McDonald’s has responded to reports following the unveiling of David Whipple’s 20-year-old burger. The Utah man bought the burger at a McDonald’s in Logan, UT. Although visually it looks the same, one of the fast-food chain’s executives says the burger has definitely undergone some changes.
These days, it’s just a fact of life: At some point, the Hamburglar is going to crash your picnic and steal your hamburgers.
Most of us have simply accepted it and moved on. “I can buy more hamburgers,” we tell ourselves. “After all, I did move to McDonaldland. What was I expecting?”
Then again, many of us might be interested to learn that these types of nuisances weren’t always the norm. Prior to 1971, no one had even heard of the Hamburglar, let alone his infuriating “robble, robble!” catchphrase.
The Hamburglar, seen here in 1991 actually giving away a Happy Meal, was originally introduced in 1971 as a much greedier, slightly creepier McDonaldland resident. (Hank DeGeorge/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
The Hamburglar, widely regarded as the biggest burger fanatic since J. Wellington Wimpy, was originally introduced in 1971 as part of McDonald’s new “McDonaldland” series of ad campaigns, where he was depicted as a caped, gibberish-spewing, long-nosed bandit with a shirt reading “Lone Jogger,” which also seemed to be his only name at the time.
He wasn’t only fixated on burgers, either. One commercial from the early ‘70s shows him stealing McDonald’s hotcakes. (“Stealing” is probably too strong a word; Ronald McDonald basically hands over the hotcakes with a smile on his face.)
Other commercials paired the Hamburglar with Captain Crook, a pirate-like character who lusted after Filet-O-Fish sandwiches and would sometimes translate the Hamburglar’s gibberish into English for the rest of McDonald’s denizens to understand, according to Mental Floss.
Over the years, the Hamburglar eventually grew into the rascally red-headed scamp we’re familiar with today, save for the time McDonald’s tried to reimagine him as a scruffy, hunkier, human Hamburgler in 2015, presumably to both confuse and arouse McDonald’s customers.
The 2015 campaign featuring a reimagined Hamburglar was aimed at a slightly older set of would-be consumers interested in premium offerings like the sirloin burger and artisan chicken sandwich
These days, however, the Hamburglar is largely absent from McDonald’s marketing campaigns, but fans can rest easy knowing he’s still safe and sound in McDonaldland — or at least he was as of 2016, when Mental Floss reached out for a comment on the status of the McDonaldland gang.
“Mayor McCheese and his friends are indeed alive and well, enjoying life in McDonaldland,” then-McDonald’s executive Julie Pottebaum said.