The Chicken Feed

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Introducing the Celebrity Burning Question series, in which we contact every celebrity who will care to listen with one of life’s great questions. This edition: Just what IS the McDonald’s mascot “Grimace”?

Ben is a man with a mission: to solve one of life’s biggest questions. Namely, “Just what the heck is Grimace from McDonalds?
How, you ask? The only logical way: by emailing as many celebrities, internet personalities and complete strangers as possible. Can the combined expertise of Cousin Oliver, Seinfeld’s “Kramer” and other prominent Earth personalities add up to a conclusive answer to this enigmatic riddle of a conundrum of a puzzle-like problem?

Just a few of the experts we contacted:
Confound it Robin, the batteries are dead!

Adam West

The 1960s incarnation of Batman. Personal Hero.

Thank You
We have forwarded your message to Batman.

Ben: While I’m satisfied that Batman will take care of any future Grimace related issues, protecting society, I don’t think that this helps us edge closer to The Mystery of The Grimace. Let’s see what other people have to say…

George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
Thank you for emailing President Bush.

Your ideas and comments are very important to him.For up-to-date information about the President and his policies, please check the White House web site at

Unfortunately, because of the large volume of email received, the President cannot personally respond to each message. However, the White House staff considers and reports citizen ideas and concerns.

Again, thank you for your email. Your interest in the work of President Bush and his administration is appreciated.

The White House Office of E-Correspondence

Ben: I knew that The Mystery of The Grimace would be of extreme importance to The President! Straight to the top, that’s where I went. To the top of what, I don’t quite know, but still, it must have gone pretty high somewhere. I know that someone in the White House is definitely pondering with us on just WHAT The Grimace is, so I feel that my work here is done. It always makes me feel good that I’ve made someone think that I have the rational thinking of an umbrella.

Peter Andre
Dreamy Australian singer best known for his mid-90s hit “Mysterious Girl”.

Five Years On: Best known for marrying some large-breasted British lady.

Hello, hope you are well?

You might have just recieved a message from me that appeared blank. Sorry ’bout that, a little accident. Anyway, I will be updating the website soon, for those who would like to know and Thank you for your constant support.

I want to do a page as a dedication to the fans so send in photos or letters that i might be able to print.

Hope your happy and vibed and I’ll see you soon

Peter Andre

Ben: Dear Peter Andre, yes I am very well. I am glad that you have given everyone here such incredible insight on The Mystery of The Grimace. I don’t know what I could have done without you Peter Andre – your clever, simple, dignified yet witty response has taken us all a step further to solving The Mystery of The Grimace. I was going to send you some pictures, but then I realised that I wasn’t a prat.

Kenny Kramer

Former neighbour of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David who inspired the character of Cosmo Kramer..

Sorry to let you down but I don’t have a clue.

Ben: Don’t worry, Kenny, if great minds such as Peter Andre have trouble comprehending The Mystery of The Grimace, then how can a simple person such as myself possibly solve it without the aid of others? It is, after all, a mystery that has plagued humanity for ages. I’m sure that we will eventually solve The Mystery of The Grimace – thanks for your reply, Kenny!

Chad McCanna

Former editor of popular Donkey Kong fansite

Five Years On: Dabbled in Rubber Chicken affairs before becoming an Emmy-winning TV producer.

Already solved it long ago. He’s a fish filet.

Ben: A fish fillet, eh? Well, while it wouldn’t surprise me that McDonalds fish fillets are fat, pear shaped and purple (we all know the unique ingredients that they put in their delightful “menu”), I’m going to have to disagree with this one. However, Chad has also given me a hint that “NOTHING CAN STOP THE GRIMACE”. This is one almighty entity we’re dealing with here, folks – thanks Chad, we’re getting closer and closer to solver the ever-enigmatic Mystery of The Grimace.

Hyle “Slush” Russell

Former editor of popular Donkey Kong fansite

Five Years On: Coincidentally also an Emmy-winning TV producer.

Some say Grimace is a living milkshake. I never understood this line of thought. Grimace is like the Nintendo character Kirby, or the Star Wars character Yoda. He’s his own unknown species that’s native to a land far, far away (in this case, McDonaldland). His is probably an undefined yet proud race. Of course, we’ll never hear what he actually is, because why would Ronald McDonald ever bring it up? Let’s say Grimace’s species was “the jawjaws.” Would Ronald McDonald ever say, “hey Grimace, you filthy jawjaw! My granddaddy made your kind pick us some cotton, and then when we’s was dones with ‘ya, we’d lynch ‘ya up real good! Now get down on ‘yo knees and shine my red shoes up real good, ‘ya hear?” I don’t think so.

My question is, what is Mac Tonight? Is there also a race of MOONMEN that live in the starry skies of McDonaldLand? I’d hope not, as it would make him less special. Grimace is one of millions, but Mac Tonight is one of a kind.

Slush – Donkey Kong expert, failed web cartoonist writer.

Ben: Slush – you and Chad have taught me that there will always only be one MOONMAN. As for The Mystery of The Grimace, well – yeah, he definitely couldn’t be a living milkshake. If he was, he’d be all jiggly and losing bits and pieces all over the place when he walked. And his feet – what’s up with them? How could a living milkshake even HAVE feet? I reckon that living milkshakes would just squidge and slop around the place. They wouldn’t be walking, and they CERTAINLY wouldn’t be interacting with Ronald McDonald. I think we’ll get closer and closer to solving The Mystery of The Grimace, and discover this mysterious Grimace race.

Stuart Drummond, Mayor of Hartlepool, UK

Made headlines by running for election as local football mascot “H’Angus the Monkey”… and winning.

Interesting question Ha Ha! Is it perhaps a squashed blueberry?

Ben: I tell you, he may be a man dressed in a monkey suit, but he’s the wisest Mayor I’ve ever heard. Why can’t the Mayor of Melbourne be as helpful in solving The Mystery of The Grimace? Probably the best theory yet.

Robbie Rist

Cousin Oliver from “The Brady Bunch”. The voice of Michelangelo in the live-action “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” films.

I think the Grimace is a metaphor for how one feels when they have eaten at McDonald’s too many times in a row.

Ben: Well, I know I always feel incredibly happy, pear shaped and purple after I’ve been eating McDonalds. No, wait. That’s after I’ve played an Xbox.

(via the official TMNT website)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. Personal Hero.

Greetings Alastair!

I believe that he’s a fictional character created to sell hamburgers. :)

Take Care,

Aussie Ben: What? Never! Will we ever find an answer to answering The Mystery of The Grimace?

Alastair: I can now die happy.

Willard Scott

The first actor to portray Ronald McDonald.

I am writing this for Willard Scott. He wanted me to tell you that he
doesn’t know the origin of the Grimace. He suggests that you call the
McDonald Corporation in Oak Brook, IL. Their number is, 640-623-3000.

I hope they can help.

Yours truly,

Ed Walker for Willard Scot

Aussie Ben: Following Mr. Scott’s advice, we contacted McDonalds. While waiting for a reply, we received an answer on The Mystery of The Grimace from The Straight Dope.

Cecil Adams

Syndicated Q&A columnist, “The Straight Dope”

Cecil has already addressed this, in an earlier column.

If you got to our website at and to the section called “Archives”, you could search on a few words (like “Grimace”) to find it. Here’s a link or URL, not sure what comes through your email: The Straight Dope: McDonald’s commercials explained!

Thanks for writing, and we hope that helps,

CK Dexter Haven

Straight Dope Staff

PS (Shameless advertising) – You can get all kinds of neat Straight Dope products at our website, in the area called “Buy Stuff!”

Ben: An answer! Along with merchandise! This answer is incredibly similar to McDonald’s answer to The Mystery of The Grimace, which we received just after…


Moderately successful family restaurant.

Hello Ben:

Thank you for writing to McDonald’s about Grimace.

Grimace personifies the child in everyone. He’s a big, fuzzy, purple fellow, and is Ronald’s right-hand man.

Everyone in McDonaldland loves Grimace because of his innocent, loving nature. He’s enthusiastic, eager and easily pleased. Grimace walks with a rolling gait, and can’t be classified as any particular kind of animal.

When Grimace first emerged from his cave and confronted the other citizens of McDonaldland, he expected them to be frightened of him. The opposite turned out to be the case. No other character in McDonaldland is more beloved, especially by the children who visit McDonaldland from time to time. While initially conceived as a character representing McDonald’s shakes, Grimace has transcended his role and is now seen as Ronald’s closest friend. He still, though, retains his love of shakes.

Grimace is generous and affectionate. He occasionally causes minor problems in McDonaldland because of his clumsiness and perpetual confusion. But, these problems are generously overlooked by his many friends.

When Grimace first joined McDonaldland he did have four arms. You may be interested to know that at that time he was known as the evil Grimace who stole everybody’s milk shakes. However, by 1974 he became the big, fuzzy purple fellow that everyone knows and loves today.

Again, thanks for thinking of Grimace. We look forward to serving you for many years to come.


McDonald’s Customer Satisfaction Department


Alastair: McDonalds had spoken, but we simply weren’t buying it. How can Grimace represent the child in everyone? Last time we looked, neither of our inner children were purple or pear-shaped. We knew there had to be a better answer to The Mystery Of The Grimace; a definitive answer; an answer the authorities thought we couldn’t handle.

Episode IV: A New Pop-Culture Reference

As luck would have it, that answer lay with a certain nation-wide Australian radio station. Comedians Adam Spencer and Wil Anderson host Triple J’s Breakfast Show on weekday mornings. Every Thursday Wil briefly leaves the studio to make way for Professor Wil, a scientist from the Ponds Institute, and coincidentally sounds exactly like Wil Anderson. The Professor can answer any caller’s question with a creative scientific explanation (usually involving troll gods). Could he solve The Mystery Of The Grimace? Alastair’s ever-helpful sister Hannah decided to find out.

After weeks of painstaking research, The Mystery Of The Grimace was solved. A giant, cloned beetroot. Of course. How that have possibly eluded us for so long?

Thanks to all celebrities who participated. Except Peter Andre.

And thank YOU you for reading this article. You are now an honourary member of…

More Celebrity Burning Questions:
Why does the sun shine?
How do you get to Sesame Street?
What do the birds and the bees really do?

You might also enjoy…
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles vs Global Warming
Mayor Stuart Drummond: The Definitive Interview
The Peter Andre Story

Or explore The Rubber Chicken’s best work from the past decade.

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