McDonald’s has apparently decided that a weird clown isn’t enough anymore. In order to entice more kids to buy barely-burgers (or more accurately, get their parents to do so), they’ve introduced a new mascot: Happy, the Happy Meal who’s just so, so happy.
And so, so, toothy.
As you might imagine, the recent unveiling of this thing has caused snarky social media types, AKA My People, to let loose with the jokes. This thing is scary, they say. It will eat your children, they say. It will eat YOU, they say. When you sleep, they say, it will invade your dreams and turn them into nightmares. It’s not a Happy Meal, it’s a Happy-To-See-You-Suffer Meal.
Originally, I thought the same thing, but then I found out that Happy isn’t new at all. McDonald’s of Europe has been using this character since 2009, and based on all the scientific evidence I’ve gathered and laboriously analyzed, it appears that Happy has not actually eaten anybody, and it rarely invades children’s dreams at all.
So worry not — Happy is not scary or evil. What it is however, is terrible. This might be the unfunniest, most obnoxious mascot I’ve seen in years. Happy’s whole shtick is to make everybody around it laugh. It does this in the most frown-inducing manner imaginable, as you can see in these commercial compilations.
You don’t need to speak the language to understand what’s going on. Happy does the lamest ‘funny” thing it can think of and somehow everybody around it laughs. It dunks a basketball, breaks the hoop, and pisses off Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. It responds by hula-hooping with the basketball hoop, and this is somehow rib-tickling enough to make Bugs forget he’s supposed to declare war and make Happy’s life hell for the next seven minutes.
Ain’t this joke a stinker?
Fairy alien invaders arrive in a spaceship that looks like a giant ladybug, and Happy responds by drawing black circles on its body so it looks like a square, cardboard ladybug. Giggles a-plenty ensue, because of course they do.
Sadly, it only LOOKS like a horrible flesh-eating disease.
A glum cardboard box sits there as Happy makes stupid faces and does that obnoxious b-b-b-b-b-b-b thing with its lips, until finally the box guffaws with laughter. Or pity. I’m still really sure which.
“My unibrow is funnier than you.”
Another commercial features FOUR HAPPIES (which, admittedly, is more than a little scary) dancing with Carmen Miranda fruit baskets on their heads. There’s no rhyme or reason to this whatsoever — they’re at a goddamn beach, and not even a tropical one — and yet here they are, yukking it up over produce because “heh, bananas, grapes, kiwis, funny, heh.”
This is how McDonald’s promotes healthy eating: belly dancing boxes who wear the fruit, but don’t eat it.
Sometimes, Happy doesn’t even bother to make a “joke” — it just laughs at others’ pain. A couple mutant bunny rabbits use a skateboard the wrong way and fall flat on their faces. Happy just stands there and cackles at them as they scream in agony.
Silly rabbit, 911 is for kids.
Later on, the little asshole teams with two of its buddies to corner a lone yellow Happy Meal and throw red paint on him until he’s assimilated into the dominant culture. Selling burgers AND subtly promoting racism at the same time? You are a busy restaurant, McDonalds of Some European Country.
“YOUR NAME IS HAPPY!”
“BK … BK KINTE …
“YOUR NAME IS HAPPY!”
And there’s so much more. Each commercial is worse than the last, and all presenting this twisted dystopia where anything a fucking box does causes extreme gut-busting the likes of which Louis CK could only dream of achieving. It’s an entire universe of sentient morons so easy to please they’d probably snort soda out their nose while doing their taxes.
“Insert total from Box R … Box R? That’s like boxer! BYAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAhelpmeHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA”
If McDonalds wants this thing to survive in the States, it cannot act this way. Yes, Americans love obnoxious unfunny trash (case in point: 2 Broke Girls just got renewed for a fourth season), but not THIS obnoxious or THIS unfunny. Stuff some Zoloft down Happy’s McNugget chute, get him a better joke writer, and *then* let him sell fries. Until then, just stick with the damn clown. He may be an annoying creep, but at least we’re used to him.