Hamburglars I Have Known

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

When you think of McDonald’s, you likely think of Ronald McDonald. The bovine world’s least favorite clown undoubtedly has the most recognition, but many members of Generations X and Y will be familiar with the secondary characters of McDonaldland. In addition to Ronald, we grew up with the Hamburglar, Grimace, Mayor McCheese, and of course, Officer Big Mac.1 Yet apparently, McDonald’s advertising has used only Ronald for over a decade. Small wonder, then, that their sales have been falling.

The New Hamburglar

Earlier this month, McDonald’s unveiled their latest plan to stop the sales skid. They’re bringing back the Hamburglar. Sort of, anyway:

Horrible Hamburglar Staring
My God! What have you done? This is not my beautiful Hamburglar!

Here’s a statement from McDonald’s on the new Hamburglar:

“We felt it was time to debut a new look for the Hamburglar after he’s been out of the public eye all these years,” Joel Yashinsky, McDonald’s’ Vice President of U.S. Marketing said in a statement to Mashable. “He’s had some time to grow up a bit and has been busy raising a family in the suburbs and his look has evolved over time.”

The Hamburglar has been busy. Raising a family. In the suburbs.

Horrible Hamburglar Shushing You
Shh!

Yeah, you know what? I’m inclined to agree. Just shh, Mr. Yashinsky. Shhhhhh. Shut up. This is awful. I mean, Christ, what an asshole!:

The Horrible New Hamburglar Posing Like A Total Jagoff

The Original Hamburglar

Of course, it could be worse. In fact, when the Hamburglar first premiered, it was worse. You see, the Hamburglar began life as an old man.2 I first discovered this particular piece of insanity at a flea market, when I came upon a plush Hamburglar who looked nothing like the one I’d known all my life:

Flea Market Hamburglar
Needless to say, I was disturbed.
[Photo courtesy: P. Kafasis]

To explain this, let’s take a brief trip back to 1971, when some hack ad execs decided to rip off an Saturday morning children’s TV show called “H.R. Pufnstuf”.3 Said hacks created the magical “McDonaldland” and populated it with a collection of strange characters, along with hamburgers sprouting from plants. Among these were the Evil Grimace and the original Hamburglar. Gaze upon him and despair:

The One True Hamburglar
Sweet merciful crap, why aren’t any of his parts connected?

That utterly horrifying image above was soon toned down to be only mostly horrifying:

The One True Hamburglar
Pretty scary, rather than truly terrifying

The Lone Jogger

Allow me to take a brief detour so as to note that in the mid ’70s, the Hamburglar was inexplicably known as the “Lone Jogger”. I guess because jogging was a popular fad? I really just have no explanation for that particular nonsense, but if you don’t believe me, do check the video tape. And if you think “There’s no way someone has uploaded a McDonald’s commercial from 40 years ago to YouTube”, well think again, you foolish pessimist!4

Transitions

The Hamburglar’s appearance fluctuated throughout the ’70s and early ’80s. Sometimes he looked like he was coming to claim your immortal soul, and sometimes he just looked like he might merely pop out of the woods and scare the wits out of you. Throughout it all he remained, at a minimum, “a frightening old man”. Really, what child would want cookies that came in a box like this?

Old Hamburglar Cookie Box
[Image credit: jasonliebigstuff]

Once again, McDonald’s toned things down, and a few years late, the cookie box featured a softened old man:

Softened Hamburglar Cookie Box
[Image credit: BigSpinCoaster]

While I wouldn’t choose to look at him, at least this Hamburglar could be ignored easily enough. Thankfully, he was also nearing retirement. It was almost time for his replacement.

The One True Hamburglar

Let it be known that I have strong opinions about the Hamburglar, and that these opinions are correct. The right Hamburglar, the best Hamburglar, the one true Hamburglar, is this little munchkin:

The One True Hamburglar

Yes, I will readily proclaim my staunch loyalty to the Hamburglar I grew up with. While it’s only natural to idealize the heroes of our youth, anyone with an ounce of sense can see that the lovable Dennis the Menace-looking imp is vastly superior to all other Hamburglars. It’s just no contest:

The best Hamburglar is obvious
There’s only one of these ’burglars you’d want to join for a burger.

In comparing Hamburglars, we can dispense with the decrepit wraith Hamburglar right off the bat. He was an abomination, and how he managed to survive in advertising for more than a decade, I’ll never know. I can only attribute it to the copious drug use which occurred at that time.

As for the smug asshole dad McDonald’s just unveiled, let’s be serious. A real Hamburglar wears a cape, not a goddamned duster. His tie should be comically oversized, not suitable for the office. And he damn sure ought to only have one big old middle tooth, or at most two.

Setting aside appearances, there’s also the logic of the crime to consider. Children are notoriously broke, and they also love unhealthy fast food, so they may certainly be interested in swiping some burgers. Even a senior citizen really has nothing to lose, given his looming demise. But for a thirty-something adult, with a family, the economics of hamburger theft just don’t make sense. The risks of the crime far outweigh the meager rewards. This “suburban dad” is unlikely to be so badly hurting for money that he’d steal a couple bucks’ worth of food. A few greasy sliders can’t possibly be worth the chance that he’ll spend the next three to five years of his life seeing his family through a thick sheet of Lexan.

From looks to motive, it’s just so obvious that the youthful Hamburglar is the way to go. He is the lord, our Hamburglar, and we shall have no other Hamburglars before him.

A Closing Devotional

Now sure, I talk big of my love for the real Hamburglar, but perhaps you question my dedication and committment. Allow me to put your doubts to rest. When it came time to run a costumed relay race as part of a team dressed as cops and robbers5, I chose to deck myself out as the world’s most famous thief. Of course I modeled my costume after the boyish scamp version of the Hamburglar, even shaving clean for the part. You can be sure that spectators of the race absolutely loved this:

Devotion to the Hamburglar
Robble Robble!


Footnotes:

  1. As a child, I served a nickel in Officer Big Mac’s Cheeseburger Head Correctional Facility.

    Officer Big Mac Jail
    [Photo credit: Jonathan McIntosh]

    Much like Andy Dufresne, I too had to crawl through a river of shit to escape. ↩︎

  2. Like Benjamin Button! ↩︎

  3. Sid and Marty Krofft, creators of H.R. Pufnstuf, sued McDonald’s. They eventually received over a million dollars for the IP theft. ↩︎

  4. Archived here. ↩︎

  5. Ya know, like ya do. ↩︎

Take Down the Flag 

Friday, June 19th, 2015

Read Ta-Nehisi Coates on Dylann Roof’s horrific massacre and the Confederate flag which stands behind it.

Stick to the Doodles 

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

The inside story on the creation of Jeb Bush’s campaign logo.

A Valuable Apology

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

If you’re looking for the perfect one-of-a-kind gift for the hard-drinking New York Yankee fan in your life, well, you just missed your chance at a real gem. Here’s a description of the item at auction:

Included in this lot is a Joe Dimaggio [sic] and Mickey Mantle Signed Baseball…This baseball is truly one of a kind and might be the only one in existance [sic]. It is an extremely unique collectible from two of the greatest Yankees and baseball players of all-time.

Given that Mantle and DiMaggio briefly played together, after which Mantle succeeded DiMaggio in center field for the Yankees, there are sure to be a few balls with both their signatures. However, despite Mantle’s years of heavy drinking, it is indeed likely that there’s only one ball like this:

Ball Reading 'I'm Sorry I spilled a drink on this Fucker MM'

It’s unclear when Mantle signed the ball, nor even to whom or what the “this” refers: the ball, or Joe DiMaggio himself? Did Mickey spill a drink on Joe, then apologize with an autograph to a third-party? Or was Mantle given a Joe DiMaggio-signed ball to add his signature to, and he accidentally spilled a drink on it? No matter what happened, it was surely an amusing event, one which was commemorated via autograph.

Sadly, if you’re interested in owning this particular item, you’re about a week too late. The ball recently sold for over $12,000. It’s debatable whether the foul language increased the value of the ball or hurt it, but it certainly heightened the level of interest.

Previously in apologies delivered via baseball: Pete Rose’s Nadir

Living in the World Is Not a Dress Rehearsal 

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

For almost four decades, Mark Gubin of Milwaukee1 has been trolling passengers arriving via plane. Here’s Gubin, on his roof:

Welcome to Cleveland on a Milwaukee Roof

Gubin was interviewed back in 2005, and the quotes are wonderful.

“It was all tongue-in-cheek, just for fun. Living in the world is not a dress rehearsal. You better have fun with it,” Gubin, 62, told me.

Keep the world weird, Mr. Gubin.


Footnotes:

  1. Milwaukee is Algonquin for “the good land”, in case you were not aware. ↩︎

The Show Does Go On 

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Just how cool can Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl be?

Videos…show Grohl walking across the stage…when he appears to trip and plunges over the edge.

‘‘I think I just broke my leg. I think I really broke my leg,’’ he told the crowd.

“Ladies and gentleman,” Grohl said while laying on the ground after falling, “let me tell you right now that I’m going to go to the hospital and I’m going to fix my leg, but then I’m going to come back and we’re going to play for you again. I’m so sorry.”

The rest of the band resumed playing as Grohl was taken away for medical attention. But minutes later he was later carried back on stage on a stretcher with his right foot bandaged and continued the concert sitting down or supporting himself on crutches.

The former Nirvana drummer told the crowd he wouldn’t leave the stage unless given orders by a doctor to do so.

Goddamn that’s cool.

Previously in Foo Fighters: Also, Chevy Metal Is a Great Name

Robot Blooper Reel 

Friday, June 12th, 2015

Look, the robot uprising is certain to come very, very soon. But when the robots come for me, I at least want to be able to say that I got a good laugh in at their expense.

Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc 

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

A group of tourists will be held in Malaysia, following a deadly earthquake which occurred a week after the visitors had stripped naked at the peak of Mount Kinabalu.

Whether other people believe this or not, it’s what we Sabahans believe. When the earthquake happened, it’s like a confirmation of our beliefs. There is almost certainly a connection. We have to take this as a reminder that local beliefs and customs are not to be disrespected.

It’s quite absurd to believe that this naked revelry could cause an earthquake. On the other hand, the entitled nature of these tourists who decided to disrespect a sacred site, is also rather unbelievable.

Previously in stupidly assigning blame for earthquakes: Seismologists on Trial for 2009 Quake

Say Hello to Tallywackers 

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Two years ago, this site covered the rise of the breastaurant. Now, a male counterpart has arrived. Mitch Wright chronicled his experience there:

“He’s the hottest guy here,” said a swarthy, braces-wearing, Red Bull-vodka-ordering young man sitting nearby referring to Brad. While I was there, ya boy Brad tended bar for three consecutive hours wearing only these shorts. A shirt? Surely you jest. Don’t insult Brad. Beautiful Brad ain’t wearin’ no shirt, chief.

Sounds Like a Site for Fancy STDs

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Here at One Foot Tsunami, we get emails. We get stacks and stacks of emails. These emails are almost entirely spam, generally asking if i’ll accept payment for a “sponsored post”. My commitment to journalistic integrity is strong, however, and you’ll never see ads masquerading as content here. At least not until these clowns start offering more money, anyhow.

Anyhow, I recently received a somewhat stranger email:

ALT NAME

Initially, I couldn’t figure out what domain I own that’s related to “BaronVD.com”. Eventually I realized; I’m receiving this solicitation because I own Barvd.com. Yes, a domain name used to direct people to the worst of the worst in gross tweets and the like is now earning me unsolicited offers for “related domain names”.

So Theodora, I appreciate the offer, but please consider this my official notice of disinterest. Also, how the hell did you even find Barvd.com? Were you just trying assorted letter combinations? Krang!

After receiving this email, I took a peek at the actually site. It seems Theodora isn’t actually in a place to sell BaronVD.com anymore, as she let the registration lapse:

ALT NAME

With only two hours left, the cost was $12, and there were zero bids. Hard luck!