Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I originally wanted to post this commercial break from ABC's 1976 Saturday morning cartoon lineup as an excuse to go on about the second ad here, for the long-forgotten (and little-missed) cereal Grins And Smiles And Giggles And Laughs, possibly the most misbegotten breakfast food of all time.  Seriously--"the cereal that smiles back at you"?  Happy little faces piled in your bowl, waiting to be eaten?  And, if the commercial is to be believed, vomited up by some large-brained supercomputer?  What a wonder that this thing didn't go over!

Possibly even more disturbing, if only as a comment on the state of the nation in the year of the Bicentennial, is the McDonald's ad.  Everybody wants to go out for a morning meal, but only Ronald seems to know that McDonald's is now serving breakfast.  Most baffled of all is Mayor McCheese himself...but wait!  Mayor McCheese presumably runs McDonaldland.  How can he be unaware of this seemingly momentous change in restaurant policy?  Did he not sign off on it?  Was it drafted by others?  A secret cabal, perhaps, working in shadows to ensure that things would go the correct way?  Was Mayor McCheese even duly elected, or did he merely assume the position when McDonaldland's previous ruler was forced to resign in disgrace, perhaps fearing impeachment? 

Not that I spent any time thinking about any of this when these ads originally aired.  I wasn't that cynical as a kid.  Still, I remember all these things, so they obviously had an impact on me, though I dearly wish they hadn't.  There must have been plenty of time spent on weekends back in '76 when eleven-year-old me was outside playing with the dog or having adventures or...I dunno, something.  But any such memories are lost.  But puking computers and badly-costumed politicians ruling fast food empires...that stuff's with me to death.