Friends, in the past I have shared how special it was in my youth to have the opportunity to visit the local Burger Chef – as of course money was too tight when I was growing up to spare on fast food. By the time that Hardee’s restaurants began to roll into my neck of the woods, the financial difficulties began to lighten some and my Father and I were able to visit now and again. In all honesty it was McDonald’s that we most often would eat at on a Saturday afternoon – due to how close it was to the local movie theater. And make no mistake about it – getting a Happy Meal was great – but Hardee’s had the mysterious Fun Machine as well as mascots like Frankenstein Mouth!
I so very much wish I could have held onto some of those Fun Machine tokens from my youth – although I should add that while originally metal, they eventually were replaced with plastic versions. The original token that was offered if I remember correctly had images of the character called Supermouth, where the plastic versions featured the characters of Speedy McGreedy as well as Gilbert Giddyup. In fact besides Speedy, who while possibly looking like a secret agent was actually a thief, and Gilbert – all the other characters were similar in name and appearance to Supermouth.
Now you probably couldn’t help but notice that the jingle for these commercials were providing a parody of the title song for the Hello, Dolly! musical from 1964. While it might have been Carol Channing who first had the opportunity to belt out that wonderful tune – it became famous thanks to the single recorded by Louis Armstrong and released that same year. I bring that up as it seems to have been the go-to jingle for Hardee’s for quite a while – and as you will see in this TV commercial from the ’70s – they didn’t mind playing off the musical production origin. Although there is no way you are going to see the ending of this ad coming – in fact you might not want to be drinking anything while watching it.
I am willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that when this particular commercial originally aired – every local station cut after the announcer finished speaking. In closing out this article, what I am dying to know is… whatever happened to all of those Hardee’s Fun Machines?