If the food police wanted to really control childhood obesity, then they would just go into every grocery store in America and set fire to the cereal isle. But, we know that the sugar-coated cereal lobby led by Sam the Toucan, Dig-Em the Frog and their evil leader Tony the Tiger is just too powerful, so it will never happen. When I was a kid in the '80s, my mom would only let me eat stuff like Puffed Rice so I had to sneak around and eat all the cereals I saw on TV at friends' houses. Boy, did I love them. Maybe that is why I am doughy today. Here are some of my favorite '80s cereal commercials.
Mr. T Cereal
Can you really talk about anything Mr. T-related without a "pity the fool" joke somewhere? No. So...I pity the fool that doesn't go to the store and buy these "T"-shaped Corn Pops rip-offs right now. C'mon, even Pee Wee Herman loves 'em.
The people that really got smurfed in the '80s were the dumb parents who thought all cereals were part of a nutritious breakfast. The little blue people called their box of sucrose "Magic Berries" at one point, but maybe that was too close to some kind of mind-altering drug for some people. Wouldn't you have to be on some kind of acid trip to understand The Smurfs anyway?
Cinnamon Toast Crunch
This one is guffaw inducing because three animated bakers are educating a mom on the tenants of a balanced diet. That's right kids, cinnamon-sugar is okay as long as it is a hardened shell around whole grain. I always really liked the first few bites of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but then it quickly turned into Cinnamon Toast Mush, which would have been a far less successful cereal name.
Monster Cereals: Franken Berry & Count Chocula
This is without a doubt my favorite series of cereal commercials of all time. In the interest of full disclosure, I do also have an unnatural attraction to The Count from Sesame Street and anything Halloween-related. I don't think I ever actually tried the product, though. What did always puzzle me is why they made Franken Berry pink. Was he supposed to be a hero for all the little boys who liked Strawberry Shortcake instead of G.I. Joe?
Frosted Flakes Theyyyyy'rrrrre Gross! I've never grasped the appeal of Frosted Flakes. They're ultra, super, Tim Tebow-level sweet with a strange, slightly off flavor. The worst part is the way every bite ends up cemented to your teeth for eternity. It's absolutely impossible to chisel off. Wait, is Tony the Tiger reading this? Never mind, they are fantastic! Great, if you will. Tony, I love your cereal. Please don't send your hit-tigers after me.