It took just 30 seconds for Lee and Morty Kaufman to capture millions of hearts.
The Kaufmans star in “The Everyday Effect" Swiffer commercials, drawn from the three-minute video here. He's 91 ("I'm older than my young bride here. By about four months"), she's 90, and they've been married 44 years. Altogether the videos have been viewed about 10 million times on YouTube.
“They’re the couple everybody wants to be -- and that’s really them,” their daughter Myra says in the commercial. Myra was the one who offered them up to a casting agent friend for the commercial. She knew they were perfect.
“We really have a remarkable marriage at this point in our lives,” Lee says. “Considering the rocky situation we had before we met, we made such a lovely life for ourselves.”
Both were widowed in their 40s. Lee had two kids—a girl and a boy—and Morty had four—three boys and a girl.
They met when Lee taught Morty's son Scotty in a summer reading course.
“Morty came in and we shortly stopped talking about study and got busy with ourselves. I never expected a parent conference to turn out to be a date," she says.
The next time Morty saw her, he cut right to the chase. “I said, 'I didn’t come to speak about Scotty—would you care to go out to dinner with me?'” But don’t worry. “In spite of the fact that this took a turn with just the two of us, Scotty did learn to read,” Morty says.
Within a year Lee and Morty were married and combining their two families, creating their own version of the Brady Bunch in Valley Stream, N.Y., just outside New York City. While the kids were growing up, Lee worked as a teacher and then helped the kids with all the things kids need help with: homework, dinner, getting ready for bed.
While Lee was handling kids and chores, Morty was working late at a local pharmacy, so their evenings have always been their time together. That has been the key to making their marriage last: always finding—and cherishing—time together.
“We went to the theater and went to the opera,” Morty adds. “We ate.”
“Morty’s good at eating--very good at eating,” Lee jokes.
Eating has apparently turned into a bit more of a challenge now with their newfound fame.
“We went in to breakfast this morning in a diner,” he said. “There were 15 women at a table and one recognized us and then the rest of them took notice. Before you knew it, we were being overwhelmed. They’re very nice, they mean well, but you couldn’t eat your sandwich.”
Though their lives are a little different after the commercials, it’s still the everyday things that make their marriage so successful.
“You want each person to know they are being loved and the love is split up between the two of you,” Morty says. “You’ve gotta know that you’re valued.”
To which Lee says simply, “Nicely put, Morty.”
Morty, a notorious lover of sleep, says that he never goes to bed at night without saying, “Good night dear, I love you.”
And Lee never misses saying it back.