#3 - The AFLAC Duck

A duck that abrasively quacks the name of a company is about as cerebral as Geico's Cockney Gecko peddling overpriced liability-only policies to teenage drivers. Maybe next time just cut to the chase and add a news-style ticker on the bottom half of the screen with "AFLAC" repeating over and over while you broadcast a brown note. That's the level we're at with the duck.

I'm not even sure what AFLAC sells, maybe health insurance, but I know the dulcet tones of Gilbert Gottfried could be selling free money and I wouldn't buy any. The guy spent 12 years hosting USA's Up All Night and cribbing joke book shit for a stand up career that makes Paula Poundstone's trip to a junior high girl's shower look like a sold out night at Carnegie Hall.

He voices one bird for Disney and I'm supposed to trust him with a preexisting condition? I'm not convinced yet, but maybe if the duck screams the company name a few more times I'll come around.

#2 - Tony the Tiger, Toucan Sam,
and Sugar Bear

The world is awash with inappropriate cartoon mascots for kids' cereals. Lucky the Leprechaun is offensive to the Irish and their leprechauns, the General Mills lineup tries to associate marshmallows with the undead, and King Vitaman rules over an empire of sweetened lies. The golden age of cereal, the 1980s, is littered with the bones of ten thousand failed mascots. For every Trixx Rabbit and Crunch with a naval commission there are a dozen defunct Crispy Critters and lost tribes of Fruit Island.

Some of the most enduring cereal mascots are also some of the worst. Particularly awful are the aging zoological hipsters of a simpler time. There's Tony, the overly emotive tiger wearing a neckerchief and belting out lies about the quality of sugared cornflakes. His aging voice combined with his extreme enthusiasm renders his pitches to kids more than a little creepy and desperate.

Toucan Sam flogs "naturally" fruit flavored toroids the consistency of bedrock. No matter their color they all taste the same, but Sam goes on acting like the loops are as precious a treasure as Lucky's magical marshmallows. If every flavor tastes the same, why did they keep adding different colors? Toucan Sam says eat a box of crayons and shit magic, dumbfucks.

The worst is Sugar Bear.

He sleepwalks like a lazy asshole to smooth jazz and drops rhyming spiels about Super Golden Crisp. His half-closed eyes, Dukakoid brow, and Louche demeanor were ill-suited for the 80s. He was updated in the 90s to talk a bit faster, rhyme a bit more, employ sorcery, and maybe indulge in a little impromptu rapping about honey and crunching things.

It's mascots like these that have adults gulping down anything with nut clusters and dehydrated cranberries.

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