Fun With Pop Culture

Breakfast Cereal Mascots: Where Are They Now?

 The Quaker Oats Company recently announced that Cap’n Crunch cereal will “no longer be marketed to children”.  Whether or not this means that the good Cap’n’s career as a mascot has come to a close remains to be seen.  Regardless, in honor of the brave cartoon pitchman, we re-present this look at the forgotten mascots of yesteryear, as it originally ran on April 15, 2008.

Fame, as Steve Allen put it, is a cruel bitch goddess. Actually, that was Bart Simpson quoting Steve Allen, but the point is no less valid. And nowhere is fame more cruel than in the cereal mascot business. You remember the first season of American Idol, where winner Kelly Clarkson went on to become a giant recording star and runner-up Justin Guarini sleeps in a bus station men’s room and drinks things for money? Multiply that by a hundred, and you have the cereal business. Either you’re Tony the Tiger with a 45-year career or you’re Quake where you get a three year run and the best you can hope for after that is ironic set dressing in a Quentin Tarantino movie.    

You know Tony, Sugar Bear, Lucky the Leprechaun, the Trix Rabbit and their brethren. But what of those forgotten mascots? What happens to a failed cereal pitchman? Here, spunkybean takes a look at some of those who adorned boxes of delicious breakfast treats for only a short time before being cast adrift. These are their stories.

Waldo the WizardWaldo, now long forgotten, actually took over as mascot for Lucky Charms in 1975. While the circumstances of his successful coup are lost to time, it is known that he only lasted in the position for a year before disappearing. While Michael “Knuckles” Flannery’s autobiography A Life in the Irish Mob has been widely derided for its inaccuracies, it does include an account of Waldo’s death that has not yet been disproved.  

By the time I’d got there, the guys had nearly finished off the job already. Frankie had beaten his face clean off, and there was blood everywhere. Nearly turned my stomach, the beating they gave him. It was almost mercy, what I did. ‘Sorry about this Magic Boy,’ I told him as I put the gun to his head. ‘You and me, we’ve got no beef. But the boss, he wants that box back.’ 

Funny thing, when I pulled the trigger, a whole trail of scarves came out of the hole in his head.”  

Lucky the Leprechaun has since denied any involvement with the Irish Mob. 


Newton the Owl – A white owl who endorsed the short-lived Kellogg’s Cocoa Hoots in the seventies,

Newton turned to directing when his mascot career ended. His first film, Pellets at Dusk, has often been cited as an inspiration by Martin Scorsese. Sadly, after his promising debut, Newton sold out and made several films inspired by brief trends, many of which were not actually completed and released until after the fad was forgotten. These works, including scripts based on Pet Rocks, parachute pants, and Limp Bizkit, have not been released on DVD.

Officer Krumm and the Cookie Crook – These two adversaries appeared in Cookie Crisp ads throughout the 90’s. Eventually, the Cookie Crook’s dog, Chip, took over the mascot position and these two found themselves out of work. An attempt at making a wacky buddy movie about a cop and a crook who were roommates, yet found themselves on opposite sides in their daily lives, failed. The film, You’re Busted, Roomie, grossed only three million dollars worldwide. Since then, they’ve appeared on some reality TV, with the Cookie Crook turning out to be the Mole in the third season of Celebrity Mole. 


Quake – Two words: Fetish Porn.


Alfie – The lovable Saint Bernard who shilled for Alpha-Bit in the 1980’s found himself in an awkward position when subpoenaed to testify against his employer, Post Cereals. While Saint Bernards are known for their loyalty, they are just as famous for their disdain for workplace safety violations. Ultimately, Alfie went with his conscience, and as a result found himself blacklisted. George Clooney showed his support for the down-on-his-luck pooch by casting him in a small role in Good Night, and Good Luck. Sadly, Alfie’s skills were limited to promoting language-based cereals, and most of his performance ended up on the cutting room floor. His scenes can be seen on theDVD release as a special feature.  


Mrs. Tony – Tony the Tiger’s first wife, she appeared with him on Frosted Flakes boxes in the 70’s. Working together proved a strain on their relationship, and they divorced shortly thereafter. Since then, Tony has racked up an impressive string of failed marriages to progressively younger women including Crystal Gayle, Laura Dern, and one of the Pussycat Dolls. After receiving a highly favorable divorce settlement, Mrs. Tony has stayed out of the public eye. She rarely leaves her home, and neighbors report occasionally hearing loud salsa music coming from her living room at night.

Bigg Mixx – Serving as the public face of Bigg Mixx cereal, a cereal made up of bits from other Kellogg’s cereals, the Moose-Pig-Wolf-Chicken that was Bigg Mixx lived amidst controversy. Religious and animal-rights groups came out against this unnatural hybrid, and both he and his cereal were a constant target for protests. The venomous rhetoric took its toll, and he soon left the country. He now spends his time battling clear-cutters in the South American rain forests.

Baron Von RedBerry – This German flying ace’s self-titled cereal was pulled from shelves after Herr RedBerry was convicted of war crimes and executed.


Choco, Van, and Marsha – Better known as the edible rock band who touted Rocky Road cereal in the 80’s, the cancellation of their cereal took its toll on the band. Van retreated into a haze of groupies and heroin, while Choco focused his energies on ever more experimental music which alienated their ever-shrinking fan base. Marsha has not been seen since their disastrous 1991 farewell tour, but rumors have swirled that she turned to prostitution shortly thereafter.

For every Toucan Sam, fronting a billion-dollar empire with all the fame and power that it entails, there are dozens of Honeycomb Kids, Fruit Brutes, and Ice Cream Joneses. Truly, cereal mascot fame is the riskiest kind of fame. But those who make it, the rewards are extraordinary. And it’s those rewards which compel those starry-eyed dreamers. Sugar Beaver, Kaboom Clown, and the others – they must know on some level that they can’t possibly succeed, but still they strive for that brass ring, for the chance to be the next Sonny the Cuckoo Bird. 

Delusional famewhores, or the very people who make America great? That’s not an easy question, my friends.

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One Comment

  1. Where do all those mascots go in their retirement? They all work at this shitty diner called An Okay Place To Eat, located in Meltwater, Deleware.

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