If you have been watching those Kentucky Fried Chicken/Colonel Sanders ads this year, you probably noticed a few things. For starters, Colonel Harland Sanders departed this planet 35 years ago – a little more than a week after music legend John Lennon was assassinated. So, how is Colonel Sanders reappearing in KFC ads? Isn’t that morbid? Not really. KFC hired an actor to play a version of the fast food icon.
KFC ad execs hired former Saturday Night Live cast member Darrell Hammond to play the role of Sanders. Hammond injected his own characterizations of the Colonel with strange laugh and even some singing. The series of ads were funny to some and annoying to others. Those who knew Colonel Sanders say that he was nothing like the Hammond version.
I’m sure that the KFC ads’ creators were not aiming for accuracy when it came to ‘resurrecting’ Colonel Sanders. Furthermore, I’m not even sure that it was the reason that Hammond was booted from the campaign. He was replaced by another Saturday Night Live veteran, Norm MacDonald. MacDonald plays Colonel Sanders mixed with own deadpan comical personality. MacDonald is equally hilarious as Hammond, but in his own strange way.
Was it the real reason for Hammond’s ouster? At the moment, no one seems to have an answer. Was Hammond’s version of the Colonel so offensive to get himself off the campaign? Was Hammond tough to work with which led to a possible firing? Did the producers simply like Norm MacDonald and wished to find him work over Hammond. By the way, Hammond will most likely make more cameo appearances on Saturday Night Live, resurrecting his Bill Clinton character since Hillary Clinton is back in the news as a U.S. presidential candidate. Also, Hammond has been serving as the late night variety program’s announcer.
Or is it possible that KFC wishes to rotate different Saturday Night Live alumni to play Colonel Sanders? Perhaps rotate a new SNL cast member every three months to “spice things up?” I would love to see everyone from Dan Aykroyd to Tim Meadows to even females like Tina Fey take on the role. Is that what you’re up to KFC? If not, consider this ‘rotation idea.’
I enjoy these ads far better than Arby’s obnoxious campaign featuring actor Ving Rhames attempting a James Earl Jones voice boasting about the fast food chain’s meat selection. There’s one thing that these campaigns have in common: I won’t eat at any of each chains’ outlets.