Old McDonald's characters you have probably forgotten about

Old McDonald's characters you have probably forgotten about

McDonald's is an American multinational fast-food restaurant famous for its hamburgers, french fries, sandwiches, nuggets, shakes and pie. The company introduced the McDonaldland characters to help market its products. These are the old McDonald's characters you have probably forgotten about.

Officer Big Mac
Photo: @ronaldmcdonald, @filming_in_mcdonaldland on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Trying to remember all McDonald's characters' names is a task for many people. Despite the company's efforts to be fun with its mascots, the gang mostly brought childhood nightmares. From the giant purple monster to the bright yellow bird, here are the names of the characters of McDonaldland.

McDonald's characters that might have faded from your memory

Many people still think the McDonald's characters were a legion of horrible monsters. They can, however, face their fears by going down memory lane.

1. Ronald McDonald

Purple McDonalds guy
Ronald McDonald attends the 33rd annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards at the Orleans Arena on March 24, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Earl Gibson III
Source: Getty Images

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Ronald is the first and main character of McDonald's commercials. He became a food icon for and not for good reasons. This character is a clown with red hair, red lips and a big smile. He wears a yellow suit, a shirt with red and white stripes, yellow gloves and red shoes.

His look has changed over the years. Originally, his suit had yellow and red stripes with a McDonald's hamburger tray, which he used as a hat.

His costume later had red pockets with an "M" at the centre. The collar also shrunk, and the stripes became thicker. This became his permanent look.

He often appeared in advertisements interacting with kids. Willard Scott and other actors have portrayed him over the years. He took a back seat after 2016 when clowns became unpopular.

2. Sundae

Sundae was Ronald's dog, which only appeared in one commercial. You might expect Sundae to bring joy to the McDonald's mascot crew, but he was anything but jolly.

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He is an animated puppet and a pessimistic dog that is always negative. He dislikes ticks and has always had a conflict with Hamburglar.

Sundae also appeared as a normal dog in some McDonald's commercials. Although he only made a few appearances, his legacy lives on. He was portrayed by Verne Troyer, and his voice by Dee Bradley Baker.

3. Grimace

Original McDonalds characters
Photo: @filming_in_mcdonaldland on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Grimace is the purple McDonald's guy who debuted in 1971 and was known as the Evil Grimace. He was portrayed with two pairs of arms and was a milkshake and pops thief. Evil Grimace was reintroduced in 1973 as Grimace, a good guy.

This character went from having two pairs of arms to one pair he has today. His appearance has also changed from a scary purple giant with a frown to a gentle giant with a friendlier smile. He now has a black mouth and a pink tongue.

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He was a major character in McDonaldland, and his clumsy antics were met with laughter from the audience. Grimace was retained after the characters were streamlined and details of his family life began to emerge. His family was revealed, including Uncle O'Grimacey.

Grimace has a mom, a dad, a grandma, Winky, a great-grandma, Jenny and a brother, King Gonga. In Grimace's Oddysey, Grimace is depicted as a ham radio enthusiast with a colander transmitter.

This character was portrayed by Patti Saunders, Larry Moran and Kevin Michael Richardson. Frank Welker was the voice behind this character.

4. Hamburglar

McDonald's mascots
The Williams Sisters will star in an upcoming McDonald's Dollar Menu television commercial with the Hamburglar (second L) Photo: Mathew Imaging
Source: Getty Images

The Hamburglar, one of the original Mcdonald's characters, was a tiny burglar. He was the least intimidating McDonald's mascot among the commercials' first villains.

His costume is a black-and-white shirt and pants, a red cape, red gloves and a wide hat. He was a hamburger burglar, hence his name. He appeared in the classic NES game and M.C. Kids.

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The character started as a villain who was old and was called the Lone Jogger. His speech was gibberish, and Captain Crook translated for him.

His look later changed from an older man to a red-headed child. He wore a shorter hat and a black and yellow cape. In one of the commercials, he wears green goggles, a leather jacket, a striped shirt, shorts and sneakers.

Hamburglar's last appearance was on prime-time TV commercials marketing the dollar menu. He was featured with Grimace, Cedric The Entertainer, Serena and Venus Williams. Howard Morris, Charlie Adler, and Carl W. Wolfe were the voices behind Hamburglar.

5. Mayor McCheese

Uncle O'Grimacey
Cosplayers dressed as Mayor McCheese (L) and Furby during Day 3 of New York Comic Con 2021 at Jacob Javits Center on October 09, 2021, in New York City. Photo: Bryan Bedder
Source: Getty Images

This character was a huge cheeseburger who was featured in the ads until 2008. He had a burger head, a top hat, a sash, and a pair of pince-nez glasses. Although he is an incompetent mayor, he is giggly and bumbling.

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He was dropped in the mid-1980s but was later featured in The Monster O' McDonaldland Loch. Howard Morris and Bob Joles were the voices behind this character.

6. Officer Big Mac

Birdie the Early Bird
Officer Big Mac: Fast food chain child's meal premium from the early 1980s. Photo: Kim Willett
Source: Getty Images

Officer Big Mac is one of the old Mcdonald's characters. He appeared in commercials between 1970-2008. Big Mac was a character that promoted McDonald's signature sandwich. He was the official peacekeeper and Mayor McCheese's right-hand man.

Just like Mayor McCheese, Big Mac had a big head shaped like a burger. He wore a police uniform with a small helmet on top of his head. He was always in pursuit of Captain Crook and Hamburglar. Ted Cassidy was the voice behind him.

7. Captain Crook

Captain Crook is one of the creepy Mcdonald's characters who appeared as a pirate between 1970-2008. He was a villain who liked to steal Filet-O-Fish sandwiches from the people of McDonaldland. He was always on the run from Officer Big Mac and used boats and waterways to escape.

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Crook's mouth could not be seen, and he had a rubber mask on. In the 1980s, Crook was The Captain who carried a parrot. Lennie Weinrib voiced this character.

8. Birdie the Early Bird

McDonalds character names
Photo: @ronaldmcdonald on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: UGC

Birdie was the first female character who first appeared in 1980 to market McDonald's new breakfast combo. Birdie is a yellow bird who wears a pink jumpsuit, a scarf and a flight cap.

Later on, her legs became orange. This character was a big step forward in McDonald's gender politics as it promoted gender equality.

Birdie mostly appeared in different outfits, and she believed aliens took her birdbath in one of the commercials. Birdie took karate lessons in Visitors from Outer Space and became very good. This character was played by Patty Maloney and voiced by Russi Taylor.

8. Uncle O'Grimacey

Uncle O'Grimacey appeared between 1977-1985. He is Grimace's uncle with Irish heritage and is green in colour, unlike Grimace, who is purple. His costume is a frock coat covered with clover leaves and has a shillelagh.

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Uncle O'Grimacey lived in his native country and came to visit Grimace in March with his incredibly delicious shake. McDonald's dropped this character and no longer uses him to promote its shake.

10. The Professor

He was an old bearded scientist in a lab coat who served as McDonaldland's local researcher and inventor. In the beginning, he rarely spoke, but in the 1980s, he became a major character in the commercials. He upgraded his look and had a lightbulb-topped helmet and a moustache.

The professor invented a rocket ship to take Ronald and his friends to Magical Moon. The character was dropped in the mid-1980s but later appeared in McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure and M.C. Kids. Howard Morris and Andre Stojka voiced this character.

What was Hamburglar's catchphrase?

Although in the beginning, he muttered unintelligible words, he later got the catchphrase “Robble robble!”.

Why did McDonald's get rid of Mayor McCheese?

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Mayor McCheese was removed because of a lawsuit by H.R. Pufnstuf creators Sid and Marty Krofft. They alleged that McDonaldland was a copy of H.R. Pufnstuf.

Over the years, the McDonald's commercial has seen several additions and subtractions of the characters. Some are even more unusual than the names on this list. However, there are the old McDonald's characters that still haunt the fans today. This article takes you on a trip down memory lane remembering all the main McDonald's characters' from McDonaldland.

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