Friday, October 12, 2012


Let’s talk breakfast tonight on the Countdown to Halloween, or more precisely, breakfast cereal.  And, specifically, that strawberry flavored, marshmallowed General Mills product known by the name of FRANKEN BERRY!

In October of 1971, Count Chocula and Franken Berry cereals were the first of, eventually, five monster-themed cereals to be introduced by General Mills.

Franken Berry is a strawberry-flavored cereal with marshmallows and is represented by a pink Frankenstein Monster who talks with a very Boris Karloff voice.  He seems to be a steampunk Monster as he feaures a gauge and a steam whistle out of each side of his head.  He has bolts over where his ears should be and a pair of goggles that seem to be rivited to his face.  The only thing not pink in his attire are the chains that he wears as suspenders.

(Click to Frankensize)

By February of ’72, Franken Berry cereal had turned some children’s feces pink due to an inability to break down the heavily dyed cereal.  The symptom came to be referred to as “Frankenberry Stool”.  Thank goodness I don’t have any photos of this phenomenon.

Boo Berry, known to be the first blueberry-flavored cereal, was released in 1973 and featured a ghost with a voice very much like Peter Lorre, and Fruit Brute the following year.  Fruit Brute was discontinued in 1983 and replaced in 1987 by Fruity Yummy Mummy, which also had a short life as it was discontinued in the ‘90s.

Beginning in 2010, Frankenberry, Boo Berry, and Count Chockula cereals will be manufactured and sold only for a few months during the fall/Halloween season.

Robert “Bob” McFadden was an American singer, impressionist and voice-over actor best known for his work on many animated cartoons.

His most popular television cartoon characters included Milton the Monster from the ABC series, The Milton The Monster Show, Cool McCool from the NBC series, Cool McCool; and Snarf from the syndicated series, ThunderCats.

McFadden was also the voice of numerous radio and tv commercial parts including Franken Berry in the animated commercials for General Mills’  Franken Berry cereal as well as the pet parrot who cackled “ring around the collar” in TV commercials for Wisk laundry detergent.

While in the United States Navy during World War II, he began performing as a singer and impressionist.  After the war, he went on to work at a steel mill in Pittsburgh and continued performing nights as an opening act for such artists as Harry Belafonte.  McFadden eventually moved to New York where he obtained extensive voice-over work in both commercials and animation.

In 1959, he appeared as a singer folk music artist, Rod McKuen, on the Brunswick Records album entitled Songs Our Mummy Taught Us which inclued two tracks, “The Mummy” and “The Beat Generation”, also released as a single.

And this is where you can find it...

In 1963, McFadden released the Audio Fidelity Records parody album entitled Fast, Fast Relief From TV Commercials followed by the 1967 Columbia Records spoken-word album, The Medium Is The Message.  In 1977, McFadden voiced the character, Chugs, in the animated TV Easter special, The Bunny Is Comin’ To Town.

Websites worth referencing...

Some nifty merchandise featuring our Franken Berry Monster:

(Click to Frankensize)
(Click to Frankensize)

And lest we forget, the films to keep eyes peeled for over at TCM:
Late Friday, October 12, 2012
12:30am - I MARRIED A WITCH (1942)
(Click to Frankensize)

2am - THE BORN LOSERS (1967)
(Click to Billy Jack)

Early Saturday, October 13, 2012
10:15am - PREHISTORIC WOMEN (1967)
(Click to Frankensize)

And now...

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