Archive for April 6th, 2010

The Ballad of Twinkie the Kid

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010


It’s Twinkies’ 80th birthday today and I’m feeling a little bad for Twinkie the Kid.  Twinkies, of course, are those cream-filled pieces of sponge cake that are supposed to have a shelf-life of ‘forever’.  And Twinkie the Kid is their spokes character just like Ronald McDonald, Mr. Peanut, and Eneman represent their respective products.

Yet today the “Kid” is basically unemployed and getting more and more dated by the minute.  Why Hostess chose a cowboy character with a ten-gallon hat and boots is anybody’s guess – but I suspect it was to macho up a “girlie” product.  What tough boy would buy a creamy-white donut that looks like a cheap French pastry?

But the costume didn’t help – Twinkie the Kid seemed immediately doomed to character limbo – and Twinkies became successful without him.

Fortunately Twinkie the Kid is not bitter – he’s sweet.  Kind of like Pete Best, drummer for the Beatles and replaced by Ringo Starr – just hours before the group burst on to the worldwide stage.  Years later when Pete was interviewed at his dishwashing job in a London diner, he said he “was not bitter at all” and “wished the boys well”.

At least Pete didn’t have to wear a fruity heart-filled kerchief and eternal smile.