In 1984, Clara Peller rose to stardom because of her appearance in a Wendy’s commercial. Wendy’s went after their competitors (McDonald’s and Burger King) by focusing on the fact that their hamburger patties were hidden under the large bun, while Wendy’s single patty was bigger than their bun. In the commercial, Clara is at a fictional burger joint with a sign that reads “Home of the Big Bun.” She receives a huge bun with a small burger and yells “Where’s the Beef!?” Originally, the line was supposed to be “Where is all the beef?” Peller (who was 81 at the time) had emphysema and couldn’t say the original line, so she yelled the catchphrase that made her famous.
(Word is that originally the ad was to feature a young couple spouting the line, but the director didn’t think it was funny and changed the cast to elderly ladies. Kudos to that director, because “Where’s the Beef ?” is forever a part of 1980’s Pop Culture!)
You can see some of the commercials here:
Why am I blogging about a commercial that is almost 40 years old? Funny that you ask….
I’m not sure why I had so many weird dreams last night. At one of those dreams, I am at some big party with all kinds of old celebrities. At one point, I am among a crowd of people and here comes Clara Peller! She is holding a picture of me and her from some sort of Wendy’s promotional event. She is talking to me, but because of the crowd noise, I have no idea what she is saying. She then hands me a Sharpie marker and asks me to autograph the picture for her!
I woke up and started laughing. I probably should have grabbed a bite to eat before heading to bed…
In searching for pictures for this blog, I found out that there was a book about Clara’s life … It got some pretty good reviews…