by Maria Schulz
Have you ever wondered what’s new with Ronald McDonald lately? Honestly, doesn’t everyone? Well, here’s the scoop.
I’m not sure why Ronald McDonald needs to have his look freshened; it’s not like his new outfit makes him look less like a clown. It’s still not chic, and kind of nerdy. Here’s how the conversation with his stylist probably went:
“Ronald, look! We gave you a fresh new look. We ditched the 70s jumpsuit and replaced it with a stylin’ red vest. It’s red carpet worthy!”
“Wow, I look totally amazing! I feel like George Clooney! Do I look like him now?”
“No,” says the Hamburglar, who just happens to be walking by. “You look like a clown in a red vest.”
Besides imagining discussions between Ronald McDonald, his stylist, and The Hamburglar, I sometimes think of my favorite food mascots from years gone by. So here are ten mascots that always take me back.
My Top Ten Mascots
10. Choo Choo Charlie
Is Choo Choo Charlie really an advertising mascot? I’m not sure. But what I am sure of is that I will never forget his theme song, or the many incredible uses he had for Good-n-Plenty candy:
“Once upon a time there was an engineer.
Choo Choo Charlie was his name we hear.
He had an engine, and it sure looked fun
He used Good-n-Plenty candy, to make his train run.
Good-n-Plenty, Good-n-Plenty, Good-n-Plenty…
9. The Taco Bell Chihuahua
“Yo quiero taco bell!” Who wouldn’t want Taco Bell, especially when this adorable little pooch wants some too? I’m not sure how often I would run out to get tacos based on the recommendation of an unfamiliar dog with crazy ears and an accent like my grandmother’s, but in this case, I am willing to make an exception.
8. The Trix Rabbit
“Silly rabbit. Trix is for kids!” I hated those kids in the commercial because they wouldn’t let that poor rabbit have some of their cereal. Yes, I’ll admit it, I got my mother to buy Trix, because I hoped to right the wrong that was so obvious in the “Trix is for kids” mantra. I stopped buying Trix when I realized I probably wouldn’t meet that Silly Rabbit after all. But come to think of it, maybe I should keep some on hand…just in case.
7. The Kool-Aid Man
How can you not love a mascot who starts off every commercial running through brick walls? Hey, hey, it’s Kool Aid time! Never mind that his drink is so sweet that it makes my teeth ache just remembering it and the phrase “she drank the Kool Aid” took on a whole new meaning around the late 70s. I would still love to have him come over, but if he crashes through any of my brick walls, I may just have to introduce him to my good friend, Mr. Baseball Bat.
6. Mr. Peanut
With his monocle, top hat and gloves, you just can’t help but find Mr. Peanut to be the classiest Peanut around. He makes me proud to eat peanuts! I could do without the salty language, but otherwise he’s a perfect gentleman.
5. Poppin’ Fresh Dough (The Little Dough Boy)
Poke him in the stomach and he’ll laugh! Here was a mascot who became so recognizable that they even made a line of toys built around him. I asked my mom to get me The Little Dough Boy (a.k.a. “Poppin’ Fresh”) for Christmas one year because there was an opening in the kitchen of my Barbie’s “townhouse” (I never actually owned a Barbie Townhouse; Barbie lived on the top of my dresser). Unfortunately, my mother couldn’t find The Little Dough Boy, so she got me Little Poppie, Poppin’ Fresh’s little lady love. I adored Little Poppie, and made sure when I played with her to say that “Doughie” would come home soon. Alas, he never showed up. I still haven’t forgiven him.
4. The Jolly Green Giant
This happy fellow has been towering over the valley of vegetables, laughing heartily and keeping the world safe for all vegetable-loving folk since the 1920s. I read that he was so incredibly popular with customers that the company who created him actually changed their name to Green Giant to match their mascot. Now that’s some serious street cred.
3. The Lucky Charms Leprechaun
Who wouldn’t want to buy a million boxes of Lucky Charms with this fine little man on the box? I haven’t had Lucky Charms in years, but I don’t blame Lucky for trying to keep it all to himself. There were marshmallows shaped like pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, green clovers…and blue diamonds. Lucky said it was “magically delicious” and if memory serves me, he was absolutely right.
2. Chester Cheetah
Okay, so this cool cat seems bent on the utter destruction of non-Cheetos-loving people the world over. But I feel a sense of intertwining destiny with him since he loses his mind whenever he’s confronted by a bag of cheetos. I get a kick out of his very cool take on life, unapologetic need to vanquish foes, and quest to get his paws on the cheesy good stuff. Of course, the fact that he’s also made lots of “creepy mascot” lists only makes him more amusing to me. And speaking of creepy mascots….
1. The King, Burger King
I always believed that The King made running out for a whopper with fries and a big thick shake much cooler than it otherwise might have been. In between late night whopper runs, he made me laugh, especially when he put shaving cream in a sleeping girl’s hand and “woke up” in bed with an unsuspecting man.
Apparently, I was alone in thinking that he was a scream…well, at least in a funny way. Burger King dethroned their “King” when they realized that the whole world seemed to find him creepy and a terrible mascot. In fact, he even came out #1 on a list of “The Creepiest Mascots of All Time.”
Oh well. Maybe he should give Ronald McDonald’s stylist a call.
I realize that the list of mascots above are not exactly banner representatives of good living, but I guess you have to start somewhere. So, here are 26 Healthy Smoothie Recipes, including a Banana Cream Pie Smoothie, Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie, and a Banana Agave Smoothie.
So, Hungry Lifers: do you have a favorite food mascot? Do you think that Chester Cheetah and “The King” are really creepy? Which smoothie recipe do you like best? Please leave a comment and let us all know. Thanks!