When Did the Record Scratch Cliché Start?

Every so often I get to wondering about the origins of annoying clichés, and the one I’ve been wondering about lately is the use of the record needle scratch in trailers, commercials and and other promotional videos. This cliché started not long after scratching actually became an accepted effect in popular music, but when did they start using the needle scratch for “comic” effect in TV and movies?

The first time I can remember hearing the effect was in the terrifyingly catchy Sprite jingle from the late ’80s, though you could argue that in that case, they were using it not for comedy but to sound hip.


The ironic thing about all this, of course, is that needle-scratching became a Hollywood cliché only after vinyl records were on the way out, and now that vinyl records are fashionable again, the needle-scratching thing is less popular (because it’s been made fun of so often, as in the famous South Park Rob Schneider trailers).

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