My Ronald McDonald Story

McDonaldsRonald McDonald is getting a makeover. McDonald's has announced they're making him more athletic and health-conscious.

Reading this story reminded me about the time I was responsible for Ronald McDonald. As a teenager, I spent eighteen months working at a Toronto McDonald's. Our franchise helped sponsor a local weekend festival and part of this deal was a performance and appearance by Ronald McDonald himself. Somehow, I became the employee responsible for Ronald McDonald. I was there at the side of the stage while he did his thing and I escorted him back to the store.

While I was with Ronald, he stayed completely in character. He was positive, always smiling and repeating catch phrases and inoffensive one-line jokes in his Ronald voice. At the end of the day, it was just Ronald and I in a back room. With nobody around except the two of us, Ronald suddenly and abruptly came out of character. In a far deeper, rougher voice, and without his trademark smile, Ronald asked me if his ride was ready. I remember hearing the question and feeling a little shocked that he left his character in my presence. I was jolted back to reality. Ronald McDonald was a fictional character created by a multinational conglomerate to hook children on fast food. This guy was just a regular joe in make up and a silly outfit. He was trapped in character all day and at this point he just wanted to go home.

I checked the back door and saw his McDonald's car waiting for him. I told Ronnie it was there and he threw me a "thanks man", again out of character. I don't know how many actors are playing the role of Ronald, but I hope they're ready to hit the weights. My pal Ron is getting a makeover.

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