Five Comedy Legends Who Were in McDonald’s Commercials
While “ba-da-ba-ba-baaa” has rattled around in our heads for the last few decades, the catchy jingle is hardly the only means McDonald’s has used to get customers into their restaurants worldwide. They’ve attempted selling us pizza and McHotDogs, among other bizarre menu items, and even tried to force us into loving their clown mascot (who they should kill, by the way).
At one point, the fast-food giant employed the power of laughter as well, creating commercials with comedians at all stages of their careers in order to boost all those Golden Arches toward their benchmark of “over 90 billion burgers served.” Comedians and comedic actors like…
In 1971, McDonald’s tapped former employee and Good Times actor Amos to be in the “first singing, dancing hamburger commercial.” With a rather militant jingle that stressed the cleanliness of their restaurants, the commercial would go on to help the chain sell 52 billion burgers.
During a 2015 interview with the Television Academy Foundation, Amos shared that a re-release of the commercial to celebrate its 30th anniversary led to him being able to pay for his son’s MFA from CalArts and keep his mortgage payments in check.
Four years before winning the Tony for Best Actor in a Musical, Alexander lent his singing voice to McDonald’s to promote one of their popular burger innovations: the McDLT. As sung by the Seinfeld actor, the dual-sided packaging was intended to keep the hot beef hot, and the cold ingredients, namely the lettuce and tomato, cold. While popular with consumers, the styrofoam packaging was an environmental nightmare, leading to the McDLT’s discontinuation in 1998. There’s nothing more Costanza-esque than that.
John Goodman and Megan Mullally
Despite being two comedy legends, the only time Goodman and Mullally somewhat collaborated was for a McDonald’s commercial promoting the 99-cent Egg McMuffin. Released in 1983, the commercial came well before their respective stints on Roseanne and Will & Grace.
In one commercial that was unearthed from the vault, a three-armed, big suit-wearing Carell worked with the burger slingers to promote a “$3-for-All” promotion in the 1990s. Despite the ad airing nearly a decade before he’d arrive in The Office as Michael Scott, it’s hard to not see similarities between the character and this spot selling a big, beefy cheeseburger, large order of fries and medium Coke classic, all for a mere $3.
Michael J. Fox
In-between his star-turning time on Family Ties and blockbuster franchising in Back to the Future, McDonald’s capitalized on Fox’s star power to promote their product with a heartwarming narrative. The commercial, titled “First Kiss,” sees young lovebirds sharing fries and a kiss, because what’s more romantic than smooching over McDonald’s menu items?