The captain who lives on the front of the box of the cereal notorious for shredding the roof of your mouth, Cap’n Crunch, has an unusual “real” name. You will probably never guess it, so we are going to tell you … soon.
The eponymous Cap’n helms the S.S. Guppy (via CNN) but that’s just not good enough for some people; the character fell under much scrutiny in 2013 when his captain status was questioned, per the stripes on his uniform sleeve. As ABC News noted, the three stripes would actually rank the “Cap’n” as a commander, one level under an actual captain. Additionally, the stripes also more closely resemble those found on the French Navy uniforms (via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).
He also has a nemesis as he navigates the “Milk Sea,” who does not garner nearly as much attention, Jean LaFoote, a barefoot swashbuckling pirate (via Advertising Week 360). The character was a staple in the animated Cap’n Crunch ads of the 1960s, but never really stuck. In fact, the pirate also got his own spinoff cereal in the 1970s, Cinnamon Crunch, which came equipped with a pirate kit prize insert.
Despite your opinion of the Cap’n, one thing is certain, he should be widely accepted as a true U.S. Navy man, because the animated ads were voiced by none other than Daws Butler, who served in the Navy during World War II (via Mashed). If you’d like to throw our Cap’n some love for his (albeit much less dangerous) service, you can help promote him to Admiral status, via this change.org petition. Just give them his unforgettable name — Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch.
A brief dive into the history of Cap'n Crunch
The corn-and-oat cereal originally launched with a promise to help thwart the cereal-gone-soggy in milk issue. It was created by Pamela Low, who derived the cereal from a recipe based on inspiration from her grandmother’s rice, which she topped with butter and brown sugar sauce (via Los Angeles Times).
Quaker Oats enlisted the creator of the then-widely popular “Rocky and Bullwinkle” animated show, Jay Ward, to help create a series of animated commercials to air during Saturday morning cartoons. His style, reminiscent of the show, helped launch the cereal’s popularity (via Cartoon Research).
There have been numerous spinoff cereals for the brand, but the first was Crunch Berries in 1967, followed by Peanut Butter Crunch, in 1969, and has since launched many other different flavors, like Cotton Candy Crunch. Most recently, in 2019, the brand dropped Red, White & Blue Crunch.
Pretty good lifespan for a cereal which was almost killed off in 2011, as a direct result of the childhood obesity scare among the sugary breakfast options, which prompted the company to dial back the advertising for its many cereal brands (via TIME).
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