There are few true icons left in the world. Actually, by my count, there's only three left. Pat Sajak, Dionne Warwick, and the man pictured above - someone who's such an icon, he doesn't even need a name. All he needs is a smile, and maybe some fruit punch. Oh yeah, it's the Kool-Aid Man!
The Kool-Aid Man has transcended decade upon decade of new drinks, surviving on his winning smile alone. And really, what more does he need? There's very few things in the world that are a certified guaranteed good time, but the Kool-Aid Man is one of them. You can't tell me you can look at his picture without giggling like you're straggling a pole. There's so many fun things about the Kool-Aid Man enigma, I don't know where to start.
Course, it's important to realize what Kool-Aid Man was promoting, which in turn explains why he's the way he is. Kool-Aid isn't something you drink when you're thirsty. It's something you drink when you can't find crack. Have you ever tasted the shit? Liquid sugar. By the time you finish a glass, the only thing you'll be able to think about is how many cars you can lift with your bad arm. Did you ever wonder why Kool-Aid Man's breaking through walls all the time? Look at what he's drinking!
Kool-Aid Man is certainly a great promotional piece, but even he can't sell everything. In the above pics you'll see some pretty dubious Kool-Aid flavors. The first one's not so bad, I just find it funny that back in the good old days it was important to point out that it was imitation cherry. As if they could somehow grind real cherries into little red pixie dust to spread in water.
The second one is Kool-Aid's failed attempt at creating a root beer flavor. Ick. But if you think that's bad - check out the third one. Kool-Aid suits felt that the only way to sell off their two worst flavors was to combine them, essentially forming what has to be the worst tasting drink ever created: Kool-Aid Lemon/Grape. This all happened back in the days where Kool-Aid Man only smiled for the money. He really couldn't have been happy with the shit he was hocking.
The History of Kool-Aid Man: You know, when I write these X-E articles, 90% of the time I'm just talking out my ass. But for some unknown reason, Kool-Aid Man piqued my interest. I had to research him. I had to know the truth. And much to my shigrin, the fucker has had a longer and more storied history than the entire cast of Cheers and the guys who invented saran wrap. So prepare yourself for more information on Kool-Aid Man than you could ever possibly hope for. I suffered through it...now so will you:
* Kool-Aid Man debuted in 1975 under the name of 'Pitcher Man'. Christ, why did it take so long for companies to come up with clever names for their mascots? Spuds Mackenzie works. Pitcher Man doesn't. He didn't have any arms or legs back then either. Basically, he was just a more retarded version of today's rockin' Kool-Aid Man. If that's possible.
* Shortly thereafter, Kool-Aid Man's infamous habit of breaking through brick walls became a public fiasco. In the commercials, kids would clap and call for Kool-Aid Man's help. He'd be more than happy to oblige so long as he could break something in the process. It's also at this point that he got his catchphrase - 'Oh Yeahhh!'
* During the 80s, Kool-Aid Man didn't just break through walls - he did a lot of other crazy shit. He's the world's first drink picther who played baseball, drove go-karts, and knew how to breakdance. And even if he wasn't the first drink pitcher to do that, he was certainly the first to do it well.
* In the late 80s, Kool-Aid Man branched out from television. A guy with this many talents really should touch all bases. He started appearing on all the Kool-Aid drink mix packets, wearing a corresponding outfit to fit the particular flavor. Dressed in a swimsuit for the Tropical Punch, dressed in ghetto clothes for the Grape, and so on. Course, it didn't always make perfect sense. On the raspberry packet, Kool-Aid Man wielded a lasso and dressed like a cowboy. I'm sure this makes perfect sense to those drugged out on Kool-Aid, but to the rest of us, it's just another what the fuck moment.
* In 1994, he got a makeover. A more mature makeover. His face became more slender, his arms more sturdy and defined. If you can count the number of people you'll relay that fact to in your lifetime on more than one finger, you must have a shitload of friends.
* When Kool-Aid started peddling products for your freezer, Kool-Aid Man dressed accordingly in a parka and snow boots. Fucking pitcher has a bigger wardrobe than my entire family.
* Most recently, Kool-Aid Man can be seen donning cool leather jackets and playing a guitar. Hey, we're the era of rock'n'roll, and Kool-Aid Man is in with the time. Pretty soon he'll start rapping about drinking Kool-Aid while killing cops. Then he'll tell you how he hates the media during his Rolling Stone interview. Hey, Kool-Aid Man's a celebrity. Hypocrisy's allowed.
It's at this point that I should remind all my e-mail friends out there not to tell me anything about Kool-Aid Man. I feel like I know way too much already. I'm leaving out the size of his pitcher handle since kids are reading, but rest assured, I know too much.
Getting high on the sugar is fun, but there's more than meets the eye with Kool-Aid. Here's some tricks that you can pull on your friends to brighten everyone's day.
Yep, the ol' food coloring trick. Tell your friends you've got Kool-Aid, and watch 'em get all excited. Within five seconds they'll be pining for the sweet, sweet taste of manufactured sugarcrack. But! What they don't know is that you've secretly used food coloring to color plain old water! This works so much better than shredding a dollar and giving it to your stoner friends. This trick won't cost you a dollar, but the benefits and praise you'll receive are virtually limitless.
Course, there's always a way to up the ante. If you really don't like someone, do the trick as directed above, only substituting vinegar for the water. I've done this - and it works like a charm. Half the time people won't even bother asking what's up with the Kool-Aid. They'll just figure it's a brand new sour cherry.
Use these tricks wisely. Not on someone bigger or stronger than you. If you want to find another use for Kool-Aid without pissing off your friends, fill a big bowl with Cherry Kool-Aid and stick your head in it. Far safer than hair-dye and twice as tasty!
Yes, the Kool-Aid Man comic book. A literary work so profound you could only get it by sending in four proofs of purchase from Kool-Aid packets. Notice that Kool-Aid Man's frowning? Yes friends, anything is possible in a Kool-Aid comic book. Buried deep within it's weathered pages you'll learn all about Kool-AidMan's evil arch-nemesis...Scorch! If you think it's a bad idea for Kool-Aid Man to have a comic book...just imagine how much worse things get when you add in the worst villain ever created. In this issue, everyone's fighting cuz Scorch stole a giant key. Course, since Scorch likes fire and shit, there's only one pitcher who can possibly save the day...any guesses?
Secondly, we have the wonderous Kool-Aid Man bank. This one's a doozy. Every time you stick a coin in, you'll hear Kool-Aid Man shout 'Oh Yeah!!' in the most annoying voice conceivably possible. In other words, this was a really shitty way to save money. I'd rather eat my quarters than stick 'em in this thing. Now you could say 'if I had a nickel for every time Kool-Aid Man made me want to rip my ears off...' with much more meaning than before.
Finally, the Kool-Aid Kid girl doll. Look at her fucking kneecaps! They ugly yo. I don't want no doll wit ugly knees. This is what Santa brings rapists and murderers for Christmas. The statement is far more profound and perverse than coal.
Atari's Kool-Aid Man game. Lord up in Heaven, why oh why did you let such a travesty come to be? I spent two hours downloading an Atari emulator and another three trying to get it to play this game today, and for what? So I'd be prepared next time someone brought up the worst video games of all time at the next social gala? I've seen some bad games before, but this really doesn't fit into the 'bad' category. I don't think there's an actual word that's fit to describe this one. Let's just say that since playing this game this afternoon, I haven't tried slicing my wrists this much since the painter stopped showing up on Murphy Brown.
I won't get into the specifics, but let's just say that you'll spend the first 10 minutes wondering if your controller is working, since evidently you have zero ability to move. Those of you who have an Atari emulation can download the game by clicking here. Those who don't have an Atari emulator? Consider yourselves lucky.
Ugh. Too much Kool-Aid Man info. It feels like chemistry class all over again. It's nice to know that sulphur's yellow and that you can break down salt into two different elements, but really...overkill? It's the same deal here. If you sat through this article, you're now in that .001 percentile that doesn't just know who Kool-Aid Man is...you know his fucking shoe size. And it's sickening.