Finally: now that all those Hallo-Thanks-‘mas-New-Valen-hog things are over, we can celebrate the real most wonderful time of the year.
That’s right, it’s March 7th: National Cereal Day! Today’s our day, breakfast lovers. A day when we can run a shoe buffer over our favorite shiny spoon, eat Cocoa Puffs for every meal plus dessert (which we were going to do anyway), and make fun of health-conscious cereal haters—because you don’t see kale smoothies getting their own national holiday, do you?
As usual, the Lucky Charming, Cinnamon Toasting folks at General Mills gifted me an awesome, retro-themed National Cereal Day care package. With a sturdy cereal bowl and t-shirt celebrating this holiday’s “OGs,” a suite of cereal boxes, an actual Rubik’s Cube, and more holographic plastic squiggles than their are permutations of a Rubik’s Cube, this care package is as wholesome as it is bowl-some.
Last year I celebrated National Cereal Day by counting down my favorite cereals of all time. As March 7th approached and my calendar’s ink started running under the worried grip of my sweaty mitts, I wasn’t sure how to follow this for Cerealously’s second year on the world wide web. But after looking at General Mills’s included “fun fact” sheet, it dawned on me:
I don’t mean the sudden realization that Cheerioats is an awesome name for Cheerios because it sounds like “Cheery Goats”—though that did dawn on me, too. No, after looking at Lucky Charms’s short-lived Waldo the Wizard mascot, I concluded that obscure cereal mascots like Waldo don’t get the praise they deserve. Sure, Lucky, Buzz, Wendell, and the whole crew are great and all—there’s a reason they’ve stuck around—but it’s almost cosmically unfair that we’ll never see Waldo’s cosmic bathrobe gracing the front of a t-shirt.
So what better way to celebrate those cereal mascots who died* too young than by counting down my five favorites on this worldwide day of cereal celebration? Grab a bouquet of rosy Franken Berry and put on your most respectful Fruity Pebbles tie: we’re taking a trip to the Cereal Cemetery.
*Note: I don’t believe that cereal mascots ever actually die. They just “buy a grain farm upstate,” if you catch my drift.
#5: Cookie Jarvis (Cookie Crisp)
Waldo the Wizard is far from the only spell-casting cereal mascot worth noting. Introduced in 1977, the far more epically bearded Cookie Jarvis was Cookie Crisp’s first mascot. With an oddly inspirational catchphrase of, “You can have Cookie Crisp,” Cookie Jarvis took down no-fun-allowed moms who insisted that cookies didn’t belong at the breakfast table—though it’s not like Mom would ever know if you just slipped an Oreo into the bottom of your Corn Flakes bowl.
Speaking of which, I like to think that Jarvis’s can-do mentality set the stage for Oreo O’s to evolve the “cookies for breakfast” concept beyond anyone’s wildest or most delicious dreams. He certainly served as an ancestor for an awesome lineage of Cookie Crisp mascots, as he predated the Cookie Crook, Officer Crumb, Chip the Dog, and Chip the Wolf.
But above it all, Cookie Jarvis’s greatest contribution to cereal history was the wacky trilogy of Cookie Crisp flavors he introduced. While only Chocolate Chip persists today, we have Jarvis to thank for the Vanilla Wafer Cookie Crisp and Oatmeal Cookie Crisp cereals that once were and hopefully will be on shelves again someday.
#4: Pow! (Rice Krispies)
This one’s a good party icebreaker: “did you know that there was once a fourth Rice Krispies elf?”
(This is how I get kicked out of most parties, galas, art gallery openings, and bar mitzvahs.)
But it is true that, in 1954, Snap, Crackle, and Pop were joined by Pow: a far taller and buffer elf who “didn’t really say anything, he just did things.” The brawn to the original elves’ brains, Pow shoveled flavor and energy into Rice Krispies while looking like a bite-sized bodybuilder. In essence, he was the Rocky to Snap, Crackle, and Pop’s Frank-N-Furter.
A fitting analogy on this day of Time Warps, to be sure. Let’s do it again, shall we?
#3: The S’morecerer (S’mores Crunch)
Sorry Waldo. Sorry Jarvis. But both of you pale in comparison to the cereal’s true most-forgotten magician: the S’morecerer! It’s nearly impossible to find information on this floating fella, who graced commercials for General Mills’s S’Mores Crunch cereal during the ’80s. In fact, outside of this commercial and the horrifyingly felted Big G Magic Secrets VHS tape (those with puppet phobias, be warned: this stuff is nightmare fuel), it’s hard to find any evidence of the S’morecerer on the information super highway.
In fact, I’m still not entirely certain that the S’morecerer isn’t a Mandela Effect-esque bleed-over from some nearby parallel universe. You know, the same one that the Berenstein Bears are from.
But here’s to you, S’morecerer. I hope some passionate fan fiction writer out there gives you the rich backstory you deserve.
#2: Grandmas (Waffle Crisp)
The only live-action members of this list, Waffle Crisp’s 1990s crew of cereal-crafting Grannies probably can’t be called “mascots” by traditional definitions. But hey, I love my grandparents, my Grandma makes one heck of a Belgian waffle, and the idea that a loving maternal hand glazes every piece of Waffle Crisp with a loving sheen of maple syrup is heart-warming enough to earn these machinist matriarchs a spot on any mascot list I write.
The concept behind these ladies is that they ran a Waffle Crisp factory that young whippersnappers perpetually tried to steal from, but the Orwellian security of such a secretive establishment constantly tried to stymie them. And even though the Grandmas no longer appear in Waffle Crisp commercials, I’m convinced that the cereal’s new mascot, the equally awesome but far less cozy Waffle Boy, is just another cover-up so that today’s kids won’t track down these mythic maple mavens’ locale.
Maybe they’re even holding the S’morecerer hostage, too.
#1: Chockle the Blob (Cap’n Crunch’s Choco Crunch)
Cap’n Crunch has the best mascots. Period. From the time-transcending Cap’n himself to his trusty sea dog, his arch nemesis Jean LaFoote, and a cast of side characters large enough to fill a SkyMall catalogue, Quaker has done a fantastic job of crafting intricate lore around their deliciously golden corn and oat squares.
And Chockle the Blob is no exception. He’s a shape-shifting cookie dough blob created to advertise Cap’n Crunch’s Choco Crunch—which mixed plain Crunch with cocoa spheres—during the ’80s. Sorry, did you appreciate the sheer gravity of what I just said?
Chockle is a shape-shifting. Cookie dough. Blob.
He’s like the trusted companion kids could only meet in their wildest dreams, and he’s like the imaginative monster that Pokémon game developers wish they would’ve thought of. Note how the above commercial packs a whole 30-minute cartoon’s worth of compelling plot and character development into just 60 seconds.
There’s no chocolate version of Cap’n Crunch on shelves right now: Choco Donuts have been gone for over a decade, and Chocolatey Crunch recently disappeared after poor reception—the flavor wasn’t strong enough. Naturally, I blame this tragic dearth of fudge-flavored Cap’n Crunch on Chockle’s disappearance, but knowing the great mind behind Cap’n Crunch’s artwork, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see our favorite blobby boy back on a box some time soon.
Maybe we’ll even get a “Cap’n Crunch’s Cookie Dough Crunch” cereal.
But all tinfoil hats aside, I wish you a merry National Cereal Day! Feel free to use the comments section below to share your favorite obscure cereal mascot—or just use it to start a petition for Chockle the Blob’s return.