We caught up with some of the advertising world's most-beloved spokesmen/women, animals/talking-food to find out how they'd been faring not only during COVID-19 but also during the long decades since the peak of their popularity.
For a while, they'd all meet up once a year for Advertising Week in New York City, proudly parading through Times Square. But now?
These are hard times for everyone. Especially for...
CHIQUITA BANANA: One-woman crusader against what she calls "the barbaric practice of banana splits." PROUDEST MOMENT: Designed revolutionary flag: "Don't Slip on Me."
MR. PEANUT: Ever more brittle since ill-fated affair with a honey-roasted nut he met on a plane. WORST MOMENT: Tried to sneak into public school via third-grader's lunchbox. Escorted out by hazmat team. The third-grader was expelled.
TRIX RABBIT: Working small clubs and birthday parties. WORST MOMENT: Being called "silly rabbit" in front of (now ex-) fiancee, the Coppertone Girl. BIGGEST REGRET: Penn & Teller wanted to team up when they were starting out, but negotiations broke down.
CALIFORNIA RAISINS: Two missing, presumed eaten. Third raisin, Earl, living in a San Diego assisted shriveling facility. BIGGEST THRILL: Once mistaken for small prune. BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Autobiography, "Sour Grapes," received devastating reviews ("I'd rather read about the bran" — Los Angeles Times).
BETTY CROCKER: Threatening to quit if she has to make "one more frickin' slice of chocolate frickin' cake for some frickin' kid's frickin' birthday party." Ms. Crocker has been consulting with a labor attorney, psychiatrist and anger management expert. HAPPIEST DAYS: Used to hit the discos with Mr. Clean in the '70s. STILL BITTER ABOUT: Never credited with inventing "funfetti."
THE PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY: Still giggling uncontrollably but now in an all-dough theme park, "Pill Diddy." He poses with kids and kisses their moms (harassment charges pending). Heftier than ever, he can no longer pop out of the crescent-roll tube but must slowly pry his way out. HAPPIEST MEMORY: Being tickled the first time. WORST MEMORY: Being tickled by a trucker at closing time. Joined Michelin Man at local bar to grouse.
RONALD McDONALD: Coming out of semi-retirement to pitch for Kardio-Kwikeez, a chain of drive-thru stent insertion clinics. HAPPIEST DAY: Eloping with barely legal sweetheart, Wendy, over corporate objections. WORST MEMORY: Wendy cutting off her pigtails and driving off with Little Debbie. Last seen at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival.