7 quazy things you might not know about Quisp cereal
The most popular cereal from Saturn to Alpha Centauri!
The cereal aisle can be overwhelming. Tigers, elves, frogs and vampires smile at you from their boxes, selling sweet spoonfuls. But, mostly likely, you will not find America's most beloved cereal in your local grocery store.
Launched in 1965 by Quaker Oats, Quisp quickly became a favorite of kids. The cartoon commercials, especially when aired on Saturday mornings, made the sweet corn Quisp — and its partner, Quake Cereal — the choice of Boomers and young Gen-Xers.
And then, in the late 1970s, it went away. But not for good. Like all popular things from that era, nostalgia led to a reboot. Which leads us to our first fun fact about Quisp…
1. Yes, it still exists.
We love talking about cereal. Whenever we write about bygone breakfasts and discontinued cereals, someone will typically comment that we overlooked Quisp. We would never forget. You can still buy Quisp. It was revived largely as an internet product, though you can still find special displays of it in retail giants. Quaker offers on its website, or you can pick up a box from Walmart.com.
2. Quisp and Quake are related to Rocky and Bullwinkle.
Those colorful cartoon commercials drove sales. They were essentially a short animated TV series, and no wonder. The characters and ads were created by Jay Ward, the cartoon pioneer behind Rocky and Bullwinkle, "Fractured Fairy Tales," Dudley Do-Right and more. Daws Butler, the brilliant actor behind toons like Yogi Bear, Quick Draw McGraw, Snagglepuss, Huckleberry Hound, Elroy Jetson and Chilly Willy, provided the voice of Quisp.
Image: AP Photo/Adam Nadel
3. William Conrad was the voice of Quake.
The pink alien Quisp was joined by his frenemy Quake, a rugged minor. (Who later, as you can see, gets a makeover into a cowboy.) Veteran actor William Conrad voiced that manly cereal mascot. You know Conrad best as the star of Cannon. He also provided the voice of Marshal Matt Dillon on the Gunsmoke radio program.
4. Quisp and Quake had a battle to the death in 1971.
In the commercials, Quisp and Quake argued over whose cereal was superior. The alien in the propellor beanie would declare that Quisp is the "Quazy energy cereal… the best-selling cereal from Saturn to Alpha Centauri." Quake would counter that his cereal had "vitamins to give you the power of an earthquake." Really, though, they were essentially the same cereal in different shapes. Which is why Quaker inevitably decided to discontinue one in the early 1970s. The cereal giant let fans vote in a battle to the death. Quisp won the popularity contest and Quake went bye-bye.
5. There was an orange-flavored spin-off.
As Quaker was phasing out Quake, it introduced a new cereal to the "quazy" family. Quangaroos delivered orange flavor in addition to its sweet corn crunch. Orange cereals were much more prevalent back then. Remember OJ's? People love creamsicles, so why aren't there more orange cereals? Anyway, in 1976, Quaker again asked children to choose between Quisp and Quangaroos. Quisp, the Ali of cereals, won the match. Adios, Quangaroos!
6. Popeye secretly sold Quisp after it was discontinued.
It was a bittersweet victory for Quisp, which didn't last much longer before Quaker discontinued the brand. But the company did, in a way, still offer the cereal. Quaker Sweet Crunch, one of those underrated discount bagged cereals, was basically Quisp with a different name. Later, the bargain brand put Popeye on its bag to become Popeye Sweet Crunch. So if you were missing Quisp… well, it was under our noses the whole time.
7. Quisp could be legal tender in 2020.
According to Coinweek, the American Breakfast Cereal Heritage Act calls for one-dollar commemorative coins to celebrate our most beloved breakfast cereals. The proposal calls for cereal coins to launch in 2019, starting with Tony the Tiger. The 2020 design will feature Quisp. In 2021, Waffelo Bill from the Ralston cereal Waffelos will get a silver dollar.
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