Iconic food mascots from TV that you probably forgot all about

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 28: Ronald McDonald of McDonald's attends the 93rd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 28: Ronald McDonald of McDonald's attends the 93rd Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images) /

We know you love Tony the Tiger and Ronald McDonald, but do you remember these great food mascots?

The Daily Meal recently wrote up a list of Iconic Food Mascots. Did you know Cap’n Crunch’s full name was Horatio Magellan Crunch? I had no idea!

That article got me thinking about all of the great, I’d argue more iconic, mascots they seemed to have forgotten. That also made me realize – most everyone else has forgotten them, too. So check out some of the well known celebrities and characters that were once iconic food mascots in their own right.

4 of the best forgotten food mascots!

It’s fairly common to see online trivia shared about Justin Timberlake creating the memorable “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle for McDonald’s or Steve Carell getting his start in a Brown’s Chicken commercial. Carell, for his part, was hardly iconic for the appearance. And Timberlake could hardly be called a mascot for the brand as almost no one even recognized that it was him.

But we do have a few well known pop stars that we can include on this list. Their names are Micky, Davy, Mike and Peter – better known as The Monkees.

Most would probably recognize at least a couple of Monkees hits, if not from the Monkees themselves then from watching Shrek for the 8,000th time. They’re especially known for their catchy theme song (hey, hey). Less known, however, is that during the run of their show, the Monkees created a series of commercials promoting Kellogg’s products (well before they started venturing into fantasy themed waffles), and the jingle might even be catchier than anything else they were known for.

K-E-Double-L-O-Double-Good. Kellogg’s best to you!”

I’ve been spelling (and misspelling) other words to the tune of that jingle all week. Adding to the fun of this, while researching this article, I learned that Micky Dolenz appeared in another Kellogg’s commercial as a child actor.

The Monkees were also featured in a series of wacky commercials for Kool Aid that depicted the madcap adventures you could have when high on the power of Kool Aid. Those adventures included a Martian spacecraft landing in a Western town to drop off a bunch of thirsty kids. You know, normal advertising fare.

“Make friends with Kool Aid, make Kool Aid with friends for fun that never ends!”

Those commercials featured the occasional run in with our next icon…

Bugs Bunny

Most of you might know about Bugs Bunny’s ads with Michael Jordan from the early nineties that lead directly to the creation of Space Jam. What you might not remember was that the Kool Aid Man wasn’t the sugary drink’s only mascot. It also had the Wascally Wabbit himself.

That’s right. The rabbit traded in his habit of carrot crunching for leading children to drink the Kool Aid. “Dethpicable.”

Not really. These commercials have their charm. And it’s always a joy to listen to Mel Blanc’s Bugs Bunny voice. He could be selling Jack Benny’s jalopy and I’d probably buy it from him (there’s a reference even the boomers are scratching their heads about).

“You don’t even have to add sugar!” But you’re probably going to.

Throughout The Bugs Bunny Show‘s run on television, Bugs sold a number of different products like Post cereal and Tang. But Kool Aid is the one he went outside of his show for and became a full-fledged mascot, even appearing on the product’s packaging.

Orson Welles

It could be argued that Orson Welles was one of the biggest celebrities of his time. He created one of the most iconic and startling radio programs in history. He filmed and starred in what is largely considered the greatest film of all time – he was a household name off these products and was only 26. By the 1970s, however, audiences knew him as the face of Paul Masson Wine.

The commercials saw their parodies, one from John Candy, another from Will Ferrell not all that long ago. And the outtakes from the commercials have become somewhat legendary in some circles. But there’s no question – that smooth, classic delivery from one of the world’s leading thespians was iconic.

In 1979, Orson Welles tried his hand at another game changing venture, but it would neither change the game nor be seen by most of the general public. Welles was looking to start his own talk show – but unlike any other talk show of the time (or since), his would be shot on film, heavily edited, and would allow Welles to display his own penchant for magic and pretension. The Orson Welles Show had as one of its guests the next member of our strangely procured list:

The Muppets

Believe it or not, the Muppets created hundreds, possibly thousands, of television commercials during the 1950s and 1960s. Well before their fame with The Muppet Show and Sesame Street, they were widely known for crafting the most unique commercials of the time. While they may not be as easily identified today as Kermit or Miss Piggy, the characters created for two brands in particular became hits with the audience.

Wilkins and Wontkins were made to promote Wilkins Coffee. Wilkins loved the stuff, Wontkins did not. That usually resulted in some sort of bodily harm for Wontkins. We can only imagine what they might do for some of the Starbucks Fall offerings. You can see a reel of their antics promoting another brand of coffee in this video from the Jim Henson Company’s YouTube channel.

The Muppets’ other mascot, and one perhaps more widely known at the time, is the LaChoy Dragon. “It’s cooked in dragon fire!” he would exclaim as he proceeded to douse a can of LaChoy Chow Mein in a fury of oral pyrotechnics. This enormous creature would then stumble off, inadvertently destroying everything in his path.

The Muppets went on to promote everything from Lay’s Chips to Pizza Hut, and notoriously Lipton Tea. But it was during the sixties that they were true iconic food mascots, though sadly forgotten.

Check out another of our best of lists with the Top 5 Nailed It! series.. light. Related Story

We know there are a lot of other forgotten food mascots out there. What are some of your favorites? How many of these did you remember? Let us know in the comments below!