Posts tagged ‘Ronald McDonald’

Bozo the Clown was the First Ronald McDonald

By Kaye Nemec

Weather Man Willard Scott is well known as Bozo the Clown, but what most people may not know is that he is also the man who created Ronald McDonald.

Scott started his show business career on the Joy Boys radio show in 1955 and remained a co-host until 1974. In the 1960’s, Scott began his television career by appearing in children’s programs as Commander Retro and Bozo the Clown. In 1970 his weatherman career officially kicked off when he became the weekday weatherman on WRC-TV. He is also well known for his Smucker’s birthday segment on NBC’s The Today Show.

Original Ronald McDonald Costume

In 1963 a local McDonald’s franchise in Washington D.C., where Scott was living, asked him to create a children’s character for their restaurant chain. He came up with “Ronald McDonald” and appeared in three different television spots in the Washington D.C. area using the phrase, “Ronald McDonald, the Hamburger-Happy Clown.”

In the movie Super Size Me, Eric Schlosser says that McDonald’s decided to replace Scott with someone who wasn’t as overweight because they were concerned about the image they were sending if their mascot did not appear healthy and fit.

Although there are hundreds of actors who play Ronald all around the country, the company likes to keep the illusion that there is only one Ronald. In an effort to create this illusion, all actors are trained on specific mannerisms before performing as Ronald.

Ronald McDonald is still very popular and a widely recognized character today. According to McDonald’s statement about Ronald McDonald, 96% of all school aged kids in America recognize him.

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Sources: Wikipedia

Photo: partly cloudy (cc)

November 10, 2010 at 2:00 am 2 comments

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