Monday, October 12, 2009

The First Appearance of Ronald McDonald

Did you know that the iconic McDonald's mascot Ronald McDonald first appeared in 1963? (I would have thought it was earlier myself.) Perhaps more interestingly, the character was created by Willard Scott, the same Willard Scott who went on to become an iconic weatherman on NBC's "Today Show." The TV commercial with the very first appearance of Ronald McDonald is embedded below, with a young (and thin) Willard Scott playing Ronald. In his book, "Joy of Living," Willard Scott explained that Ronald McDonald was inspired by Bozo the Clown. But watching this commercial for the first time today, this earlier version of Ronald McDonald seems to me to be more like a cross between the Scarecrow from "The Wizard of Oz" and maybe John Wayne Gacy.

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