Kids get mighty thirsty in the summer months, and powdered drink mixes have long provided an inexpensive alternative to soda. But, while The Kool-Aid Man was certainly a force to be reckoned with, he had to contend with some stiff competition from a drink mix called Funny Face. Join us as we take a look back at this memorable (and controversial) thirst quencher.
Pillsbury introduced Funny Face way back in 1964. Available in seven fun flavors – Freckle Face Strawberry, Rootin’ Tootin’ Raspberry, Goofy Grape, Lefty Lemon, Loudmouth Lime, Injun Orange and Chinese Cherry.
As you might have suspected, ethnic groups quickly deemed the last two offensive. Pillsbury was forced to respond to the controversy by renaming them Jolly Olly Orange and Choo Choo Cherry, respectively.
Political correctness wasn’t the only controversy associated with Funny Face. Originally, the product was artificially sweetened with a chemical called Cyclamate. The product was briefly pulled from shelves when the FDA deemed the sweetener dangerous … then re-introduced with yummy saccharine instead!
Eventually, Pillsbury wised up, offering both an unsweetened version, and one containing a healthy scoop of pure white sugar. Sadly, by the time Funny Face weathered all the controversy, it had lost too much ground to the big guy who liked to bust through walls when his name was called. By the 80s, Funny Face was but a memory.
All of that being said, there remain millions of former Long Island Kids that fondly remember mixing up a cold glass (or pitcher) of yummy Funny Face on a hot summer day, regardless of the sweetener used. Just another of the countless things that made childhood special during the era.
Do you remember drinking this popular drink mix. If so, I hope you share all of your Funny Face recollections in our comments section below.