The Times reported yesterday that Burger King, which like all hamburger chains longs for the attentions of fickle young men, has signed on Family Guy co-creator Seth MacFarlane to do a series of cartoons featuring a MacFarlandized version of The King. “Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy” will be distributed through Google, and is expected to have a huge web presence; so, hoping to ride that, Burger King brought MacFarlane in to create interstitial Burger King animated ads.
As huge fans of The King (the figure, not the franchise) and interested observers of the fast-food scene, we couldn’t be more pessimistic about this move. The King, that uncanny figure created by the genius of ad agency Crispin Porter Bogusky, somehow managed to make Burger King cool through his oversize head and eerie, fixed smile. To cute him up, making him yet another sock puppet in the unfunny, overplayed, visually nauseating MacFarlane cartoon factory is the biggest waste of a fast food icon since KFC made a cartoon Colonel do his appallingly misguided hip-hop dance a few years ago. Keep the King where he belongs: in our troubled dreams.