Cereality opens in Chicago

Red Eye has the first-day review.

Despite my earlier concerns, it sounds like the franchise is off to a solid start. The Sun-Times claims Cereality is the only place in the country that still sells Quisp cereal. A columnist at the Daily Southtown gives the most comprehensive rundown of the bunch: free Wi-Fi, $7.99 boxes of specially mixed cereal, all-day cartoons, and more.

One of the collegiate bloggers working there has been positive as well. So far, the girl blogger has made oatmeal for the president of Quaker and fronted various news reports.

Among non-employee bloggers, one reports Cap’n Crunch was in attendance on opening day, and another has several pictures.

More on Quisp
Quisp, a sweetened corn cereal, made a hit debut in the mid-1960s with great help from Jay Ward, father of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

According to Keith Scott’s The Moose that Roared, Quaker Oats first turned to Ward’s production studio in 1962 to develop the character of Captain Crunch. The Captain’s voice was the beginning of the work. Daws Butler — voice of Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Chilly Willy, Snagglepuss, Quick Draw McGraw, and Elroy Jetson — was the man for the job.

First the character needed a distinctive sound. Daws Butler said, “I fully expected the ad people would audition about fifty people for the role.” He and Jay Ward sat around for a few hours trying different approaches, until Ward suggested, “Why don’t you do that absent-minded king voice you used in the ‘Fractured Fairy Tales.'” This voice was energized slightly, and the good Cap’n was suddenly brought to life. Long one of Butler’s personal favorites in his large flock of characters, he described Cap’n Crunch as “a loyal old man who loved his crew; he was a combination of great sincerity and stupidity. He started out old and stayed old.”

The initial name was Captain, but June Foray, the voice of Rocky and Natasha, who misprounced the name in an early commercial recording session. So Captain became Cap’n.

Anyway, Cap’n Crunch was a huge hit, and Quaker soon turned to Ward with the Quisp idea. According to Scott’s book, Butler did the voice of likeable alien Quisp, and Bullwinkle narrator Bill Conrad performed Quisp’s “he-man” counterpart Quake. “Quisp constantly touted his ‘quazy energy cereal’ and feuded with Quake, who in turn plugged his ‘earthquake-powered cereal from the center of the earth.'”

Quake was phased out in a few years, but Quisp survived into the ’70s (timeline). Scott dug up a Leonard Maltin comment from 1975; the Quaker commercials, Maltin wrote, “are better in every way than most of the shows they interrupt.”

Quisp went back on sale in the late ’90s as a boomer product, with availability almost entirely online. But apparently Cereality made a brick-and-mortar deal since then.

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