February 14, 2011

Sanford & Sons and Jelly Belly

Back of the Cereal Box noticed the jarring disambiguation message on the Wikipedia entry for Jelly Belly, and wrote:

Why is it so much better that the name Jelly Belly can refer to either the brand of fancy jellybeans or the horrific disease pseudomyxoma peritonea, in which a tumor causes excess mucus production that swells the abdomen and compresses and endangers the various torso vital structures?

David Klein, the creator of the Jelly Belly (the candy, not the stomach cancer…), responded to the above post with the trivia that the bean’s name was inspired by the name of blues musician Lead Belly, which he’d heard on an episode of Sanford & Son. I’ll go one step further down the trivia chain: I assume he’s referring to the episode “The Blind Mellow Jelly Collection” (YouTube straight to the clip)!

This almost seems poetic: Klein named his candy business after watching a TV episode about a man unwittingly selling his valuable record collection, and later he himself met a similar fate, forced to sell his rights to Jelly Belly early on, for a significantly low value.