Ad Nausea: Rat Fink and the Rad Rods

Today’s Ad Nausea is all about…this guy.

“Vroom-Vroom, suckas!”

For those who don’t know, this charming gent is Rat Fink. Rat Fink is one of the several hot-rod characters created by artist Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, one of the originators of Kustom Kulture of automobile enthusiasts, first appearing on airbrushed “Weirdos” T-shirts and in the pages of Hot Rod publications such as Car Craft in the late 1950s. Roth conceived Rat Fink as an anti-hero answer to Mickey Mouse: usually portrayed as either green or gray; comically grotesque and depraved-looking with bulging, bloodshot eyes, an oversized mouth with sharp, narrow teeth, and wearing red overalls with the initials “R.F.” on them.

“Thing is, I looked like that for a time. It was between the years of the Eisner takeover, ‘House of Mouse’ and ‘Epic Mickey’. Oh, and a raging bender at Disney World. Man, those New Years parties at Adventure Land are the stuff of mascot legend!”

Now, a character like Rat Fink is among the last characters that you’d expect to see on kid-vid TV. It would be like if someone decided to make a kids’ cartoon show about Troma’s The Toxic Avenger…..

..Oh, wait, that happened. Anyway, Rat Fink also made a brief foray into kiddie time with a set of hot rod toys called Rat Fink and Rad Rods. One ad was made for the toy line. Here it is…


OK, what was with that out-of-nowhere pot shot at the California Raisins, who are fixtures of TV at the time of this spot? What could possibly be the correlation between Rat Fink and the California Raisins? Was Roth just not a Raisins fan? We asked ol’ Ratso himself, and this is what he gave us:

“Those wrinkled rejects know what they did.”

Thanks, that clears everything up.

Next up, the latest on the ongoing street wars between East Coast and West Coast cereal mascots. Snap, Crackle and Pop were caught on tape jacking up Lucky the Leprechaun and making off with his Red Balloons. Trix Rabbit promises retaliation. Film at 11.


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