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Popcorn Popper

Orville Redenbacher's Biography by Len Sherman

Orville Reden-Budders Butter Movie Popcorn

The Orville Redenbacher
 Official Popcorn Popper
Orville's posthumous biography by Len Sherman

Tin Box with
 Reden-Budders, Movie Theater Butter Gourmet

TRIVIA NOTE: Being a "pop" culture icon, the folksy character of Orville Redenbacher has appeared in a variety of tribute's to his popularity. He appeared on the animated cartoon THE SIMPSONS as a member of a secret Masonic-like club called The Stonecutters on episode "Homer the Great," and was mentioned in a conversation between Homer Simpson and his family on episode "Homer Goes to College":

Homer Simpson tells his family about his 3 new friends.

Homer: We played Dungeons & Dragons for three hours! Then I was slain by an elf.
Bart: Listen to yourself, man: you're hangin' with nerds.
Homer: You take that back!
Marge: Homer, please! These boys sound very nice, but they're clearly nerds.
Homer: Really? But nerds are my mortal enemy!
Lisa: Dad, nerds are nothing to fear. In fact, they've done some pretty memorable things. Some nerds of note include...popcorn magnate Orville Redenbacher, rock star David Byrne, and supreme court justice David Souter.
Homer: [gasp] Oh, not Souter! Oh, no!

-- Episode "Homer Goes to College"

One Internet site created an animated short called "Orville Redenbacher's Last Commercial." In this morbid but funny cartoon, Orville is presumed to be senile, When he is given stage directions to "eat a handful of popcorn," Orville goes crazy and "eats the hand" of a stage crew member. The film ends with the director of the spot shooting a volley of bullets into Orville. Outside the studio, the gunshots were thought to be Orville just popping his corn.

Orville Redenbacher also mingled with TV character greats like the millionaire Howell couple - Thurston (Jim Backus) and his wife, Lovey (Natalie Schafer) from the cult hit GILLIGAN'S ISLAND.

Orville Redenbacher with Millionaire Couple

Orville: Hello. I'm Orville Redenbacher. Do these millionaires know about the delicious, economic snack....
Mr. Howell: Caviar? Truffles?
Mrs. Howell: Oh no darling, this is gourmet popping corn.
Orville: Right! It pops bigger and fluffier than regular popcorn. Most every kernel pops. And you can pop all of this [multiple bowls of popped popcorn on table[ for about the same price as two bags of chips.
Mr. Howell: Call my broker! We'll corner the market!
Orville: Pop my Gourmet Popping Corn tonight. It's the best. Or my name isn't Orville...
Mrs. Howell: Hello. Corner Market?
Orville: ...Redenbacher

A competitor to Orville Redenbacher's product was "Explod-O-Pop®", a microwave popcorn (the world's first all-natural atomic popping corn) featured on the LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN. Initially the popcorn was imaginary, but after repeated references on the show, the popcorn was sold through the CBS Store for five dollars a box. Explod-O-Pop® was first mentioned on April 1, 2002.

During one of Dave's calls to Stephanie Birkitt, he asked her to choose her favorite brand of popcorn. He offered her a selection of four brands which included Jolly Time®, Orville Redenbacher's®, Newman's Own® or Explod-O-Pop®. Dave expected her to pick the CBS product but Stephanie chose Orville Redenbacher's® because she thought Explod-O-Pop® sounded too scary.


A final note: A USA Today report in 2005 based on the American Chemical Society's BioMacromolecules journal reported that researchers at Redenbacher's alma mater Purdue University in Indiana revealed the mystery of "Why do some popcorn kernels pop while others don't?"

"Food scientist Agung Tandjung, a native of Indonesia and newcomer to the entire popcorn concept, found that something surprising happens when heat is applied to the outer bran layer of the kernel, called the pericarp. (For non-biologist readers, that's the yellow bit that gets caught between your teeth.)

In the few seconds before the cellulose matrix that makes up the pericarp is destroyed by the popping kernel, it actually reorders itself and gets stronger. A pericarp strengthened by a better crystalline structure makes for a fully popped corn kernel, the researchers found....A strong pericarp is the key to popability." (The average popping temperature for popcorn is around 175°C )

Orville Redenbacher Popcorn Ad

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