What You Never Knew About Richard Lewis’ BoKu Commercials

BoKu aimed to be a grown-up alternative to other fruit juice brands that typically catered to children. Richard Lewis’ angsty humor lent itself to the brand’s overarching narrative: aren’t we all tired of drinking the same sugary sodas and little kid juice boxes? With impassioned statements like, “Belching is for babies!” and, “It’s my undeniable right as a man of the ’90s to quench my thirst in my own way,” Lewis was the perfect voice of a brand that promised “flavor just slightly over the edge.” 

“They wanted me to be me, y’know?” Lewis told Vulture. “To say that I’ve been typecast would be an understatement. That’s what they wanted — Richard Lewis, a stand-up comedian who touches his head a million times like a woodpecker.” Typecast or not, Lewis said he was given significant creative freedom when collaborating with the copywriters of Noble & Associates, the ad company that produced the commercial campaign.

Lewis was featured in seven BoKu commercials between 1990 and 1993 before the no-carbonation company eventually fizzled out after failing to overtake its competitors like Minute Maid and Welch’s. Richard Lewis, married to Joyce Lapinsky, died on February 27, 2024. He was actively working up to his death, posting about ongoing projects the week before his passing in a now heartbreaking tweet. 

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