All this week on the Holiday Hell Show we are going to take a look at some heartfelt McDonald's Christmas commercials from way back when. I don't know what angle McD's was going for in 1987 but there is one thing for certain, eating cheeseburgers while bawling is a talent few possess. Take a gander at some of these Emmy award winning (kidding) commercials and try to remember, it's about selling french fries.
This time of the year gets busy fast so if I want to squeeze all the fun in the season, it has to start now. But much like a sixth grade Sadie Hawkins dance, it’s hard to get the party started. How can we kick off the "Thanksmas” celebration? I think I need to dissect a little McDonald’s holiday commercial from the Thanksgiving of 1987. If you don’t know her you soon will. “Hardnose” Mrs. Hatcher.
Long ago, when I was a kid, the McDonald’s corporation actually had decent, heartfelt commercials that were not only catchy but had cute messages like "appreciate your teachers", "don’t count out the elderly" and "having a part time job at McDonald’s was something your five year old would be proud of". Today, well, we have Happy Meals in bags with apples and Ronald McDonald does yoga while pitching child-size bottled water. Life today is devout of story and only filled in with sound bites and catch phrases. I miss the days of “Hardnose” Mrs. Hatcher.
This commercial will always be a holiday classic because it has been preserved in a VHS copy of The Claymation Christmas Special that aired on CBS back in 1987. The story is about a tough teacher from the perspective of a third grade class. They sing this cute song to the tune of the McDonald’s 1980’s theme “It's a Good Time for the Great Taste of McDonald’s” and explain what a total bitch she can be. As you can see above, she is shooing way the token ass-kisser of the class. Everybody was an equal maggot in Mrs. Hatcher’s class.
She paces the aisles of the classroom like Darth Vader, demanding texts books are open to a certain page or face a probable fate of a public chastising. The look of intimidation is reflective of the faces of the kids. Mrs. Hatcher has a standing rule of absolute no fuckery.
No matter what the excuse, like the legitimate “homework flew out the bus window” line, it doesn’t hold water with Mrs. Hatcher. She knows that missing homework assignments could only be eaten by dogs. Her ancient practice of Kulu Flatchu “Stare of Truth” brings this lad to his knees, confessing the fact that he didn’t do it. One thousand knuckle push-ups in the back of the classroom!
The only reprieve from “Hardnose” Hatcher was an occasional substitute teacher. The collective sigh of relief and low-fives clearly express the constant tension and standard these kids are expected to uphold.
But soon the ways of Mrs. Hatcher prove to have an ulterior motive as inspiration and determination showed the kids that they can achieve anything through hard work. Hard work and an occasional hickory lashing on the side of the school building. When things got tough, she made them stick to it. As seen above, it appears that Jimmy Sad-Face finally mastered the dreaded cursive “Z”. Mrs. Hatcher maybe a “hardnose” but she was also a softheart. (God shoot me)
At thirty-seven seconds into the commercial we reach the last day of school and all the kids may have whip scars and calloused knuckles but hell if they haven’t mastered long division! The kids have a “Hardnose Hatcher” day of appreciation at the local McDonald’s as the class bitch announces exactly what they gave her from the menu. I think this was the #two on the menu back in ’87 but Mrs. Hatcher demanded that no cut-corners will ever be tolerated so she had to spell out the prehistoric McDLT, drink and fries. Mrs. Hatcher was pleased.
But we aren’t quite done yet. The third grade class still had one more parting gift for their teacher. Jimmy Sad-face is elected to present a t-shirt with everyone’s signature to her with the tear-jerking words “we’ll never forget ‘cha”. Jimmy Sad-Face isn’t thrilled with his name but it beats his second grade name of Jimmy Shit-His-Pants.
What’s this? “Hardnose” Mrs. Hatcher has the capability of emotion? It’s okay, Mrs. Hatcher, the year is over. Feel free to crack your horsey smile just once. The kids deserve a little peek at what’s behind that tough exterior. Summer is long to a third grader and next year is the big world of fourth grade. Your sweaters and lipstick-stained coffee mugs will be a distant memory.
So, in just a over a minute we covered an entire school year and the infamous legacy of “Hardnose” Mrs. Hatcher. It’s funny to look back at this because in 1987 I was the age of a third grader… I think. I remember watching this with an empathetic nod as the kids are forced to devote the third grade to Mrs. Hatcher when the next door class had the hot twenty-three year old fun teacher. I think everyone of us has had a “Hardnose” Hatcher. And in all honesty, they are the ones that we remember the most.
You just read a breakdown of a commercial from 1987. Feel good about that? I am sorry. If you have a spare minute you can watch it below and have the tune in your head till 2087.