Aug 30, 2014

Mikey Likes It

The blog "Mikey Likes It" is maintained by a gay college student who wasn't even born when the enduring catch phrase was created.

It was the fall of 1972, and Quaker Oats was trying to expand out from oatmeal to the cold cereal market with a cereal called "Life."










And a commercial that showed two young boys staring dubiously at a bowl of Life Cereal, "supposed to be good for us."  They foist it off onto their brother, Mikey.  "He'll eat it -- he eats everything."  Sure enough, Mikey enjoys the cereal, and we hear in a voiceover. "He likes it!  Hey, Mikey!"

After a few months, somebody at the advertising agency realized that it was not high praise to have the cereal eaten by a boy who eats everything, so they changed the line to: "He won't eat it -- he hates everything."  Except Life Cereal, of course.

The ads continued for years, giving Baby Boomer kids with dirty minds a never ending source of dirty jokes. Mikey will eat anything.  And so on.

As the years passed, an urban legend developed that Mikey had died from a combination of Pop Rocks (a carbonated candy) and soda.  That was untrue, of course.  Actor John Gilchrist  returned in the early 1990s as a hunky college student to demonstrate that, once again, "Mikey likes it."

Today Gilchrist is in charge of media sales for the MSG Networks, married with children, so probably heterosexual. No word on the other boys in the commercial, his older brothers Tommy and Mike.

See also: Breakfast of Champions.