Meet the Nightmarish Original Ronald McDonald

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Earlier this year, McDonald’s revealed their new mascot ‘Happy,’ who will serve as a companion character to the company’s longtime spokesman Ronald McDonald. Not surprisingly, the social media reaction to the anthropomorphic Happy Meal wasn’t all that good, with most feeling that the character isn’t so much happy as he is horrifying.

Website Food Diggity even went ahead and Photoshopped the new mascot into a series of films including Psycho and The Shining, proving that he wouldn’t be all that out of place as the killer in a horror movie.

He’s creepy, there’s no denying that, but he’s not nearly as creepy as the original incarnation of Ronald McDonald, the fast food chain’s very first mascot…

Ronald McDonald

Ronald McDonald first came onto the scene way back in 1963, portrayed by Willard Scott and originally referred to as ‘Ronald McDonald, the Hamburger-Happy Clown.’ According to Scott, who went on to become the longtime weatherman for NBC’s Today Show, it was he who created the character, shortly after his stint as Bozo the Clown came to an end. He says that McDonald’s came to him looking for ideas, and since he knew kids loved both clowns and hamburgers, he decided to fuse the two together – and the rest, as they say, is history.

It wasn’t long before the company realized how creepy the early incarnation of Ronald was, replacing his tray-table head with a red wig and nightmare-inducing soda cup nose with a more classic round red one. Granted, even the present day Ronald McDonald is totally creepy and should probably be banned from coming within 20 feet of a school zone, but the original version of the character was way more rapey, as the original commercial below showcases.

So yea, the gaping child-eating mouth of Happy the Happy Meal mascot is a bit unsettling, but in comparison to the original McDonald’s mascot, he’s quite frankly as cute as Gizmo. So rest easy, children. You’ve got it pretty good!