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Published On: Sat, Nov 8th, 2014

This Day in History: The ‘Pillsbury Doughboy’ Debuted on TV in 1965

pillsbury doughboy_poppin freshForty-nine years ago Rudy Perz, a copywriter for Leo Burnett advertising agency, envisioned “Poppin’ Fresh”, the beloved doughboy that represents Pillsbury frozen dough around the world.

“Perz originally conceived the Doughboy as an animated figure, but changed his mind after seeing a stop motion titling technique used in the opening credits for The Dinah Shore Show. A three-dimensional Doughboy doll of clay was then created at a cost of $16. Veteran cartoon voice actor Paul Frees was chosen to be Fresh’s voice. The first Poppin’ Fresh commercials aired in October 1965,” summarizes Wikipedia.

Did you know that his formal name is Poppin’ Fresh, the only music he ever performed was rap, he is all dough, he has blue eyes, he always wears a bakers hat and scarf, he originates from Minneapolis, MN, he loves to bake and twenty years ago he had a wife and two pets. (Source)

His first words were “Hi, I’m Poppin’ Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy…”

Family Guy Pillsbury Doughboy cameoWatch the original ad below.

Pillsbury has used Poppin’ Fresh in more than 600 commercials for more than fifty of its products. He also appeared in a MasterCard commercial, with the Jolly Green Giant, the Morton Salt Girl, and Count Chocula, as some of the ten merchandising icons, depicted as having dinner together.

In the 1970s, a Pillsbury Doughboy family was created and sold as dolls individually and in the form of various playsets, recalls the Wikipedia page. Included in the family are: Poppie Fresh (a.k.a. Mrs. Poppin’ Fresh, Pillsbury Doughgirl). It is debated among collectors as to whether Poppie is Poppin’s wife, girlfriend or sister, Granpopper and Granmommer (grandparents)Popper (boy) and Bun-Bun (baby)Flapjack (dog) and Biscuit (cat), and Uncle Rollie.

The Doughboy has transcended into pop culture with references on The Big Bang Theory, Simpsons, The Boondocks, The Golden Girls and Family Guy (check out the photo above)

The Pillsbury Doughboy appears in a GEICO ad where he is going through a security check at an airport and cannot stop laughing while he is getting patted down. The ad appears as part of GEICO’s “Get Happy, Get GEICO” series of ads, with the tagline being “happier than the Pillsbury doughboy on his way to a baking convention”.

photo/ General Mills

photo/ General Mills

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