Tuesday, January 08, 2008

McRib is a wild taste that allows customers to experience the fun and magic of the Animal Kingdom without going to Orlando.

While driving about the city a few weeks back, the G and I pulled up to a stop light and got canyon-ed by two rumbling Metro buses. Both buses sported the same panel ads so we got surrounded by the giant photos of the boneless, sauce covered, faux-pork delight known as the McRib.

If you are at all familiar with the McRib (or the Simpson’s Ribwich) you know that MickeyDees keeps the sandwich rotating through its menu as a clever advertising stunt. Proclamations like “McRIB IS BACK for a LIMITED TIME!!!” or “HURRY UP and GET ONE because McRIB will soon be as EXTINCT as the PTERDACTYL or MINATURE SCHNAUZER!!!,” work the lesser pork consumer into a frenzy.

Neither bus ad was clear about whether the McRib was coming or going, leaving us unsure about how fast we needed to hurry up and continue not going to McDonalds. But when presented with such large and inviting advertisements, you are pretty much forced into the flabby arms of the internets and its all-tasting tongue of knowledge and discovery.

Unfortunately, there were few recent clues about its local availability. I assume this is because, like most Metro bus advertisements, these were as outdated as the ones currently displaying Daddy Day Camp images. I am tempted to pass on what I found out about how McDonald’s advertises the McRib but I don’t want to endorse this manner of schilling. However, I will share one amazing thing I discovered.

Via Wikipedia –

Yes, that says “MC Hammer once ate 7 McRibs in a competition with Dr. Phil, to raise AIDS awareness.”

Can this be true? Eating seven McRibs isn’t something that one does nonchalantly, like wolfing down seven Gusburgers in attempt to prove that Charlottesville is filled with lame wimps with weak constitutions. This gastronomical feat was for charity. The other cultural references were ones I was familiar with (it was parodied on the Simpson’s, the MST3K line “I'd rather watch David Crosby eat a McRib sandwich than watch this scene”, etc) so why couldn’t Dr Phil have scarfed 6 McRibs? I was required by feline curiosity to find out.

Unfortunately, the only reasonable way of getting hold of Dr Phil is being a psychotic pop singer. I was left with no course of action other than writing him this letter through his website:

Dear The Doctor Phil Program,

I’ve been a big fan of Dr Phil for many years now and have appreciated much of the advice he has passed along since some of his patients’ problems mirror my own. Unrelated, I am also a fan of McDonald’s McRib sandwich.

That being said, in the Wikipedia article about the McRib sandwich it says “MC Hammer once ate 7 McRibs in a competition with Dr. Phil, to raise AIDS awareness.” There is no footnote that verifies this claim and I know that some of the information on Wikipedia is often fabricated. My independent research has also not been able to find any other reference to this event.

Did Dr Phil lose a McRib eating contest to MC Hammer? If so, do you know when or where it took place and under what circumstances? I have tried contacting Mr. Hammer but have been unable.

Thanks for your time,


Several weeks went by and I got no response from either Dr. Phil or anyone affiliated with his show. I even marked the box on the site saying I’d be willing to be on the program. I checked the Wikipedia entry several times in the hopes that the shows producers read my letter and altered the site. But there was nothing.

Until Monday.

In fact, the updates have been coming in so furiously they’ve locked the site down. I’m not sure if this is a confirmation in one direction or another, but for the sake of history, let’s just say it’s an affirmative.

Let it be known - for the rest of internet eternity - that unlike most Americans, Dr. Phil is not man enough to eat 7 McRib sandwiches.


Here is the best of several quotes I found about the McRib while researching its distribution schedule:

"Responding to criticism that the cross-promotion of Disney's Animal Kingdom with the McRib sandwich seemed incongruous, a McDonald's spokesman said, "Animal Kingdom is very much a wild experience, and the McRib is a wild taste that allows customers to experience the fun and magic of the Animal Kingdom without going to Orlando."

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