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Kool-Aid Man
Kool-Aid advertisements character
190px
First appearance

1954
Created by

Marvin Plotts
Gender Male

Kool-Aid Man is the mascot for Kool-Aid, a brand of flavored drink mix. The character has appeared on television and print advertising as a fun-loving gigantic pitcher, filled with red Kool-Aid and marked with a fingerpainted face.Template:Citation needed He is typically featured answering the call of children by smashing through walls and furnishings, holding a pitcher filled with Kool-Aid.

HistoryEdit

The precursor to Kool-Aid Man, the Pitcher Man, was created in 1954 by Marvin Plotts, an art director for a New York advertising agency hired by General Foods to create an image that would accompany the slogan "A 5-cent package makes two quarts." Inspired by watching his young son draw smiley faces on a frosted window, Plotts created the Pitcher Man, a glass pitcher with a wide smile emblazoned on its side and filled with Kool-Aid. It was one of several designs Plotts created but the only one that stuck, and General Foods began to use the Pitcher Man in all of its advertisements.[1][2]

File:Kool-Aid Man breaking wall 1978.jpg

Beginning in the mid-1970s, Kool-Aid Man was introduced as a walking/talking 6-foot-tall pitcher of cherry Kool-Aid. Children, parched from playing or other various activities, would typically exchange a few words referring to their thirst, then put a hand to the side of their mouths and call forth their "friend" by shouting "Hey, Kool-Aid!", whereupon, the Kool-Aid Man would make his grand entrance, breaking through walls, fences, ceilings or other furnishings, uttering the infamous words "Oh yeah!" then pour the youngsters a glass of Kool-Aid.[3][4][5]

Beginning in 1979, the character's mouth was animated to "move" in synchronization with the voice actor's singing and/or dialogue and, by the early 1980s, the Kool-Aid Man had attained pop culture icon status. In 1983, he was the subject of two Kool-Aid Man video games for the Atari 2600 and the Intellivision systems. He was also given his own short-lived comic book series, The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man. This ran for three issues under Marvel Comics from 1984-'85 and continued with issues #4-7 under Archie Comics, with art by Dan DeCarlo, from 1988-'89.[6] In 1994, the live-action character was retired. From that point until 2008, the character became entirely computer-generated; however, other characters, such as the children, remained live-action. In 2000, a new series of commercials were created for Kool-Aid Fierce and Jon Carr was chosen to play Kool-Aid Man.Template:Citation needed But in February of 2008, the character was last introduced when he tried riding down the ramp with his skateboard and fell, however the children revived him with Sugar-free kool aid. More recent Kool-Aid commercials have featured a new and different live-action Kool-Aid Man playing street basketball and battling "Cola" to stay balanced on a log.

In popular culture Edit

American artist David Hammons used Kool-Aid and incorporated a stamp of the Kool-Aid Man for a piece that hung in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.[7]

The Kool-Aid Man has made several appearances on the television series Family Guy:

  • In the episode "Death Has a Shadow", he bursts through a wall in a courtroom and shouts, "Oh yeah!" after several people say "Oh no!" in succession. Where upon seeing he created a scene and no one in the room spoke, he slowly backs out of the large hole he had made in the wall.
  • In the episode "Peterotica", he is shown sitting in his living room when a man crashes through his wall, causing him to realize how it felt to be the target. Later in the episode, after Peter fell off a train and rolled into the same wall again, the Kool-Aid Man moans in disbelief.
  • In "Prick Up Your Ears", after Stewie panics about the existence of the Tooth Fairy, Brian and then Chris fail to calm Stewie down, then Quagmire makes an attempt. Then the Kool-Aid Man is seen in a pair of boxing gloves at the back of the line behind Cleveland, Mayor West, Herbert, The Evil Monkey, Kilobot and Dr. Hartman, all of whom are armed with weapons ready to "console" Stewie one-by-one. This is a reference to a scene in the 1980 movie Airplane!.
  • In "Stewie Kills Lois", once Peter is found guilty for first-degree murder, some people shout "Oh no!" and the Kool-Aid Man once again bursts through the wall screaming "OH YEAH!". The judge then complains, considering it has happened twice prior.
  • In "The Hand That Rocks the Wheelchair", Evil Stewie lures him out by pretending to impersonate other people going "Oh No!". When he bursts through the wall and shouts "OH YEAH!", Evil Stewie kills him by beating him to death with a baseball bat and then licking the spilt Kool-Aid off the ground.
  • In "Back to the Pilot", we see the Kool-Aid Man waiting to break through the courthouse like in "Death Has a Shadow". This time, though, he misses his cue after being distracted by Stewie and Brian, and he bursts through the wall too late, interrupting Lois. He slowly backs out of the hole he made and trips, causing him to fall and his "body" to shatter on the ground and the Kool-Aid to spill everywhere. He begins yelling at Stewie and Brian, claiming they were responsible for this incident.

ReceptionEdit

Time magazine included the Kool-Aid Man on a list of the "Top 10 Creepiest Product Mascots", saying, "Our biggest gripe with Kool-Aid Man: Why did he have to cause such a mess every time he entered the scene?"[8]

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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