If guests didn't feel like getting liquored up at this year's NotBillable Christmas party, they had their choice of Coke, Diet Coke, cranberry juice or sarsaparilla soda, and even though ages ranged from 26 to 70, the reaction to the sarsaparilla was uniform: "I thought they only drank that in old movies." Fred Astaire was mentioned repeatedly. Several people grabbed a bottle for that very reason.
After a while, I thought to myself that it had to be because of the tomato-tomahto song. Right? Specifically the lyric, "you like vanilla, I like vanella. You sarsaparilla, I sarsaparella." But look: Astaire never sings that line. It's the later versions—probably Ella Fitzgerald's—that made that particular verse famous. It's somehow become associated with Astaire after all these years. And God bless him, it's still selling the sarsaparilla.
Oh. And if you watch the video, double check something for me. It looks like Fred and Ginger skate for almost a minute and half before there's an edit. From 3:12 to 4:54. That's just—I don't know what that is. Stunning?