Category Archives: jay ward
Finally my local Shop-Rite has decided to stock Quisp cereal. This is kinda cool, rather than drive a couple miles away to the Acme, or ordering through the mail, we can get Quisp almost any time we want. For a long time, that wasn’t really possible. Quisp was among the missing.
Quisp was my favorite cereal when I was a kid way way back when. Way before Frosted Flakes and Rice Krispies, I loved me some Quisp. The cereal was what I would munch while watching the Saturday morning cartoons and beg for in the supermarket because it had a toy inside. I have a distinct memory of my big sister building the toy flying saucer from inside the box. That’s right, a toy so complex it had to be put together. She even attached a thread to it so it would appear to fly on its own.
Yeah, we’re talking about real cereal, it’s even made mostly of corn and sugar, in the shape of little flying saucers. It even took its name from the little alien who was the cereal’s mascot, who was featured in a series of animated commercials during Saturday mornings, by Jay Ward, who also did “Rocky and Bullwinkle.” Can you get more retro than that?
On Saturday mornings back in the day, the commercials were a little longer, not thirty-second buy-me blasts, but sometimes multi-minute-to-be-continued-on-a-later-break stories. The ads for the original G.I. Joe Adventure Team were like that, and so were the adventures of Quisp and Quake.
While Quisp was a little alien dude, Quake, his default friend and active rival was a big burly miner (later a superhero-like swashbuckler), and they would argue, fight, and compete over whose cereal was better. Ironically, they tasted the same, but had different shapes, Quisp in the shape of tiny bowl-like flying saucers, and Quake was, I think, big rock-shaped cereal. I really couldn’t say, I always got Quisp.
I remember vividly in 1972 when an election took place where you could vote for your favorite of the two cereals. A nation of kids, wrapped up in the same type of election fever that gripped their adult counterparts, voted for Quisp as the chosen one. Quake won. As his punishment, besides dealing with Quisp’s gloating, Quake became the sidekick to Simon the Quangeroo, who got his own cereal, albeit an orange flavored version.
When another election, one I don’t actually recall, was held in 1976, Quisp won again and Quangeroos were vanquished, ahem, I mean discontinued. The ironic thing is shortly thereafter, all three cereals seemed to vanish from not only television screens, but also store shelves.
Quisp returned in the 1980s briefly and then again in the 1990s as available online only, before coming to select stores. I’m glad it’s now available closer to home, and I’m sure we’ll be getting it more often.
Underdog ~ When I first heard about this flick, a live-action version of General Mills’ animated “Underdog” with Jason Lee in the title role… I have to admit I was more than little turned off. Recently however I was checking out the movies of Peter Dinkage from HBO’s fabulous “Game of Thrones” and I saw that he was in it. Then after seeing a pic of him in the role of Underdog arch-villain Simon Barsinister, along with “Seinfeld” supporting cast member Patrick Warburton as his henchman Cad – I was sold. I had to see it, if for nothing else, the inspired casting.
The opening credit sequence showed clips from the cartoons, I had a little more hope but still wasn’t sure. We had to sit through the mandatory origin story, which was interesting as we had never seen it before. I was a little disappointed the hero was linked to the villain as happens so often in movie versions of superhero origins. Although as the movie went on, even with Jason Lee’s annoying voice and voiceovers, there were more and more things that made me smile. It’s not perfect, but they tried real hard.
I would recommend this version of Underdog for the kids on one condition. When it’s over, sit your kids down with the real “Underdog” cartoons, so they know what’s what.