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That is What I'd Truly Like to Be


Lately, our blog has focused primarily on some of the fastest and coolest cars ever built. But every now and again, I like to keep it weird. So in honor of its 82nd birthday this past week, I’d like to give a great big shout out to the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.

When I was in middle school, my mom decided that she wanted to see if my sister and I had any special talents or predilection towards the entertainment business. She took us to an agency where we did a few acting test reels and had headshots made. I didn’t have too much of an interest in being famous and never really took to the whole thing, but my sister earned a few acting and modeling gigs here and there, and the most lucrative was her brief stint as one of the Oscar Mayer Wiener kids.

The Wienermobile was about to go through one of its biggest transformations since the 80s, upgrading its traditional Chevrolet van chassis to a larger Diesel engine and box frame, and sporting the largest wiener to ever ride the roads at 11 feet high and over 20 feet long. It also sported lights and some design features from the fourth-generation Pontiac Firebird. The vehicles were also being upgraded with GPS navigation and 21 of different styles of the Wiener Jingle, ranging from Bossa Nova to Cajun to Rap.

The Wienermobile and the music weren’t the only element of Oscar Mayer’s marketing plan that received an overhaul. To celebrate the classic vehicle’s upgrade, the company wanted to reach out to a more diverse global audience at different events, and the kids who were selected for the commercial were meant to reflect that diversity. As a result, they chose kids to sing the Wiener Jingle in a variety of American accents and different languages.

My sister sang and practiced day and night for weeks on end to get that part. The audition was on a hot summer day in 1994 in a parking lot outside of one of our local shopping malls. The drivers of the Wienermobiles, or Hotdoggers as they’re known internally, drove up in several of the trucks and had kids play and pose on the inside and outside in a huge carnival atmosphere. Producers and directors went around to each kid they wanted for further auditions and gave them information cards with a short script and Wiener Whistles to play around with in the hopes of finding that perfect moment of Hollywood cuteness that would sell millions of hot dogs the world over. When all was said and done, my sister was chosen, and she went on tour for a brief time later that summer to different events around the country, and she took part in the national television commercial, singing that famous tune with a rainbow of other children from all over the country.

For as long as I live, I don’t think I’ll ever get that jingle out of my head. I still have nightmares that I’m being chased by an insane Hotdogger in the Wienermobile with a mob of kids running along behind. If there is one thing that I can say with utmost certainty, it’s that I definitely don’t wish I was an Oscar Mayer wiener.

-Trey Fennell

Ketchup and Mustard #51 Black & Red and #52 Black and Yellow

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