90-year-old couple sweeps the nation

Valley Stream pair are a hit in ‘Swiffer Effect’ commercial


Even at age 90, Morty and Lee Kaufman are not a typical old married couple. They have been together for 44 years, enjoy each other’s company every day and banter back and forth hilariously, as witnessed by viewers of the national Swiffer commercial that the couple recently starred in.

Their daughter, Myra Allen, recommended her parents for the job when her casting director friend was in search of seniors. “They’re the couple everybody wants to be,” Myra said in the commercial. “The greatest thing about them is how much they still adore each other.”

The three-minute, documentary-form commercial has been split up into segments on YouTube and now totaled more than 4.5 million views.

Lee said that she and her husband have never done anything like this before and was surprised at its YouTube popularity. “I can’t even write that number,” she said about the number of hits. The commercial, “The Swiffer Effect,” is a part of a Swiffer campaign that began on July 1.

In “The Swiffer Effect,” the couple talks about their everyday lives and Lee tidies up their Valley Stream home. She first struggles to clean the floors with an old-fashioned mop and bucket, while Morty sits nearby and worries about her. “I don’t do any cleaning. I make dirt,” he says, before helping his wife climb up the step stool and clean a cabinet top.

P&G delivers a box of Swiffer products to their doorstep and the couple explores their new options. Lee, smiling, cleans all of the home’s wooden surfaces and compliments the Swiffer Wet Jet. Concluding the commercial is a scene of their friends and neighbors talking and laughing in the living room and a clip of the Kaufmans dancing together while Lee sings to her husband. The two confirmed that it was hardly scripted. “We danced and sang in our own kitchen very comfortably,” Lee said, adding that she still uses and loves the Swiffer products.

The Kaufmans are from Brooklyn, but met as widows at the William L. Buck School in their early 40s. Lee was a teacher and Morty took his son to her because he didn’t know how to read. He asked her out when he came back for a parent-teacher conference. Lee, laughing, said, “He eventually learned to read. I don’t think Morty would have married me if he didn’t.”

Morty is a retired pharmacist and has been helping supervise the senior service program at Nassau Community College for about 20 years. The program helps seniors over the age of 60 take free courses. Lee works a part-time job twice a week, and the two enjoy local theater together. When Morty said that they also eat and sleep quite a bit, Lee said, “That’s Morty’s game, not mine. He takes care of all the sleeping.” The commercial featured several clips of Morty napping during the day.

The Kaufmans have six children and five grandchildren who were all very excited about the commercial. In addition to friends and relatives, people who they haven’t spoken to in decades have been calling them about it. “Just know that you should hang in there, because look what could happen when you’re 90,” Lee said.

They described the whole event as fun and unexpected, and said that people, no matter how old they are, should enjoy every moment in life. “Most of the commercials don’t take place in our generation,” Lee said. “It’s young, beautiful people in commercials, so we feel young and beautiful.”