It’s Not Easy Being Cheesy

Why cheetahs nearly became extinct.

Why cheetahs nearly became extinct.

tuesday tvHere in America, we hold these three rights to be self evident… life, liberty, and the pursuit of salty snacks.  Sure we love our potato chips, pretzels, and corn chips big enough to scoop the wax out of an elephant’s ear… but find a way to throw a bunch of goopy, gloppy cheese onto a partially hydrogenated snack, and you’ll have us licking our fingers in dried-on orange colored crap anticipation!

Cheese popcorn?  Hell yeah!  We don’t even care if we’re paying $3 a bag for 30 cents worth of fluffy, cheese-caked goodness!

Orville Redenbacher never came up with this idea..,

Orville Redenbacher never came up with this idea..,

Nacho cheese Doritos?  Yes please!

They're finger lickin' good!

They’re finger lickin’ good!

Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a snack that was essentially nothing but slathered on cheesy yumminess?  In 1948, Charles Elmer Doolin became an American hero when he invented the snack we call Cheetos.  In later years, as television advertising became more and more necessary to maintain brand awareness, the makers of Cheetos decided that they needed a good anthropomorphic mascot to appeal to the unhealthy habits of both kids and adults alike.  Considering the brand’s name, it was pretty obvious what kind of animal the cheesy advertising geniuses came up with to pitch Cheetos…

Yeah, a fucking mouse.  That's either way outside of the box thinking, or just a bunch of morons trying to make a commercial.

Yeah, a fucking mouse. That’s either way outside of the box thinking, or just a bunch of morons trying to make a commercial.

OK, yeah, mice are always connected to cheese thanks to all those old, inaccurate Tom & Jerry cartoons we used to watch.  But a bunch of ad execs who actually passed their classes came along in the 80’s and gave the rodent a pink slip laced with D-con so that they could introduce one of the coolest commercial mascots to ever grace the boob tube…

Look out for the cheetah!

Look out for the cheetah!

My crummy research I do for these pathetic humorous articles I write for this blog tells me that Chester Cheetah debuted in 1983… but that seems way too early to me.  I first remember seeing him in the late 80’s, when he was dissing that knockoff Any Old Cheese Puffs* and getting himself into all kinds of trouble trying to steal other people’s food.

*True story: In a cartoon series I created over two decades ago, I borrowed the “Any Old” brand name from the Cheetos commercials as that comic universe’s answer to Wile E. Coyote’s Acme products.  Much like all consumer goods in the world of Evil Squirrel are Mecca themed, everything was Any Old ____ in that previous series.  Sadly, all traces of references to Any Old Cheese Puffs in the early Chester Cheetah ads seem to have been lost to the ages...


Or it could have just been a product of my overactive imagination… who knows?

Anyhow, let’s watch one of Chester’s finer moments of advertising glory:

Like all good commercial mascots, Chester relied on a strict formula of cartoon craziness in all of his late 80’s ads.  First, we would always see the laid back hipster feline partaking in some activity that should have come with a warning not to attempt due to its potentially dangerous coolness factor.  He would rattle off some nonsense about how awesome he was, but his babbling only sounded cool because it rhymed.  In fact, Chester was so otherworldly cool, that he spoke exclusively in whyme… a trait he ripped straight off the radical skates of fellow cartoon feline Wordsworth.

I've got to say that I can not grouse Because I myself stole from Muffy Mouse!

I’ve got to say that I can not grouse
Because I myself stole from Muffy Mouse!

Once Chester has established his catty coolness, he spies some poor, hapless human enjoying a bag of Cheetos.  Because Chester has a crippling addiction to the cheesy snack, the only course of action for Chester is to pontificate on the greatness of his artificially flavored holy grail while he evilly plots how to take the bag right out of some stranger’s orange-colored fingers.  If there was an advertising mascot rehab, Chester would be sharing a padded cell with this guy

These will stain your fingers just as well as those Cheetos... and keep you away from my Fruity Pebbles!

These will stain your fingers just as well as those Cheetos… and keep you away from my Fruity Pebbles!

Unlike Barney, though, Chester doesn’t have the patience or quite possibly the brainpower to come up with some silly disguise or trick to get the deliciously cheesy crunch he craves.  No, once this cheetah’s done acting like a cartoon spaz, he plunges headlong at the perpetrator who dared to eat a snack within his presence and tries his best smash and grab routine…

Why it's never wise to eat alone in a city park.

Why it’s never wise to eat alone in a city park.

Chester’s bad karma always catches up to him, however, and he not only doesn’t get the cheeselike bounty he seeks, but he usually ends up seriously harming himself in the process.  In fact, in the commercial I embedded here… Chester is so desperate for a cheese fix that he’s chasing after an empty bag that’s being thrown away just so he can lick the loose cheesy goop off the bottom.  Dude, it’s seriously time to get you some help when you’re dumpster diving for Cheetos remnants.

Hey!!!  Get out of that bag, you dirty possum!  Those are my Cheetos!

Hey!!! Get out of that bag, you dirty possum! Those are my Cheetos!

Then again, maybe this lady who plays the potential victim needs to have a Cheetos intervention of her own.  After all, she’s seen throwing away an empty bag right before Chester strikes, yet here’s what she looked like at the beginning of the commercial:

Holy shit!  She ate the whole bag in less than 30 seconds!  She's going to be vomiting orange for weeks.

Holy shit! She ate the whole bag in less than 30 seconds! She’s going to be vomiting orange for weeks.

As Chester deals with his body deforming punishment for the deadly sin of cheesy gluttony, he utters his trademark line, “It’s not easy being cheesy” before doing that odd shaking maneuver that’s been magically bringing misshapen cartoon characters back to their regular form for almost a century now…

If you hit the lid hard enough to make your face take its shape, that's probably gonna require plastic surgery to fix.

If you hit the lid hard enough to make your face take its shape, that’s probably gonna require plastic surgery to fix.

Remarkably, Chester Cheetah is still around shilling for cheese covered turds three decades after he was first spotted (See what did there?) on TV.  Sadly, he doesn’t appear to have aged very well

What do you get when you mix a cheetah with Col. Sanders and Dr. Wily?

What do you get when you mix a cheetah with Col. Sanders and Dr. Wily?

Apparently, all of the stress of not being able to quite reach the sour Cheetos turned our beloved cheetah prematurely grey.  Not to mention, all those years of having to painfully perform his old stunts has reduced him to being an inactive bystander in ads these days supervising others doing his dirty work.  But at least Chester made it around long enough to prove the old advertising maxim that the best way to sell unhealthy food to your young audience is to act like a fucked up mess.  And for his contributions to the art of commercial chicanery, we at The Nest would like to salute Chester Cheetah, a cool cat living among a world of sick puppies.  We perfectly understand that the addictive goodness of the snack you pitched would drive anyone to attempt mugging strangers in the park just to get a taste of the cheesy goodness that they are so selfishly keeping stuck to their own fingers…

Here kitty.... now go away!

Here kitty…. now go away!


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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29 Responses to It’s Not Easy Being Cheesy

  1. markbialczak says:

    Ready for pure sacrilege? I always chose the Old London Cheese Doodles brand, ESN. Puffier and cheesier. And no cheetah to deal with on TV.

  2. Lynda says:

    Bill, you’re diss’n my favorite snack food? I love those puffy cheese encrusted Styrofoam snacks! I’m tellin’ ya, they must be dustin’ them with Crack, because if I start eating them I don’t have an “off switch”! Jonesin’ for some now!

  3. MMMM YUM. I love those orange snacks. I have a particular passion for Doritos, entirely against doctor’s orders. I have found orange cheesy rice cakes too (totally awesome). Nachos have just got to be the totally best-worst snack ever invented.

  4. merbear74 says:

    My favorite part is eating the cheese off of my fingers.

  5. NotAPunkRocker says:

    Puffy cheese doodles are like eating cheesy caterpillars. Or so I would imagine that experience would be like.

    Cheese popcorn was the third thing I went for when I got my braces off (first being movie popcorn, second being bubble gum). Love that stuff.

    • Mmmmmmm!!! I didn’t like Cheetos to start with, and now I will never want to try them again thanks to that wonderful image!

      Cheese popcorn is the bomb, though. I just wish it were as filling as its price tag was…

  6. Mattmax says:

    Hey, I got a question, remember when you did Evil Unicorns Nest? do you think you could do Evil skunks Nest?

    • I had actually thought about the idea of doing headers that would come up at random with unicorns, possums, and yes, skunks. But as usual, I got lazy and stopped after I drew the unicorn one. Maybe next time I have a squirrel boycott, I’ll honor your favorite skunkettes…

  7. 1jaded1 says:

    Yum…cheese…or cheeze. The flamin hot isn’t bad either.

    • There’s an awesome Chester Cheetah radio ad from a few years ago where the guy’s eating a bag of flamin’ hot Cheetos and calls the “Cheetos Help Line” because he has nothing to wipe his fingers on. Chester advises he use the drapes.

      “Ummm, I just set the drapes on fire!”

      Chester advises: “You’ll want to call the drapes on fire hotline. Goodbye”

  8. Aw I feel so left out. All we had were potato chips or cheezels here. You Americans have the BEST fast food! 😀

  9. Scott says:

    I don’t even remember Cheetos making cheese puffs.

  10. Ok…showing my age here. Not only do I remember cheese puffs made by Cheetos, I remember Charlie Chips making cheese puffs and I could eat an entire bag of them by myself in one sitting! LOL! You youngsters have missed out on a lot of stuff! 😉

  11. Sorry, I’m a Wotsits lover.

    • Ha! You just made me look that up, and I learned something! Wotsits is made by Walkers, and that logo looked so familiar. It turns out that Walkers is what Frito Lay (Who makes Cheetos) is called in the UK! So I’d assume Wotsits is just the British version of Cheetos. You can change the name… but you can’t evade the Cheetah!

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