Even though we live in a post-Fast Food Nation and Super Size Me world, there are still millions of people who frequent the Golden Arches and other iconic quick-eat chains. McDonald's and their ilk are also expanding rapidly into developing countries.
The fast food industry has slowly been improving it's act, after years of intense pressure by journalists, activists and concerned parents. They have slowly gotten better with providing nutritional information, more healthy options, and switching to greener packaging. For years we've been hearing about more organic, natural and healthy fast food chains like Gary Hirschberg's O'Naturals, and a few offerings in Florida (EVOS), California and the Pacific Northwest (Organic to Go) -- but all of these remain small regional affairs, hardly making a dent in the American culinary consciousness.
One of the topics that gets greens -- and many other folks for that matter -- riled up on comment boards is what society should do about fast food. Should it be banned, like a few vocal critics have suggested? Doesn't seem particularly practical or likely. Should it be more closely regulated? In other countries companies aren't allowed to market directly to kids, so that's a possibility, since they are so easily swayed by bright colors and clowns. We're already working to get trans fats out of the food.But what about excess sodium and fat, not to mention corn syrup and sugar?
I'm a big believer in good parody, and even tried my hand at skewering fast food with my colleagues back at Columbia. I think some of the Flash Fails were funnier than the final piece, but it tries.
When I heard earlier this morning that McDonald's is looking at lower-pesticide potatoes I thought that sounded like a good thing, especially since they are the country's biggest buyer of the staple. But the announcement also got me thinking about how big an impact the brand has had on recent American culture.
Ray Kroc, key founder of McDonald's, reportedly once said, "A child who loves our TV commercials and brings her grandparents to a McDonald's gives us two more customers." According to Fast Food Nation, McD's operates more playgrounds than any other American private corporation, is the namesake for McKids (the bestselling line of kids' clothes), and is one of the largest toy distributors. In 1998, 89% of Americans under age eight had visited the Golden Arches at least once per month. And Ronald McDonald is the second most identifiable fictional character after Santa Claus.
Does McDonald's recent acknowledgement about potato pesticides improve your opinion of the brand? Do you eat there? Why or why not? Tell us, and tell us what you think about these videos, which got us thinking, as well as laughing.
Love this! Hilarious, poignant, clever. The debate over the health effects of widespread fast food consumption can be complicated and nuanced (what if people really do order the salads and bottled water?). But this parody cuts to the chase.
"It's no secret: Americans are proud to be bigger, better and fatter than anyone else on the planet." Thanks Mad TV (too bad you aren't around anymore). I've always found the various upselling options humorous at fast food joints, though Morgan Spurlock found them vomit-inducing. Ever since high school, my friends and I have dubbed Wendy's simply "Biggie's," for their menu sizing.
According to this clip, you can even get a fat ass deluxe with bacon! Or a fat ass happy meal!
The next time you're at McDs, don't just super size it, fat ass size it!
(contains some strong language):
The good comedians of The Post Show bring us this clever parody ad, which pokes fun at the historic and recent targeting of fast food marketing to minorities.
"Introducing the world's newest, silliest, and hamburgereatingist clown!" Apparently McDonald's early marketers were not aware of the "Thermometer of Scary." If they had been the world's most iconic burger joint would be repped by Ronald the Sock Puppet or Grimace the Pirate, instead of a terrifyingly creepy molester-looking-dude.
According to the Internets this is the real deal.
This video starts out kinda slow, but then it gets funny, really funny. If you have a bit of a dark sense of humor, that is. If you have little kids you might just get mad. But as I mentioned, clowns are innately scary, so this guy is really just showing the world their true nature.
These white boy rappers got some funny game. "I'm fat cuz I eat, you're not cuz you don't. I take a triple cheeseburger, shove it down my throat I weigh about the same as 11 average guys You won't believe the aromas and the smells that I emit. I can't ride a rollercoaster cuz I don't fit."
How true my fast food addict friends, how true.
On a similar note, these guys have a fun parody of "Smack That" by Akon ft. Eminem, lyrics written by Nick Sosin and Stuart Prindle of E.C. Hustle Records.
"Snack Wrap, all nice and warm, Snack Wrap, I want 10 more."
I like to think this takes aim at the recent fast food trend of trying to appear more healthy, even if the foods are still deep fried and loaded with crap.
Short and slapstick, A-hole Ronald makes a point. I'm not sure exactly what that is, except that this clowny hater doesn't discriminate. He even puts the hurt on peeps chowing his own food!
In the latest sign of economic hardship, even the main spokesclown himself apparently got the axe. Watch as he suffers "heavy clown discrimination," and is therefore unable "to secure a job in the lingerie industry."
Don't worry, with all the bailouts you'll soon be able to turn that clown frown upside down!
Unless you spend time on 4chan or Digg, or watch South Park, you might not know what Chocolate Rain is. Consider yourself lucky. Skip this video and go to the next. Otherwise this is funny in a WTF way.
Brooklyn-based comedians Generation Stockholm made this thought-provoking take on the health effects of fast food.
There have been many parodies of 300 (I think Robot Chicken has done it best), but I think this little gem adds something to the debate.
I wasn't able to watch more than a few seconds of this piece, but judging by the comments and views some people seem to like it.
This isnt really funny in the usual sense but it's pretty cool. And scary. Nightmares anyone?
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