Retroville: Cereal Killers

Today Retroville takes a walk down the murky depths of the breakfast cereal aisle, chronicling breakfast’s Hall of Lame; some of the most infamous and shortest-lived kid-vid breakfast cereals and their mascots.

First up, we have OJs, no, not an O.J. Simpson themed cereal (“use the map on the back of the box to find the real killers!”), but rather an orange juice flavored cereal circa 1985, whose mascot was an orange-wrangling cowboy named OJ Joe.

Not hard to see why this one didn’t last; it was 2 great tastes that taste weird together. Generally speaking, folks like cereal, milk and orange juice for their breakfasts, but not all in the same dang food! Though I hear that mixing orange juice with milk is something of a trend in California.

“Californians are weird, brah!”

Next up is Punch Crunch, one of the lesser-known and quickly forgotten cereals from the Quaker Cap’n Crunch family. It was a fruit punch flavored cereal. Its’ mascot was Harry S. Hippo, an enormous (so what else?) pink hippo who liked to dance.

“Hmm, that guy sounds kinda familiar.”

Yes, that was Bill Scott, the original voice of Bullwinkle J. Moose, as Harry.

-Funny story: for a while there was an internet rumor saying that the reason why Punch Crunch was taken off the shelves was because people found the character of Harry S., a dandy pink hippo who loved to hoof it, to be an offensive homosexual stereotype (’cause we all know guys who like pink and enjoy dancing are automatically gay, right?), but that’s not even close to the truth. The reason that Punch Crunch was discontinued was because it was one of THE single nastiest concoctions ever wrought by man! As a kid I begged my parents to buy this after seeing that commercial, that Saturday morning I poured myself a bowl, and on that day I learned what a gag reflex was. I quickly poured that crap right down the garbage disposal–before it committed suicide.

Next, we have Ice Cream Cones cereal, which was (no prizes for guessing), an ice cream cones flavored cereal. Another gem from the 80’s.

I can’t put it any better than Mr. David Letterman, who had this to say about Ice Cream Cones cereal:

“All you need is a couple of candy bars, and you’ve got a real nutritious breakfast here.”

Finally, we have Sugar Rice Krinkles (yes, it was actually spelled with a ‘K’; yay, literacy!) from Post, which boasted numerous mascots over its’ brief lifetime. When the cereal debuted in 1951, its’ mascot was Krinkles the Clown. For those too young to remember, try to imagine if John Wayne Gacy did a cereal ad:

For years, this guy plugged Sugar Rice Kuh-Rinkles, all the while giving kids at home childhood Tuh-Rama.


There's a reason why clowns perform at children's hospitals: the kids can't run away from them there.

There’s a reason why clowns perform at children’s hospitals: the kids can’t run away from them there.

Later, Post replaced Krinkles with an animated character named So-Hi, who, like all of Post’s cereal mascots at the time, appeared on Linus the Lionhearted, a 30-minute animated plug for General Mills Post cereals which ran from 1964 to 1969. So-Hi was a Chinese boy–and that was his entire character shtick. He fell very firmly in the fortune-cookie phrase spouting “no tickee, no shirtee!” shtick, but keep in mind when this was. The character was named So-Hi because he was “just so-high”. Don’t shoot the messenger, I didn’t come up with that.

“Not cool, man. Geez, I’m an ancient martial arts master from a fighting video game, and I found that horribly racist!”

Sugar Rice Krinkles’ final mascot before getting discontinued altogether was a rather chipper milkman named Manfred, whose ‘nemesis’ was a sourpussed old coot named Gloom McDoom who wanted everybody else to be as miserable as he was (obviously an anhedonic, or a typical sullen teenager).

I don’t know, ‘the krinkles’ don’t sound like something I’d want my stomach to have.

“Say, that ‘smile a happy smile today’ line sounds kinda similar to our Hey Girls’ motto ‘Share a Smile’. Think we have a lawsuit? Mama could use a new gingham hat!”

Rumor has it that Gloom McDoom went on to pursue a career in political punditry:

Glenn Beck

As an added bonus, here’s something else Manfred the Milkman plugged during his short career:

*Give yourself a bonus gold geek star if you noticed the Honeycomb Hideout in the background there.

Well, there’s only one word for that trippy trip down Memory Lane:

3 thoughts on “Retroville: Cereal Killers

  1. “Though I hear that mixing orange juice with milk is something of a trend in California.”

    I’m not sure if you’re joking or not, but in case you’re not…
    Eh… No? It can go pretty nicely with ice cream or yogurt, though, if you want a smoothie.

    That gave me an idea, though: Upload a video combining the two with your reaction. 😛


  2. That was what we in ‘the biz’ like to refer to as a joke, i.e. that thing you do when you’re not being serious. But the latter is something to think about; maybe we’ll give it a shot once we start shooting videos.


  3. Regarding Sugar Rice Krinkles: It amazes me that after all of the changes and different mascots for Sugar Rice Krinkles that Post tried over the years, they never once thought about changing the cereal’s name! “Krinkles” doesn’t sound like something that I’d want to put into my mouth. Rather, it sounds more like something that you need to visit a doctor for. “My uncle has to go get his stomach pumped. He ate some bad tuna and now he’s got the Krinkles!”


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s