Do You Remember? Joe Boxer

Boring boxer shorts got a personality when Joe Boxer turned underwear into funderwear. Like Underoos for adults, Joe Boxer made dressing fun, as smiley faces, chili peppers, dollar signs, fish, jack-o-lanterns, Christmas trees and more made an appearance on men’s boxer shorts.

Nicholas Graham, a native of Calgary, Canada, moved to San Francisco in 1984, where he paired his sense of humor with his graphic arts background to create novelty neckties for the experimental man. Building on the necktie craze, Graham’s next venture was a boldly colored pair of plaid boxers with a detachable raccoon tail, and Joe Boxer was born. No longer were men content to wear the old ratty underpants of yesteryear when Joe Boxer was around; for the first time in their lives, they went shopping for their own underwear.

Joe Boxer was the biggest hit of the decade, and made dressing (and undressing) fun for all. Wildly printed boxers replaced tightie whities on the average Joe, and everyone from garbagemen to congressmen wore the whimsical undies underneath. Apparently the United States Secret Service didn’t find it funny when they confiscated 1,000 pairs of boxers printed with $100 bills, in violation of forgery laws. But at least there was all that free publicity…

Joe Boxer lit up the night with glow-in-the-dark underwear, and got up close and personal with his 3-D underwear, sold with special Undovision glasses. America’s favorite loud-mouthed mom, Roseanne, wore the “shut up and go to sleep” shirt on her eponymous television show, and suburbanite gals followed her lead. Joe Boxer Girlfriend, the woman’s line, became popular with the ladies, who could now get a little something for themselves when they picked up a few clean pairs for their boys back home.

When pop/rap star Marky Mark made it his business to show off his underwear, fans followed, and it wasn’t just Calvin Klein peeking out from above the belt. When 448]l]hip-hop style began showing off oversized baggy pants that hung down the behind, Joe Boxers were the only thing that saved one’s modesty. Boxer shorts became a way to show off your sense of style (and humor), whether your pants hung down to your knees or were kept safely under wraps of a 3-piece grey pinstripe suit.

Licky Logo, a yellow smiley face with red tongue, became the mascot for the company when they expanded beyond comic underpants. Joe Boxer now makes children’s wear as well as home sheeting for all of your bedtime needs. They’ve even made jeans with ESP—the extra sixth pocket, to remind you to play it safe. And just in case there’s ever an emergency, Joe Boxer has got you covered: in select cities look for the Undo-Vendo, a vending machine for, you guessed it, underwear.

From underwear to outwear, Joe Boxer will keep you in style. And if you ever got caught with your pants down, well, now it wasn’t so bad.

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About Mickey Yarber 241 Articles
Editor-in-Chief Sometimes referred to as the Retro Rambler...I was born in the '70s, grew up in the '80s, and came of age in the '90s. I love to share all the fun stuff from those years via my Retro Ramblings column.

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