Thirty-Six Years Ago, Thousands of Americans Started Asking, “Where’s The Beef?”
On this date back in 1984, onetime manicurist Clara Peller made her television debut in a commercial for the Wendy's hamburger chain. To jog your memory, go here. The ad campaign was an instant hit, leading to all sorts of products bearing the slogan, "Where's the beef?". Everything from hats, coffee mugs, t-shirts, even a board game at one point.
It even lead to a mini movie career for diminutive 82-year old Clara Peller. She appeared in cameo roles in 1985's Moving Violations and The Stuff. She also had a cameo role in the Steven Spielberg show Amazing Stories and an uncredited cameo on an episode of Saturday Night Live. She even appeared at a Wrestlemania event, fer crying out loud!
That three word phrase, "Where's the beef?", became a part of our collective national consciousness. The phrase was probably most famously used during the 1984 Presidential campaign, with Walter Mondale criticizing Democratic rival Gary Hart's lack of substance.
Sadly, Clara Peller passed away only three short years later in 1987 at 85 years old. But to many of us, her memory will live on for quite some time.