As an ad campaign it kind of fell flat, didn’t it? I still don’t think I understand what’s going. So KFC decided to bring back their iconic mascot, Colonel Sanders, after banishing him for the better part of two decades when they tried to downplay their good ole boy roots and become DOWN WITH THE KIDS (abbreviating the name, losing the spinning bowl from in front of the restaurant, offering EXTREME popcorn chicken bites, and such). And I guess if one Colonel is good, then TWO Colonel is EVEN BETTER, right?
It all began in May, when SNL alumnus Darrell Hammond first portrayed the Colonel in a commercial. And, how to put this kindly? He suuuuuuuuuuucked. He played him like a cross between George W Bush and Yosemite Sam – I mean, really, what was up with that villainous cackle?
Kentucky governor John Young Brown Jr., who bought the business from Colonel Sanders, thought Hammond’s commercials were in poor taste. “I don’t think you make a gimmick out of somebody,” he told a newspaperl in May. “I think they are making fun of the Colonel. It is such a fascinating story, I hate to see them tarnish it.”
Hammond’s commercials were hated by 1 in 5 people, Greg Creed, CEO of KFC’s parent company, Yum Brands, recently told Food Business News.
Enter Norm MacDonald (coincidentally, ANOTHER a SNL alumnus).
“Other than not quite looking like him, his voice being different, and his inability to cook the world’s best chicken, we thought Norm was the perfect choice to play the Real Colonel,” says Kevin Hochman, KFC’s chief marketing officer in the U.S. “I think the fans will agree.”
A KFC spokeswoman insists Hammond wasn’t fired. “Colonel Sanders was a very enigmatic personality — not just one person could play him,” the rep tells the Daily News.
So now the new weirdly meta ads featured Norm (as the Colonel) claiming that Darrell‘s Colonel was an impostor. He does this while promoting KFC’s new $20 Family Fill Up Meal and taking a lie detector test to prove that he’s the real deal.
Um, OK. Do what you gotta do to salvage the situation, I suppose. Although, just getting a new actor would have worked, too. People’s attention spans are so short this day, nobody would even remember Darrell after a month of Norm.
Then, when things couldn’t get any more muddled for the young kids at home who don’t know who ANY OF THESE PEOPLE are, and why they should care – KFC announced they were partnering with DC comic books for a comic book “The Colonel of Two Worlds” in which – wait for it – The Flash accidentally travels to a parallel world – Earth-3, DC’s alternate Earth where morality is reversed — and finds a Colonel who’s causing trouble.
The one-off special issue by Tony Bedard and Tom Derenick, produced in partnership between DC Entertainment and KFC, is actually the Colonel’s second comic book adventure this year; attendees to San Diego Comic-Con in July were able to pick up the Colonel’s original story, which revealed his own super power: the ability to fry chicken “The Hard Way.” This time, he fights his evil doppelgänger alongside DC superheros Green Lantern and The Flash.
Ugh. Just let it go. ALL OF IT. Make it go away.
Read the first few pages of the comic book below.