Mr. Peanut? A shell of a man. The Vlasic Pickle’s stork? Flown the coop. Captain Morgan? Adrift at sea. For it is Round 2 of EW’s Big Shill bracket game, and the field has been halved. (For a look at the entire bracket, click here.) Today’s battle features two fast food giants — KFC’s Colonel Sanders, and Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef” lady — as well as three other tough match-ups.
Taco Bell Chihuahua vs. Snap, Crackle, and Pop
The Trix Rabbit vs. Kool Aid Man
Life’s Mikey vs. Dunkin Donut’s Fred the Baker
Colonel Sanders vs. The “Where’s the Beef” Lady
Check out our contender bios and TV commercial clips, then vote in the polls below.
TACO BELL CHIHUAHUA
Product: Taco Bell
Debut year: 1994
Catchphrase: “Yo quiero Taco Bell” and “Drop the chalupa”
Claim to fame: The TBC loved his 39-cent Taco Bell tacos, and he wasn’t shy about telling you. In Spanish, of course. Because Taco Bell is “Mexican” food.
Strength: This bilingual dog probably speaks one more language than you do and looks better wearing a sombrero
Weakness: Would likely suffer life-threatening injuries if a seven-layer burrito were to fall on him.
SNAP, CRACKLE, AND POP
Product: Rice Krispies
Debut year: 1928
Catchphrase: Their names ARE their catchphrase. Would that we all could say the same.
Claim to fame: More than 80 years after their introduction, the elves still appear young (and perpetually in the midst of an incredible sugar high.) And in all that time, they’ve barely changed their fashion.
Strength: International men of mystery, the elves hold several foreign passports with different names. (In Finland, they’re called Riks, Raks, and Poks. In Germany, they’re called Knisper, Knasper, and Knusper.) That could come in handy if espionage is required.
Weakness: Weak link Crackle is known to fold under pressure.
THE TRIX RABBIT
Product: Trix Cereal
Debut year: 1961
Catchphrase: The rabbit himself has no catchphrase, but the awful children who torment him do: “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!” Oh really, kids? Is that a law? Was it voted on by Congress? Was it signed into law by the President? And who nominated you kids the Cereal Gestapo, anyways? Who watches the watchmen, children? WHO WATCHES THE WATCHMEN?!
Claim to fame: After fifty years, the Trix rabbit remains utterly incapable of successfully eating any Trix. Which, when you think about it, is a little bit inspiring. Have you ever loved something enough to chase after it for five decades?
Strength: Has conceived literally thousands of schemes to get his hands on some Trix.
Weakness: Has never conceived a successful scheme in his entire miserable life.
Debut year: 1975 (before that, he was “Pitcher Man,” a pitcher of Kool-Aid sans legs)
Catchphrase: “Oh, yeah!”
Strength: He’s far more agile than you’d expect. He’s still keeping it fresh after all these years — his made his debut as a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2010.
Weakness: Still, we’re pretty sure we can outrun him. And we have a hard time believing his eyesight is good.
Product: Life cereal
Debut Year: 1972
Catchphrase: He didn’t have one, but his older brothers sure did. (“He likes it! Hey, Mikey!”)
Claim to fame: He hates everything, but he surprises his older brothers by devouring Life cereal. The original ad, named one of TV Guide‘s greatest 50 commercials of all time, was so popular, it ran for more than a decade.
Strength: Apparently, a very discernible palette.
Weakness: He didn’t actually speak. Some people still probably think the actor that played him, John Gilchrist, exploded after chasing Pop Rocks with Coke.
FRED THE BAKER
Product: Dunkin’ Donuts
Debut Year: 1982
Catchphrase: “Time to make the donuts!”
Claim to fame: For 15 years, actor Michael Vale starred in commercials as Fred the Baker, who rose at 4 a.m. to make us delicious donuts that were more delicious than anything you could buy in a supermarket.
Strength: Americans so identified with the workaholic, Dunkin’ Donuts had to ease him out in 1997, running ads in which folks like Bob Dole, Larry Bird and Sugar Ray Leonard gave him advice on retirement.
Weakness: Apparently, he was a little too one note: He was retired because Dunkin’ Donuts wanted us to know it also makes coffee, bagels, and danish.
Product: Kentucky Fried Chicken
Debut year: 1950s
Claim to fame: The Colonel founded Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1930 and lent his face to the company long after his death in 1980.
Strength: That Van Dyke, of course.
Weakness: Sloth. (How energetic would you be if you ate nothing but fried chicken for 80 years?)
THE “WHERE’S THE BEEF” LADY
Product: Wendy’s restaurants
Debut year: 1984
Catchphrase: “Where’s the beef?!”
Claim to fame: Not satisfied with the skimpy hamburger patty served to her far more demure friend at the “Big Bun” chain, an incensed woman (played by Clara Peller) erupted in a series of “Where’s the beef?!” demands. Though no one was listening at the restaurant, America heard her loud and clear, and her catchphrase was repeated ad nauseum throughout the second half of the 1980s.
Strength: The persistent and selfless Peller was on a mission, and followed up her protest in the first commercial with “Where’s the beef?!” demands at a Big Bun drive-thru, as well as a phone call to the Big Bun fat-cat CEO.
Weakness: Her fixation with beef bordered on obsession, making her kind of a drag at parties.