1984 brought one of the most iconic commercials in recent history. You could say it went “viral” before that term was a positive thing. Wendy’s introduced Clara Peller to the world when she uttered the famous catchphrase “Where’s the beef?”
Clara started her acting career at the age of 80. Wendy’s hired her a year later to star in their commercial entitled “Fluffy Bun”. The commercial, the tagline, and Clara were all instant sensations. Additional commercials followed, as well as t-shirts, bumper stickers, and even a board game. The ad campaign was a huge boon to Wendy’s bottom line. It was credited for a 31% increase in revenue.
Clara seemed to enjoy her fifteen minutes of fame. In the subsequent months she could be found on Saturday Night Live, The Today Show, and many other outlets. She was definitively the “It Girl”. Unfortunately, it all came crashing down when she agreed to appear in a commercial for Prego spaghetti sauce. In that commercial, she uttered “I found it!”, implying she had the answer to her most famous question. Wendy’s dropped her like a fluffy bun, firing her for violating the non-compete contract she had signed.
Clara passed away two years later at the spry age of 85. She experienced quite an acting career over a few eventful years. Bravo, Clara. You are one of the most memorable pop culture characters in our favorite decade.
Portions of this post were curated from the following article: