You would have to live in a cave on a deserted island not to know who Ronald McDonald is. This slightly creepy clown has been the face of McDonald’s for more than 40 years. You are probably acquainted with a few of his friends too. Grimace, the overweight purple thing and The Hamburglar, the short guy that steals burgers for some reason. Did you know that there are many other McDonald’s characters that you have probably never heard of? See if any of these sound familiar:
Mayor McCheese was a tall bumbling fellow with a cheeseburger head who wore a top hat and spectacles. As his name suggests, he was Mayor of McDonaldland, a mythical place where McDonald’s fries and thick shakes grew magically from the bushes. The character was based on Sid and Marty Krofft’s H.R. Pufnstuf. A children’s show of the late 1960’s to early 70’s. The Krofft’s took the McDonald’s corporation to court and eventually won more than $1 million in compensation.
Officer Big Mac
Officer Big Mac was the symbol of law and order in McDonaldland. He had a Big Mac for a head and wore a police uniform. It was his duty to protect the citizens of McDonaldland from the wily Hamburglar and the unwholesome Captain Crook, another character you have probably never heard of.
Captain Crook was a cliched evil sea captain whose primary concern was pinching Fillet 0 Fish burgers. In the 1970’s, Crook was a major antagonist of Ronald and his friends who also had the ability to actually understand and translate The Hamburglar’s murmurings.
In an early 1970’s jingle, children everywhere were told to ‘keep your eyes on your fries’ otherwise these horrible little monsters would eat them when you are not looking. Wisely revising these characters in the 1980’s, McDonald’s changed their name to the Fry Guys and put an end to their chip stealing ways. The Fry Guys were shaggy mop like things with long legs that spoke with a sped up voice. This seemed to do little other than torment teenagers who were half way through a bad trip with a bad case of ‘the munchies’.
The Hamburger Patch
First appearing in the early 1970’s, the Hamburger Patch was a garden of sentient hamburgers. Disturbingly, they were regularly eaten by Ronald and the gang without killing or cooking them first. This weird behavior continued into the 1980’s when hamburger equality became more widespread.
A minor character until the early 1980’s, The Professor wore a light bulb helmet and lab coat. He was in charge of inventing new and wonderful things. Some of which were GMO potatoes and adding ammonia to the hamburger meat to ‘clean’ it I am assuming.
I’m Lovin’ it!
In the mid 1990’s, the marketing geniuses at McDonald’s decided to shy away from the outdated mascots of the 1970’s. Probably due to the fact that they wanted to encourage children to visit the store rather than run screaming. I can’t help but think that the general theme of weird characters stealing your food may have instilled an unrealistic sense of urgency in the children of the day to eat their meal as quickly as possible. Those children are all grown up now, in the middle of an obesity epidemic and still seemingly afraid a food stealing muppet will take their hamburger.