The Cursed McDonald's Sandwich Jason Alexander Couldn't Save
Everyone has to start somewhere. For me, that meant scribbling AOL Instant Messenger jokes to a now-pretty-famous comedy writer living in Toronto that I imagined sat atop a stack of empty pizza boxes in his darkened apartment as he typed back.
Jason Alexander took a different path. Before he was George Costanza, Alexander did what a lot of actors do: he took some unflattering jobs. Among those were a role in the CBS ding-dong sitcom Everything’s Relative, which lasted exactly one month and four days. So, not dissimilar from a George job, really.
(Another sitcom named Everything’s Relative starring Jeffery Tambor ran for 21 days in 1999. Takeaway: Don’t name your sitcom Everything’s Relative.)
He also did commercials. Here's one for potato chips, but the Jason Alexander commercial that George Costanza would rightfully ridicule was for an absolute abomination of a sandwich from McDonald's.
Yes, there is Emmy, Tony, and Grammy award-winner Jason Alexander, looking like he belongs in American Psycho instead of walking down the street with a bunch of 80's randos.
The commercial is predictably stupid, breaking into schlocky song and dance numbers as Alexander sings his way to infamy. But as dumb as the commercial is, it isn't dumber than what it's advertising.
McDonald's came to a conclusion: lettuce on their sandwiches was too hot. That's a decent conclusion, McDonald's lettuce on their sandwiches is too hot. And it turns out that is not an easy problem to solve, but they did try.
The McDLT, which was nothing more than a non-melted-cheese-cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato, came in maybe the most environmentally-unfriendly packaging of all-time: a hunk of two-part polystyrene. (That's Styrofoam to you and me.)
The idea was to keep the meat hot and the toppings cool, and everybody would be happy, but boy did that not happen.
This article alleges that some McDonald's locations had problems preparing the McDLT, "There was a special heating-cooling machine that we had. It was like a rack heater, but cold on one side, and hot on the other. I think a lot of locations just used regular heaters, so customers only ever got warm burgers."
Also, the two-part container meant that the customer had to do the last step usually reserved for a bitter McDonald's employee: assemble the final sandwich. Strangely, customers flying down the road in their Renault Alliances didn't go for trying to successfully stack together a lettuce-tomato burger.
Ultimately, though, it was the packaging that did the McDLT in. Environmental activists ardently objected to the obscene amounts of Styrofoam used and the sandwich was removed from the menu in the early 90's. A variant McDLT, the Big-N-Tasty, did appear in the 2000s, sans the mongo packaging.
So we're left with Jason Alexander's McDLT commercial, where he has lots of enthusiasm and hair for the failed sandwich.
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