Like nearly all of my age-cohorts, I spent great swaths of time watching TV. "Watching" really isn't the best way to describe it -- it was more like "immersed" in TV, wholly unavailable to the world outside the box, attending with the sponge-like nature known to young children. Everything was important, everything was real, everything was teaching me something, wildly inaccurate or not. To this very day some 50 years later, I can still recall the the jarring or creeping dread some well-intentioned and obviously powerful PSAs had upon my young psyche. They were micro-horror movies, crafted to to pack a wallop, and IT WORKED! Now, via our friend the Interhaps, I can share my ancient traumas with you, so please to enjoy these films that implore you not to do bad things!

Ack! A murderous cowboy cigarette! I mentally placed Johnny Smoke alongside the healthy, macho Marlboro Man and wondered who would win the eventual shootout. Bang, bang, you're dead, Marlboro Man.

Johnny Smoke

When I was growing up, it seemed everyone had an old refrigerator in their garage or basement, often not working. I can remember my mom telling me over and over again to NEVER NEVER NEVER go inside an old fridge and to tell a grownup of any of my friends did. Ol' Suffocator The Fridge hammered the message home: play hide n' seek in me, and you are IT. "IT" being next on the morgue slab.

Refrigerator PSA

Hahahaha! "Accidents can happen everywhere, to everyone, during a nuclear attack or even a natural disaster" OK. OK! OK OK OK OK OK OK! The bizarre marionettes make it much worse.

First Aid Marionettes

Who would do a better job at PSA horror that The Twilight Zone's Rod Serling? I believe this caused me to hysterically stamp out every cigarette my dad ever tossed to the ground.

Rod Serling Forest Fire

This cartoon starts off really groovy and ends up a TOTAL BUMMER!

Hanna Barbera Anti-Drug

Don't kill Mr. Kitty with Raid!!!

Pesticide PSA

I believe this infamous political ad was shown only once commercially. It's possible I saw it then, but definite that I saw it rebroadcast when I was little. I NEVER EVER FORGOT IT.

Daisy Girl ad

Oh, man. I can't tell you how many times I was in a car as a kid with an alcohol-impaired driver. This PSA struck home.

Drunk Driver PSA

And finally, the most famous PSA of them all. I totally cried, too.

Pollution PSA