The 8 Most Baffling Food Mascots of All-Time
If you're ever diagnosed with crippling insanity, you can always get a job designing corporate mascots. For instance: Orville Redenbacher used a reanimated corpse as their spokesperson. Yummy Mummy has one too, and both of them are perfect examples of what happens after you die when you're killed by Snuggle Bear. My point is, most mascots are crazy, and here are the food industry's eight craziest.
Please note that I did not include the Grape Nuts character Volto From Mars on this list because this is a "craziest" list, not a "best" list.
Kool-Aid Man -- Kool-Aid
Kool-Aid Man represents the laziest of all mascot designs -- he's just a face and limbs grafted onto the product he's selling. What made him unusual is that his only mode of transportation was charging through walls. For a sentient glass pitcher, that's closer to a suicide bombing than it is to refreshment. The Kool-Aid Man has filled more thirsty people with shrapnel than Angola.
The idea of a drink running through walls is so insane that it may have started as a way for suffocating stuntmen to signal "Help, I need help!" from inside a scream-muffling drink costume. However, the Kool-Aid Man's smashing makes sense if you think about what he is. He's a creature made entirely out of tap water, sugar and a pouch of carcinogens. His body can't decide whether it wants to evacuate its liquid, run as fast as it can or die, so he just charges the nearest building in a desperate attempt at all three.
Wilford Brimley -- Quaker Oats
After what must have been a casting director's paperwork error, Wilford Brimley did a long-running series of commercials for Quaker Oats in the '80s. It was an ad campaign based entirely around intimidation. There was virtually no sales pitch involved in the commercials. It was more like Wilford was leveling with you that oatmeal was what he fucking had for you and you're going to goddamn eat it.
Wilford Brimley was way too tough for breakfast commercials. He looks like someone taught a pile of walrus leather how to fight. He talks like your ears just came out of the closet and he's disappointed in them. This was the guy who killed all the dogs with a fire ax in John Carpenter's The Thing. He exploded a team of human hunters from horseback in Hard Target. He will punch your heart out for having Type-2 adult-onset diabetes. Shit, Wilford Brimley was even kind of tough in Ewoks: Battle for Endor, and that's the official movie of corrective hermaphrodite surgery. Why was this man selling strawberries & cream instant oatmeal? Was Bolo Yeung busy or something?
Bigg Mixx -- Kellogg's Bigg Mixx
In 1990, Kellogg's had the industrious idea to mix all their cereals together and put them in one box. The result was Bigg Mixx, a flailing of sugar and artificial flavors that tasted like the inside of a fat person's mouth.Bigg Mixx, the mascot, was an unnatural union of chicken, moose, wolf and pig parts. If Family Feud did a survey that asked: "Name an animal that shits in its own water supply" those would be the four answers on the board. Bigg Mixx is what happens when a scientist combines too much free time with too much animal sperm. If you were to look at this cereal monster's DNA under a microscope, you'd just see a drawing of yourself burning, signed by God.This chimera abomination and his cereal only lasted for two years before being discontinued. Not because it had the flavor palette of bulimia, but because every time a Bigg Mixx delivery truck drove past a church, it unconsecrated the ground.
Peter Wheat -- Peter Wheat Bread
In 1948, Peter Wheat Bread started publishing a monthly comic about its corporate mascot, Peter Wheat, a creepy pope-hatted elf that wanted to be your pal. He's what babies see when you can't figure out why they're crying.
The weird thing about Peter Wheat is that he was awesome. He was a toddler the size of a pubic louse, and most of his world was made out of cupcake, but his adventures were sword-clashing killing sprees. He wasn't prancing through meadows and singing about the pep you get from enriched wheat flour. He was punching birds in the face and driving axes into hamsters. And there was no whimsy in his fighting style -- he was all business. Peter lived his life by a single code: Shut up and fight. The second any woodland fuck looked at him wrong, he drove the nearest object into its brain, never saying a word. Peter let the screams of his enemies do the talking.
No one really knows what happened to Peter Wheat, but he was the most powerful 2-inch creature on the planet before Kim Jong-il promoted his penis to Colonel. Please enjoy more fine examples of this brave bread hero's silent ass-kickings:
Krinkles the Clown -- Post's Sugar Rice Krinkles
In 1960, Sugar Coated Rice Krinkles introduced its new culturally sensitive mascot: a Chinese boy named So-Hi. He got his name because he was only "so high," and his original Chinaman name probably just sounded like a bunch of doorbells going off. Eight years later, Post marketers came up with something less offensive:
Krinkles the Clown.
With Krinkles the Clown as the mascot, every serving of Sugar Krinkles now had the vitamins and minerals of one handful of flesh and the fear you need to get you going in the morning. The prize inside every box was whispers. Whenever you lost a kitchen knife in 1969, you would somehow always find it inside Post's Sugar Krinkles. The side of the box had photos of missing children, but each of them was labeled "Ingredients."Sugar Krinkles was eventually pulled from the shelf, but Krinkles the Clown continued to find work. He now appears in mirrors every time you look away from them.
Snap!, Crackle! and Pop! -- Kellogg's Rice Krispies
When Snap!, Crackle! and Pop! first appeared in 1933, they were extremely old elves with white hair and gaping, toothless smiles. It looked like their names might have come from the sounds their joints made when they got near cold milk. In 1949, they were suddenly replaced by younger elves. The originals were never heard from again, nor were the three unlucky children who found miniature skeletons in their cereal.
The three younger elves were like a manifestation of all the nation's fears at the time. They teamed up to finish their sentences like they either shared some kind of communist hivemind or were involved in a long term same-sex marriage.
The King -- Burger King
Fast food burgers are mostly made out of victims of chemical toilet falls, so they rely heavily on advertising to draw customers in. Burger King never quite got the hang of this. Their first attempt at a Burger King character in the '60s looked like it was drawn by someone whose hands had already been ground into chicken tenders.
In the '70s, he became more of an actual king. There was even a Burger King Kingdom featuring such classic characters as a robot french fry wizard and a knight in drink cup armor. It was such a bad replica of McDonaldLand that returning Vietnam veterans thought they were VC traps.
Burger King Kingdoms started disappearing as the '80s arrived and the restaurant went back to making joyless hamburgers using the selling point of: "We heat food with real fire!" This went on for 20 years until The King came back. Now he's 7-feet-tall and wearing a ceaselessly staring plastic face. His costume is how a serial killer would transport a gagged prostitute on the subway. In all seriousness, the mask had to be painstakingly soundproofed so the other actors in the commercials couldn't hear the maggots squirming inside it. The King is what Satan's girlfriend dresses as to spice up their love life.
Popsicle Pete -- Popsicles
No mascot has a stranger story than Popsicle Pete. Manly readers of Man Comics already know "him" as a harbinger of unmitigated fear. In sign language, you say his name by bleeding out of your eyes. Popsicle Pete is what an abortion sees when it imagines its parents. But it wasn't always this way.
Let's go back to the beginning.
In 1939, a 13-year-old named Carl McCready was a finalist in a nation-wide "Typical American Boy" contest. This was unexpected, since he has no memory of entering. He immediately left alone for New York because what's the worst that could happen?
Carl won! He was just that typical. They spelled his name wrong when they announced it, but that didn't matter since now that Carl was the "Typical American Boy," he was given a new name: "Popsicle Pete." Little Carl thought, That's weird, but still -- hooray! Little Carl thought, I'm going to be a star! Oh, Carl. The darkness never laughs, but if it did, this would be the time for it.
Once Karl was made into "Popsicle Pete," he started appearing in two-page adventures in All-American Comics. I'm about to tell you how boring these adventures were, and you will never believe me. He collected stamps. He sent in Popsicle bags for baseball mitts. The Adventures of "Popsicle Pete" were so dull that police used him to bore child molesters into comas.
These horrible adventures went on for years and when "Popsicle Pete" vanished, no one noticed, including Carl. A few months later, he reappeared in half-page advertisements that were almost criminally boring. It's like all his early adventures were just a testing ground for some advanced new type of pointlessness. Poor typical Carl McCready was having the happiness slowly squeezed out of him. Decomposing fruit leads a more interesting life than "Popsicle Pete." Take a look at this bullshit:
Imagine if it was your job to teach people lessons like "teachers are actual humans!" How long would it take until you went mad? A year? Six months? For little Carl McCready the answer is far less. These new "Popsicle Pete" ads vanished almost immediately. Carl didn't appear in comic books for a year. To the rest of the world, his suffering seemed to finally be over. The rest of the world was mistaken, and it was going to pay.
A year after his disappearance, the night's cervix opened and gave him back to us. But he wasn't the same. The old "Popsicle Pete" was gone. His name was no longer something he won in a contest. It was him. Popsicle Pete was among us.
His adventures became dark orgies of madness. Behold his deeds.Just as suddenly as he'd arrived, he vanished again. His advertisements were taken over by the "Popsicle Twins"; excitable children who solved inconveniences with "Popsicle" prizes. It wasn't as simple as that, though.Somehow the shade of "Popsicle Pete" remained. At the end of each of Tim and Tess's adventures, "Pete" would appear, maybe for no other reason than to remind you that he can. At any time.
There is no escape, no place to hide.
None of you are safe.
Seanbaby invented being funny on the Internet. You can follow him on Twitter or face him on Facebook.See also... How to Win a Bar Fight, The Ten Traits Needed to Survive Any Apocalypse, and Exploring the Mysteries of the Human Mind with Sims 3.