Mayor McWho?

I was on the Betty’s Attic Web site, and I found McDonald’s character action figures for sale. They have the Hamburglar, the Grimace and Mayor McCheese.

I’m incredulous.

About two months ago my son and I were in a McDonald’s, and I was remembering the character cookies I used to get when I was a little girl — little Fry Guys, Officer Big Mac, Captain Crook and such.

I asked the girl behind the counter if they still had them. She said, “What characters?”

“Have you never heard of the Grimace and the Hamburglar?”

“Never.”

Wow. I have Ronald and Hamburglar pillow dolls I got as part of a promotion when I was 3. The Hamburglar has a removable cape.

The Hamburglar is an icon. I was crestfallen.

So I did a little investigating. As far as I can surmise, McDonald’s was sued by Sid and Marty Krofft over an ad they made. This was the invention of McDonaldland. They weren’t credited. You can clearly see Mayor McCheese’s resemblance to H.R. Pufnstuff.

McDonald’s lost the lawsuit, and in 1987 scaled back to Ronald, Grimace, the Hamburglar and a new addition — a bird with aviator glasses.

Then, when child obesity became a hot topic, the restaurant promised not to aim advertising at children. McDonald’s abandoned all of its characters.

My parents’ generation all remember where they were when JFK was shot. As for me and mine, we have Mayor McCheese.

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8 Responses to “Mayor McWho?”

  1. Kevin Says:

    For me it’s the Challenger Disaster. I was in my library at high school when I heard. and skipped a class to keep watching the news on TV. Never forget it.

  2. T. Says:

    i’ve actually been saying the challenger disaster was our jfk moment! i only changed it for the post.
    i was going for the funny.
    but really, i’m with you.
    i was standing outside my geometry class — the one where the teacher had b.o. and made me stand on my desk — when i heard.
    t.

  3. The grocery store story « Stories O’ Mine Says:

    […] my family, and am proud to make almost everything from scratch. (Please pretend you did not read the post that begins, ‘My son and I were at […]

  4. upstateether Says:

    They haven’t retired. They’ve just gone to seed . . . http://upstateether.wordpress.com/2010/02/05/ronald-mcchronic/

  5. Lori Says:

    I had a Ronald McDonald pillow doll as well. I loved that thing.
    Did you know Mayor McCheese has a facebook?

    I never knew the story about those characters. Funny!

  6. T. Says:

    omg that facebook site is awesome. did you see the picture of the mayor mccheese tattoo someone has? i’m lovin’ it.

  7. Lori Says:

    The one thing I did not remember was the strange voice he had. I don’t remember any of those old commercials with the characters.

  8. The grocery store story « Stories O' Mine Says:

    […] my family, and am proud to make almost everything from scratch. (Please pretend you did not read the post that begins, ‘My son and I were at […]

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