CNN — For a long time it feels like we haven't seen much of Ronald McDonald. Not for nothing, but I heard he shanked Grimace in a back alley somewhere down in Mexico.
That's the rumor, anyway.
However, now the famous fast-food clown is back in the spotlight, and everything seems right in his world.
McDonald's re-introduced Ronald on Wednesday, stating that he is "setting out on a global mission to rally the public through inspiring events."
I'm sort of hoping this involves feats of strength, motorcycles, and explosions. And maybe some AC/DC.
But probably not.
Either way, good for him. It's hard to find honest work, especially when your LinkedIn skills include applying heavy makeup and crying yourself to sleep.
Of course, Ronald McDonald, who's been the face of the company since 1963, is more than just a clown who goes on global missions. Because behind all that face paint lies a ruthless hamburger kingpin with a never-say-die attitude, capable of striking fear into his trembling sales team.
"Put that McCafe Coffee down! McCafe coffee's for closers only."
Yes, some may criticize Ronald for being too influential, as he entices kids to eat unhealthy fast food. I don't know the exact psychology behind it, but, presumably, it works like this:
"Hey kids, look at the funny clown. Wee! How 'bout a Happy Meal?"
And I'm OK with that. They're overseeing a restaurant business. It's not like McDonald's is a tattoo parlor.
"Hey kids, look at the funny clown. Wee! How 'bout a koi fish on your neck?"
So, he's a hamburger salesman. Big deal. A little diabetes never hurt anyone.
But as major companies move forward with trends in society, sometimes even cultural icons need a dramatic makeover.
So, a major part of the big rollout was some new, updated clothes. And when you're talking about the one and only Ronald McDonald, that requires strategy and careful planning.
You can't just throw this guy in a car and drive him down to Old Navy.
"Here's 50 bucks. Go nuts."
I mean, the man is a legend. He deserves only the best.
Which is why Ronald's new wardrobe was created by Ann Hould-Ward, an accomplished theatrical designer who won a Tony Award for "Beauty and the Beast."
That said, it's entirely possible that the marketing team simply threw Ann in a car and drove HER down to Old Navy, because Ronald's new getup includes cargo pants and a technical vest, as well as a red and white striped long-sleeve rugby shirt.
Your Old Navy basics.
Though, in all fairness, it looks OK. Somehow, Ronald does sort of come off as fairly modern and relaxed, like a 20-something heading out to see the Dave Matthews Band.
Still, it's worth noting that, amongst all these major changes, his iconic giant red shoes haven't. And he also now has a "whimsical" new blazer for special occasions.
Say, perhaps, a bris.
"Nice work, Rabbi."
But it wasn't just a wardrobe makeover. When McDonald's revealed Ronald 2014 to the world this week, the company also shared a new mission: Fun makes great things happen.
The idea, McDonald's says, is that moments of fun and enjoyment bring out the simple pleasures in life and can lead to acts of goodness.
And it's true.
The other day I walked out my house without pants. Next thing you know I'm volunteering at a bake sale.
It feels nice to give back to the community.
Beyond his updated clothes and new personal mission handed down from the Filet-O-Fish gods, what's most fun about this whole new and improved Ronald is that now he's even taking on social media. In fact, Ronald's actually been given the password for the official McDonald's Twitter account.
That's a lot of trust for a guy who hangs out with somebody named The Hamburglar.
While Ronald won't actually have his own personal Twitter handle, he has been authorized to use his full name as a hashtag, marking the first time he's taken an active part in the company's social media strategy.
Really, the whole thing seems perfectly harmless. At least until he comes home buzzed after a Tinder date.
"Boom! Two words. BIG MAC. #RonaldMcDonald #Legendary"
Ask anyone with questionable morals: Fun makes great things happen!
Follow @JarrettBellini on Twitter.
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