McDonald’s Mondays: Kickin’ it old school with Jason Alexander and the McDLT


Some of our younger readers will have no idea what I’m talking about, but for those of us that remember it, the McDLT was brilliant. Just like the ad says — it kept the hot side hot and the cool side cool.  Unfortunately it also created a ton of needless styrofoam trash and eventually became the straw that broke the camels back, causing the company to cave to outside pressure and stop using styrofoam containers.

The commercial that introduced the McDLT is a perfect snapshot of mid-80’s culture.  It’s big, it’s fun, it’s dancy — this is what TV felt like when I was kid.  It’s a strange world when even advertising has lost it’s innocence.

And that young man with a Miami Vice sports coat and a head full of hair?  That’s Jason Alexander, though you probably know him better as Seinfeld’s own George Costanza.

28 responses to “McDonald’s Mondays: Kickin’ it old school with Jason Alexander and the McDLT”

  1. Adam says:

    This is another poorly written article. First of all, when was advertising ever innocent? I think most would argree that from its inception advertising has been a tool of manipulation. Also, just on an editiorial point, I hate the construction of the final setnence.

    Why, oh why, do you have to jumk up this blogs ‘raison d’etre’ with useless and poorly written articles?

  2. Jim Squires says:

    “Also, just on an editiorial point…”

    Fancy that — and here you are, not the editor of this blog. 90% of our readers enjoy the off-topic articles, and the comments they leave back this up — why is it the 10% of you that don’t like them constantly feel the need to share your negativity with the rest of us?

    Do you spend the rest of your day hunting out things you don’t like and complaining about them? Or is it just when I write?

    Suck it up, read the posts you want, and don’t be a #$%^ about the ones you don’t like. These are fun, light, fluffy pieces. If you don’t get context it’s not my problem.

    And when you’re criticizing someones writing try to use real words instead of typo-ridden nonsense like “editiorial” and “jumk”.

    As a writer it’s normally my place to shut my mouth and let the haters be haters. You caught me in a real bad mood, though. Congratulations — you got a reaction.

  3. lilad says:

    Shut up.

    I enjoyed this, even if I’m not nearly old enough to remember this commercial.

  4. Adam says:

    Well, given the jejune responses, I feel the need to elucidate.

    Jim, you seem to like attacking the unrelated points most vociferously (I presume because that is you can really truly launch an attack on). Below are my reasons for saying this.

    Exhibit A: Typos which have nothing to do with my objections and are simply ad hominems. Also, I said ‘on an editorial note’ not because I mistook my identity as editor (that’s just silly), but because it is indeed an editorial note, not an objective statement (e.g., your use of hyphens is incorrect). Please think before you retort; you will save yourself a lot of trouble and save what little face you have left.

    Exhibit B: What I do with my time is my decision and has no relevance in terms of my post (i.e., the situation hypothesized by Jim would not change the merits of my complaints). While I do complain about things that annoy me, I also give commendations. Having said that, I truly detest atrocious (which includes, but is not restricted to, ‘fluffy’ writing).

    So, I have covered your straw-man criticisms, now I just want to illustrate how you, as a writer, have shirked your primary responsibility as a writer: conveying a meaningful and well craft point to your audience. Your failure is made abject by your blatant insouciance of the problem itself: “If you don’t get context it’s not my problem.” If your readers don’t understand the context, what is your purpose … Vanity is the only one I can imagine. You add to this failing by stating that “As a writer it’s normally my place to shut my mouth and let the haters be haters.” This, I do not believe is true of writers at all. Indeed, if there are disagreements it is their duty to step up and clarify. Writing need not be a monologue given the current state of technology and given the format of blogs its nonsense to think otherwise.

    Just for fun, what word did you have in mind when you said, “Suck it up, read the posts you want, and don’t be a #$%^ about the ones you don’t like?” It’s strange to see four symbols in this context (I would have expected seven)

  5. Adam says:

    Sorry, I almost forgot … Will you please explain when advertising was ever innocent and in what sense. I am intrigued by such an assertion because it is so contrary to my understanding of advertising. (This is what I mean about you simply attacking the tangential points and not addressing the main one, like an intelligent person.)

  6. Jim Squires says:

    Adam — referring to the article as “poorly written” while using incorrect spelling in your criticism deserves to be called out. Don’t pretend like it doesn’t.

    I’m not going to think my retort out, as you so carefully minded me. The four letter word I had in mind isn’t suitable for a family friendly blog, which is why I chose to abstract it out. It’s a part of the male anatomy — although that seven letter word you were thinking of is just as fitting.

    You may detest “fluffy” writing. On a certain level, so do I. But what I’ve been commissioned to do here at SmartCanucks is whip up fun and light posts that might give people a little smile or something to think about. This specific post wasn’t ever meant to make anybody think. Let’s be honest: the words were just primer to share up a classic Jason Alexander appearance that some of our readers might not have been aware. Rather than just throw up a video like a lazy blogger, I decided to give a bit of an aside about the product involved.

    And yes — advertising is inherently insidious. But over the years commercials have become more complex, more abstract, and more intense. For a lot of people my age the light-heartedness of this ad might bring them back to the more innocent days of their youth as it did with me.

    My question is this: how could a simple post about a commercial from the mid-80’s muster enough anger in you to warrant pissing all over what I do?

    I’m not going to feed the fire any more, so this will be my final comment on the subject. Feel free to spend the rest of your day calling me a half-assed writer though.

  7. Fresca says:

    Adam, you’re annoying. Blogging is a journalistic phenomenon which allows anyone to be a writer, regardless if they’ve been educated or trained in the field. That’s the beauty of blogging – it creates discourse. If you don’t like it, click away OR why not start your own blog and see how many people will tolerate your pretentious writing?

    Keep it up, Jim.

  8. It looks like someone ate their Thesaurus Wheaties today.

  9. Adam says:

    “Adam — referring to the article as “poorly written” while using incorrect spelling in your criticism deserves to be called out. Don’t pretend like it doesn’t.”
    –> I don’t have to pretend; it has absolutely no relevance. While it may well be considered ironic (I consider it so) it does not dilute the substance of my claims (i.e., it does not mean my arguments shouldn’t be considered cogent).

    “On a certain level, so do I.” –> Then you are doing something you hate.

    “his specific post wasn’t ever meant to make anybody think.” –> I will just leave this one as is.

    “And yes — advertising is inherently insidious.” –> I never said it was insidious. While advertising tends to be (although not always) insidious, I just said it wasn’t innocent. Advertising serves a social purpose: informing consumers and citizens about alternatives; it is a purveyor of information (albeit a biased one) and as such reduces the asymmetries in markets. In this sense, advertising is hardly insidious (insidious has pejorative undertones). However, even in this idealized sense, advertising is far from innocent. Indeed, you admit it was your childhood that was innocent, not the ads.

    NB: My problem is not so much with fluffy writing (I do detest it, but it doesn’t hurt anyone) it’s half-baked ideas and disinformation. Most of your articles do not contain misinformation as far as I have casually noticed; this one, however, I think had a very half-baked idea/silly assertion which needed to be called out. Another example is in your reply where you claim that ads have become more complex. I may agree, but we both need a metric. Would you suggest they are absolutely more complex (i.e., compared to 20+ years ago) or instead they are more complex compared to the rest of our lives than they were 20+ years ago? I would agree with the first claim (but it’s obvious), however, I would contest the important second claim.

    “If you don’t like it, click away OR why not start your own blog and see how many people will tolerate your pretentious writing?” –> First, I am just using the comments section as it was partially intended so let’s not pretend I am breaking the rules. Second, why speak from ignorance? You have no idea if I have my own blog full of pedantic and erudite readers.

    “It looks like someone ate their Thesaurus Wheaties today.” –> Kevin, just because you have to use a dictionary to reads someone’s written word does not mean they used a thesaurus. I do, however, if I was loquacious (:D).

  10. Joel says:

    You have got to be kidding me. Why do people enjoy dumping garbage on bloggers? Just SHUT UP ADAM.
    No, we are not interrested in your lame ass comments.
    I think that the commercial was great. Every Monday I enjoy waking up to learn a new and cool fact about McDonalds.
    Thanks for posting this Jim

  11. Fresca says:


  12. Adam says:

    “You have got to be kidding me.” –> Who?

    “why do people enjoy dumping garbage on bloggers?” –> I am not dropping garbage on anyone; I am, however, asking the Jim be responsible for what he writes. Indeed, the more prescient question is why are bloggers offended when they post articles on the world wide web and then receive world wide criticism. It’s like a singing the national anthem at a sporting event terribly and not accepting crticism.

    “Just SHUT UP ADAM.” Well, as my fellow patrons have pointed out, don’t read what I write if you don’t want to see what I have written (seems obvious, I know). On the other hand, if you find that I have made a factual or otherwise wrong stratement, I should be held responsible for what I put in the public realm.

    “Every Monday I enjoy waking up to learn a new and cool fact about McDonalds.” –> IS that really why you wake-up?

  13. amanda says:

    This was intended to be a “fluff” piece…a light hearted little aside about the video. Adam, you act like it should be a journalistic masterpiece. It’s a freaking little piece about a McDonald’s video!! And just because you find fault with it, doesn’t mean that it is bad. It is simply your opinion. Yes, you are entitled to one. It doesn’t mean that you have to repeatedly act like you are better then everyone else. It is one thing to criticize, it is another to just act silly because you got on your high horse and decided you didn’t like what Jim said. Personally, I find it kind of sad that you actually have the time to sit here and write all of these comments on how much you dislike what Jim wrote.

  14. me says:

    Although, I enjoyed the McDo’s video, reading the comments has been even more entertaining- thanks:)

  15. arleen says:

    well DOH!

    what good idea? do you remember the opposing wendy’s commercial? they pointed out how you put the 2 sides in separate containers, and then shoved it under HEAT LAMPS, til someone wanted the order.

    and as for the styrofoam, the environment called, they’re happy that mcd’s caved to pressure from the people of earth.

  16. Olena says:

    Thanks for posting the add. Just seeing the clothes people wore is fun and brought back some memories …. I feel really old now, lol.

  17. maureen says:

    Adam – get a life and therapy. It would have taken you a huge amount of time to collect all that anger you have pent up inside to form them into words and pour onto a harmless blog. Why don’t you get to the root of your issues and deal with them in a more positive and appropriate way instead of attacking everyone with the feedback you get. Maybe that is what you want – the attention from others to feed this need to rant your negativity . Hope you enjoyed this response and got whatever you needed from it. Don’t worry about responding (which of course you will because of this impulse to spout off and defend yourself) as don’t care to come back to this blog again. I find you offensive to such an innocent show of sharing a simple ad.

    Jim – you got sucked in. With all the time that you wasted on responding to Mr. Madman (hmm – Adam spelled backwards…1st 3 letters….MAD…fits!!!), you could have found other things to share with others that would have given you the pride you deserve from responders who have positive things to say. You cannot control what others do say – so when you get a person who needs to pick pins under the surface of your skin because of their issues, don’t respond or you will feed them. All you have to do is count how many times he had to respond, as well, in anger. Just ignore him and read all the other responses.

    As I have noticed, you have quite a few people who enjoyed this video, including me.

  18. Fresca says:

    The styrofoam thing is really funny to me. If it’s take-out, who wants to carry such a huge container around! haha! Oh the 80s…. hehehe

  19. Kate says:

    I had never heard of these burgers, I had to go and look them up. I have to say the McDonalds Mondays should stop, but not for the reason Adam is griping about, but because it makes me crave McDonalds soooooo bad and there’s never anything I can do about it.

  20. Fresca says:

    Read Fast Food Nation – that’ll stop the cravings!!!!

  21. Louise says:

    Yay Maureen!!! And very funny Kevin, you gave me a good laugh.

  22. Debbie says:

    I bet you are a riot at social gatherings Adam!

  23. Julie says:

    {purposely ignoring the previous comments…}

    This ad made me a bit sad. I used to LOVE the McDLT, and was disappointed when they got rid of it and brought out the Big Extra in its place. And now they have discontinued the Big Extra! The supposed replacement (I think it is called a buffalo burger??) is not good at all. I think I will have to fill my hamburger cravings at A&W instead!

  24. Ronald says:

    Only Adam has the guts to call a spade a spade. Jim Squires, you and your sheep is so full of it. This site is for SmartCanucks… not stupid McDonald’s shareholders.

    Get a life… Jim and sheep.

    Thank you Adam for having the courage to stand up in a sea of Mediocrity.

  25. Alex says:

    I enjoyed the commercial. It is history. We have moved forward, understanding that we used to waste a lot of resources and energy. The last couple of months I have cut back on plastic bottle water by going back to the tap water using Brita filters. I use a metal container for my water where in the past I would have a 500ml plastic bottle. It keeps my water cooler and I feel good about it.
    Thanks for the commercial Jim Squires. It is good to look back to see how far ahead we have moved. Looking forward to more of the “fun, light, fluffy pieces!


  26. poohbear2973 says:

    I miss the McDLT and their pizzas

  27. interstate says:

    What I dont comprehend is how youre not even a great deal much more popular than you may possibly be now. Youre just so intelligent. You know so considerably about this topic, developed me think about it from so many diverse angles. Its like men and women arent interested unless it has some factor to accomplish with Lady Gaga! Your stuffs fantastic. Continue to preserve it up!

  28. I really like the colors here on your blog. did you design this yourself or did you outsource it to a professional?


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