September 24th, 2021


Where Are They Now?

Lenore Skenazy

By Lenore Skenazy

Published Sept. 13, 2021

Where Are They Now?
Ever wonder what happened to the great ad icons of yesteryear?

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."

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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.