When I was in the grocery store the other day and noticed this display of Cookie Crisp cereal, Pride Month immediately came to mind.
Why? Because the wolf on the Cookie Crisp box looks suspiciously like Frute Brute, the proud General Mills breakfast cereal mascot from the 1970s. As the son of a longtime Big G salesman, I know Frute Brute when I see him!
“With his phallic snout and rainbow-striped jumpsuit, he has always been a beloved gay icon, but Big G kept him in the closet except on the occasional Halloween, when he was allowed to temporarily cruise grocery store aisles with his best friends Count Chocula and Frankenberry,” as I have previously written about Frute Brute.
Even when former Wheaties spokesman Bruce Jenner went transgender, the Big G bigwigs still didn’t let Frute Brute go prime time.
So I asked my General Mills contacts why the company is hiding Frute Brute on a box of Cookie Crisp, when he should be marching alongside Veep Kamala Harris, who grabbed headlines recently with her surprise appearance at the Capitol Pride Walk And Rally in Washington, D.C.
The Big G Archives Department informed me that the wolf on Cookie Crisp is “Chip,” not Frute Brute, and that “any similarities between the two characters in this instance are likely coincidental.” Just a coincidence? I wonder.
Whether or not you believe the official narrative, it looks like Frute Brute will be making another temporary comeback soon anyway, as part of a Halloween limited-edition “Monster Mash” cereal. It’s all part of the 50th anniversary commemoration of the 1971 introduction of Count Chocula and Frankenberry, which will be joined by Boo Berry (1972), Frute Brute (1974) and the latecomer Yummy Mummy (1988), which I don’t even remember.
Although the company has not yet publicly introduced Monster Mash, the cereal is already listed on the Instacart and Walmart websites, which reveal that “the world’s most Monster group is back together for a limited-edition cereal,” in which “pieces from all Monster Cereals are together in one bowl.” Yum.
But wait, that’s not all! It’s also reported that the frightful quintet will “record their own version of the greatest monster anthem of all time!” That’s right, the special-edition box will apparently have a link that “takes you to the Monster Cereals remake of the Monster Mash song.” That refers, of course, to the 1962 novelty hit which is required listening for all good Americans each and every Halloween.
Judging from the picture on the limited-edition box, Franken Berry and Boo Berry are the guitarists, with Count Chocula playing a Vox-style organ, Frute Brute on drums, and Yummy Mummy shaking a tambourine.
In the meantime, I guess we’ll have to settle for “Chip.”