Tuesday, January 11, 2022

I still don't know where Herb is...

For 25 days in the winter of 1986, Jon Menick traveled the country. He would be ushered into a Burger King franchise location by his handlers, loitering until someone recognized his olive-green jacket and high-water pants. He’d wait for them to say hello, at which point he’d stick out his hand and tell them they’d just won $5000.

Menick repeated this process for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. He was appearing in character as Herb, Burger King’s latest pitchman. Aside from his outmoded fashion sense, Herb was notable for being just about the only man in the country who had never eaten a Whopper. Months of print and television ads had teased Herb’s existence; his “family” and “friends” were interviewed, discussing this blight on their existence. The idea of a man who had never succumbed to the pleasures of a grilled fast-service burger was presented as proportionate to a man who had never tasted an orange or experienced a full moon...


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