video Tell your kids: Don’t talk to strange clowns

November 16 is National Fast Food Day, which is as good an opportunity as any to warn your children to beware of hamburger clowns. If you have any doubt that clowns are evil, get a load of this McDonald’s commercial featuring a very creepy-looking early version of Ronald McDonald (played, incidentally, by the TODAY show’s Willard Scott).

Early appearance by Ronald McDonald in McDonald’s commercial

Let’s review what happens in this commercial: A creepy-looking clown tries to talk to a young boy. The boy wisely tells him he’s not allowed to talk to strangers. But the clown won’t back off. He insists that he’s not a stranger—he’s Ronald McDonald!—and he grabs the kid’s hand and shakes it.

“Well, you sound like Ronald,” says the boy, beginning to let down his guard.

Next, the manipulative clown gives the boy three hamburgers, saying, “I know, you’re not supposed to accept gifts from strangers either!”

“But you’re no stranger,” says the boy. “You really are Ronald McDonald.”

Then the clown leads the boy by the hand as the two head off together towards the McDonald’s.

After that, I can only assume that “Ronald” murders and dismembers the kid out back by the dumpster, but they don’t show that part.

Ronald McDonald, original versionHe’s Ronald McDonald
The hamburger-happy clown!
A McDonald’s Drive-In Restaurant
Is his favorite place in town!

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