Rodney Allen Rippy
Nothing says television commercial like a little kid with a grinning face and an infectious giggle. It was a formula that worked wonders for a boy named Rodney Allen Rippy, putting his mug all over the television in the 70s.
With an afro bigger than the big burger he was holding, Rodney was the lovable kid on a series of 70s Jack in the Box commercials. In the ads, which first appeared in 1973, he was faced with a burger so big, he could barely bite into it.
The burger was the Jumbo Jack and it became a huge hit thanks to the overwhelming response to the commercials, making Rippy an instant, if not fleeting, celebrity.
As a result of his success, Rodney kept doing hamburger ads for another 14 years. He also made numerous tv appearances on every hot TV show of the day, including The Odd Couple, The Six Million Dollar Man and Vega$.
He even managed a mention by Snoopy in a 1974 Peanuts comic strip and one line in the Mel Brooks blockbuster, Blazing Saddles.
You might even remember Rodney co-starring with the Harlem Globetrotters in his very own Saturday morning series in 1974, called the Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine.
At the height of his popularity, Mr. Rippy graced America’s turntables with his very own solo album, Take Life a Little Easier. It did about as well as one might expect and is a collector’s item today.
When all the hoopla died down, Rodney eventually went to college, earning a marketing degree and opening his own agency. He also has a film production company and ran for Mayor of Compton California in 2013. He finished 10th of 12. Selling burgers turned out to be easier than politics.
Do you remember Rodney and his commercials in the 70s? I would love to hear any memories you’d like to share in our comments section below.