Man - Mascot for the Kool-Aid® drink mix seen over the years in both
animated and live-action commercials. The Kool-Aid Man was a life-sized glass
pitcher filled with refreshing Kool-Aid.
The smiling facial features on the Kool-Aid Man were made from the
condensation that formed on the outside of the ice-cube filled container.
In most of the commercials, the Kool-Aid Man crashes through some
kind of obstacle like a kitchen wall when summoned by thirsty admirers ("Hey,
Kool-Aid!"). His smashing entrance heralds, the delicious excitement of Kool-Aid
drink mix. The Kool-Aid Man's catchphrase is "Oh, Yeaahh!" The Kool-Aid Man
debuted in 1975 under the name of 'Pitcher Man'.
The concept for a pitcher with a smiling face image was introduced in 1953 along a heart and a 5-cent symbol,
but by 1954, the smiling face became the permanent mascot for Kool-Aid, a non-carbonated powdered soft drink that mixes with water and sugar.
Pre-sweetened Kool-Aid® was developed in 1964.
In recent years, Kool-Aid has also made its mark on the popular culture but with
a very negative connotation. Here are some examples:
- In 1978 members of the Peoples Temple cult committed suicide by drinking
cyanide-laced grape drink (alleged to be Kool-Aid) in what came to called the
"Jonestown Massacre." According to other sources, the cult members actually
drank Flav-R-Aid, a less expensive imitator but popular urban myth continues to
attach the incident with the Kool-Aid product.
- In 1982 author Tom Wolfe published his book" The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test"
that chronicled a psychedelic bus trip with hippies Ken Kesey and The Merry
Pranksters. (The title refers to LSD)
- In July 12, 1987 the Washington Post story "Being Stood Up by Mayor Leaves"
reported the radio call-in show utterance of Cathy Hughes who proclaimed "You
don't follow anyone blindly, my brothers and sisters ... We love Marion Barry.
He is the mayor...But if Marion Barry disrespects us, we will cry out...We will
not blindly drink the Kool-Aid any longer..."
- In the April 2002 issue of Vanity Fair magazine article "The Enron Wars" by
Marie Brenner reported William Lerach who recalled a top Enron executive named
McMahon, the treasurer as saying "Well, we've all got to go drink the Kool-Aid."
|Package of Grape Kool-Aid
||Atari 2600 Kool-Aid Man Video Game
|| Kool-Aid Man Marvel
Comic Book cover
TRIVIA NOTE: On an episode of FRESH PRINCE OF BEL
AIR, Phillip Banks, a hefty-sized black man, enters his kitchen wearing a very
loud red shirt. Unable to resist poking fun at his Uncle Phil's colorful outfit,
Philip's nephew Will Smith shouts out "Kool-AID!"
Originally called "Kool-Ade," Kool-Aid was invented in Hastings, Nebraska
by Edwin Perkins in 1927 when he distilled a flavored sugar syrup called Fruit
Smacks by removing its water content and then re-packaging the concentrated
powder into envelopes. The seven original Kool-Aid flavors were: Cherry,
Lemon-Lime, Grape, Orange, Root Beer, Strawberry, and Raspberry.