The bizarre cartoon mascot that killed a fast food chain

I'd never even heard of Rax Roast Beef before happening upon this video on YouTube. The restaurant chain, which began in Springfield, Ohio, in 1967, had grown over 500 restaurants in 38 states at its peak in the late 1980s. As the chain struggled to find a menu and an identity, in 1992, they hired an ad agency to try and create a new image and mascot.

What the agency came up with was Mr. Delicious, a creepy, aging divorcee who picks his teeth and talks about vacationing with young friends, an apparent anger management problem, and getting a vasectomy(?)— in a fast food ad! Not surprisingly, several months after the commercial aired, Rax filed for bankruptcy.

Probably in an effort to calm nervous franchisees who were freaking out over the increasingly strange decisions of the parent company, Rax created a 13-minute Mr. Delicious documentary to try and extol the virtues of their new mascot. It looks like an SNL sketch gone very wrong, but it's not.

Today, there is still a handful of Rax franchise restaurants in Ohio, Illinois, and Kentucky.

Image: Screengrab