Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Slim Jims Ashtray

Submitted by Allee Willis June 3rd, 2010
Certifikitsch Winner

Anyone who knows me would be shocked I’ve never actually tasted a Slim Jim given my proclivity for junk snacks. It isn’t even that I don’t think I’d like the taste; it’s more that these are usually located near the cash register where the candy is and if my eyes ever wandered towards junk they were drawn to chocolate and caramel as opposed to meatstuff.


My “Packed in Cellophane All Beef Ready-to Eat Spiced Sausage Treat for 10¬¢” Slim Jim cig dunk is one of my favorite tin ashtrays. I’m especially intrigued with the slogan, “Make Your Next Drink Taste Better”.


If that’s the best thing that can be said about the taste of Slim Jims I will probably spend the rest of my life never having partaken of one.

I’m not quite sure what’s in a Slim Jim but among its ingredients is “mechanically separated chicken”. I’m not quite sure what that is either.

Slim Jim’s are manufactured by the Cherry-Levis Food Prod. Corp. Any company that’s too lazy to write out ‘Productions’ or “Products’ is Kitsch enough for me. Not to mention that Cherry Levis sounds like a great drink or line of jeans.


Speaking of great drinks, I left that Slim Jim soaking in my Vernors Ginger Ale after I took that photo and now it looks like a life preserver.


Seen from another angle it looks like a variety of things:


Speaking of angles, after hawking pickled pig’s feet to local taverns and observing that the most popular food there was pepperoni, Adolph Levis, inventor of the Slim Jim in the 1940’s, created his own preserved meat product that rather than curing for weeks could transform in a matter of days via fermentation and hot smoking.

Speaking of smoking, my Slim Jims ashtray has little cigarette rests…


… though I think using it as an appetizer tray and resting a Slim Jim there is more appropriate.


8 Responses to “Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Slim Jims Ashtray”

  1. MyFunCloset

    Just love the lines on your 40’s style ashtray. Not 10c anyone and not sure it’s all beef anymore. I must admit, I’ve had my share of Slim Jim nitrite loaded beef stixs. After seeing them inflated in ginger ale, it may be awhile before I get one in the check out line.
    That image will be with me for quite awhile. A carrot is a better choice.

    • Allee Willis

      I know, I don’t usually tip toward the gross but I was so intrigued by the slogan on the ashtray that I envisioned the Slim Jim as a straw and wanted to include a photo of that in my blog. I forgot and left it submerged in the glass and walked back in in a few hours and was horrified! At that point I decided to leave it in for a few more hours and see what happened. However, it never inflated beyond what you see here.

  2. Lisa Rios

    Yikes! The Slim-Jim experiment gone wrong is terrifying. I’ve tried ’em. Yuk. I was actually jealous when I read you had never tasted one.

    However, a nice fried sliced Spam and egg sandwich w/mayo can’t be beat. Just saying!


      • Lisa Rios

        Oh yes! That’s how I knew you weren’t a Spam aficionado.

        As much as I enjoyed John’s Spam can…. the KFC bucket absolutely killed me.

        Thanks for this site. I’ve been having gobs of fun!

        • Allee Willis

          I agree, the KFC bucket is astounding. I’m sorry I have no photo of the box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes that he did. That was my favorite thing in the show. As a conceptual display I also really loved his Kraft macaroni and cheese as dominoes, 100 boxes of the cheesy stuff. He pushed the first one and the whole thing toppled like dominoes.

  3. MyFunCloset

    Regarding the photos from “food for thought party” site.
    When you close your eyes at night, you must think…”what a fabulous life I have”!!!