so what if I look like a child molester” green rule over all others…..



  33. LaReina
    June 3, 2010 12:38 pm

    When I returned to the Burgh after many years in the midwest, the first thing that assaulted my eyes and ears on local TV was an Edgar Snyder ad. Keep in mind I was an attorney who, at the time, was completely fed up and disgusted with my profession and the bottom feeders who dwell therein. Imagine my shock and chagrin when I actually saw him downtown. I almost punched him.



  34. Angry Mongo
    June 3, 2010 12:51 pm

    OK, I’ll give you props on the dealership jingle, but if any of you get that repetitive Renaissance Festival jingle stuck in my head, I’ll…..

    aw, crap.



  35. burghgal
    June 3, 2010 1:16 pm

    My dad went to C3 Chevy once to buy a car.

    He described it as being raped with your clothes on.

    Every time I see a car with a license plate holder from C3 Chevy.. I think “wonder if they used lube”?



  36. GoBobbo
    June 3, 2010 1:27 pm

    I love the jingle! Even if the mall sucks and I’ve never purchased a car from Century III Chevrolet.

    Imagine a Super Pittsburgh Marketing Commercial with Edgar Snyder, Aunt Penny, a bouncing ball and the Eat’n Park tree!!!



  37. Jenny
    June 3, 2010 1:32 pm

    I used to work at an insurance office in the South Hills. I had to quite often deal with salesman at Century III Chevrolet to verify insurance coverage for our customers. Horrible, horrible, rude human beings. The sales manager was the worst. I would never recommend that place to anyone.



  38. Dave Cochenour
    June 3, 2010 1:44 pm

    I worked at Rax for three years just down from PIA. Then worked at the mall for 3 years. My stepmother still works there at Kaufmanns-Lazarus-Macys-whateverthehellitisnow.

    Bought a cavalier from there. Tranny blew in Buffalo. Under warranty but too young to get a rental or loaner. Rode a bus for a week. Brought it back flipped out and got a truck, that didn’t last long either.

    Century III mall is dying and it is a shame. I grew up there, had lots of dates there, and earned a living for a while.

    When I came back after being away for 10 years it broke my heart to see Century III becoming Eastland.



  39. Trinity
    June 3, 2010 1:55 pm

    No lie, I still sing that jingle every time I drive through that part of West Mifflin when I’m home.

    My husband thinks I’m insane.

    No worries for getting it stuck in my head. I’m cracking up. :)



  40. Monty
    June 3, 2010 2:14 pm

    Here is some sorbet to clear the Century III Chevrolet song from your brain:

    QUINN AND BANANA
    QUINN AND BANANA
    IN THE MORNING
    IN THE MORNING
    B-94 FMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.



  41. Angry Mongo
    June 3, 2010 2:32 pm

    Q&B B94 jingle FTW!



  42. Dave Cochenour
    June 3, 2010 2:35 pm

    Cracks me up to hear Quinn now



  43. John Franco
    June 3, 2010 2:51 pm

    It’s truly amazing to me that:

    1) Everyone in the world appears to know the jingle

    2) Everyone who’s ever dealt with Century III Chevrolet hates the place

    Maybe the jingle works as they get enough one-time customers to stay in business.

    Maybe they don’t get any bad word-of-mouth because every time someone tries to say something bad about Century III Chevrolet, the person they’re talking about starts singing “Lebanon-Church Road Pittsburgh…” and the bad-mouthing never gets finished. Brilliant marketing, that.



  44. Julie
    June 3, 2010 2:56 pm

    a few points
    1) my brother and I also thought they said ‘kids from the mall’
    2) someone mentioned they worked at the RAX near the PIA. RIP! I loved the damn salad bar there. 3) grew up in the miff and cruised lebanon church road all the time. unfortunately, there is not much happening there nowadays. i dont think century III chevrolet or the mall are desirable destinations but that jingle is catchy. i knew exactly where the post was going when I saw that title.



  45. Traveller
    June 3, 2010 3:03 pm

    I remember the one blonde hottie that did a lot of the old Century 3 Chevrolet commercials. She also played Iceberg the Penguin in the movie “Sudden Death”. I cheered when the bad guys shot her in the face to take her costume.



  46. Judy
    June 3, 2010 3:24 pm

    I thought the blond was for Bowser Pontiac. She used to dress up in silly outfits. I think she was the owner’s daughter.



  47. Dave Cochenour
    June 3, 2010 3:31 pm

    Julie,
    I worked at the Rax from 1990 until 1994. I had a great time there and was sad to hear it was gone. When I came home from the Navy the first time to find a gas station there I poured out a little of my beverage in memory.

    The funniest part was that the couple who purchased it when Rax corporate went out of business were devout Hindus. Who believed that cows were sacred. They bought a restaurant that served Roast Beef as it’s primary meal.



  48. jennviolet
    June 3, 2010 8:00 pm

    I never could understand what that kid was saying, “minutes from the mall”.
    Slightly embarassed that it took me 20+ years to figure out…



  49. andrea
    June 3, 2010 11:03 pm

    @ unsatisfied — Yes! It’s a terrible jingle! I hate it — If I ever started to sing it, I would stop, on principle.

    I know a lawyer — a very respectable gentleman, nonetheless — who went to law school with Edgar Snyder. Since he lived in another part of the state, he was stunned to travel to Pittsburgh back in the 90s and see Snyder’s TV ads: “There’s no fee unless we get money” — awkward pointing — “for you.” Said Snyder was not even average in law school but everyone figured he’d succeed because he was so openly, obnoxiously ambitious. Now he’s rich. And our lives are infinitely richer because of his ads…



  50. who
    June 4, 2010 6:20 pm

    I was only funning about the beacon. I can’t send it out unless everyone with a key syncronizes the launch code!
    LOL!

    pay backs a witch innit?