This Day in Death

4.1.15: Pillsbury Doughboy Creator Rudolph Perz – DEAD!

Filed under: Dead —James @ 2:44 pm April 9, 2015

 RUDOPLH_PERZ_STAN_FREBERGSo, what, are his hat and neckerchief also made of dough, just like his body? Wouldn’t that be like a human chef who wears clothes made from his own skin? Oh, why was I born without the ability to appreciate whimsy!?


Sad news from the world of advertising, as we’ve entered day 12,000 of not being able to find the beef. Let’s try to keep hope alive, America.

Not making things any better is the fact that Rudolph Perz, creator of the Pillsbury Doughboy, aka Poppin’ Fresh, has died at the age of 89. For those of you who aren’t familiar (and, yes, I’m referring to all of you psychopaths without televisions) Poppin’ Fresh is an anthropomorphic blob of glop who manipulated the illusion of togetherness to hawk said glop to people who get their cultural and culinary identities from vacuum-sealed cardboard tubes. Wow. That settles it: I’m getting that Chomsky neck tattoo after all.

Although, to be fair, and also to fill up space, there is something to be said for the wide-eyed earnestness of old-fashioned advertising. Commercials used to create an idyllic landscape that could make you believe it’s possible to someday have friends who aren’t quietly plotting your demise, or family that doesn’t kick you out at Thanksgiving for stealing silverware. Commercials used to be little 30-second bursts of heartwarming dopamine injected directly into your brain, a brief reprise from Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman‘s constant reminders that life is neither easy nor particularly funny. Nowadays, in this post-Joey world of television, every ad is so hyper-aware and ironic that I don’t know if I’m being sold a pair of pants or an MFA. Where’s the artificial, prepackaged love?

“We are saddened by the loss of Rudy Perz. Nearly 50 years ago, he created one of America’s most loved and adored characters, the Pillsbury Doughboy. Our thoughts are with Rudy’s family during this difficult time,” Pillsbury president Liz Nordlie said in a statement.

50 years! And the little gremlin hasn’t really changed at all in half a century; Still pale as a Tim Burton wet dream. Isn’t it time for a doughperson of color, or maybe an autistic spokescreature that can raise both yeast and awareness? And do we even know how fluid his gender identity is? It’s hard to deny that Pillsbury is just flaunting their bigotry now, and there’s no hashtag I won’t relentlessly retweet until our voice is heard. Wow. That settles it: I’m getting that Jezebel tramp stamp after all.


Source: Time

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