Today, we've got some sad news for dog and chalupa lovers alike: Gidget, the bug-eyed chihuahua who used to hawk beefy burritos for Taco Bell, has died at the ripe, old age of 15. In the world of TV pitch animals, Gidget was peerless. As the face of Taco Bell from 1997 to 2000, she (yes, despite the male voiceover, Gidget was a female) helped TB see some of its most successful years, and it's not without good reason. People love talking animals, especially talking animals who are trying to sell you shit. Her fame even got her a co-starring role along side Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde 2! She was getting that Lassie money!
With all that she was able to accomplish, it was only right that pay homage. So in honor of Gidget's long, celebrated life, we've decided to put together a list of TV's best pitch animals...
Morris the Cat, 9Lives
• This finicky cat is the pitch animal for 9Lives cat food. He's such a great actor that he even starred in Shamus, stealing the show from co-star Burt Reynolds. Morris has also "authored" three books: The Morris Approach, The Morris Method and The Morris Prescription. That's one smart pussy.
Spuds MacKenzie, Bud Light
• Before the talking frogs, and even before the "whassup" guys, there was Spuds. Spuds MacKenzie, whose real name was Honey Tree Evil Eye, spent the '80s hustling Bud Light until it was revealed that Spuds the dude was actually a bitch. No, really, Spuds was a girl.
Westie, Cesar Dog Food
• These cute commercials appeal mostly to women and highly effeminate men. All the same, the Westie of Cesar dog food is pretty successful at moving units of Top Sirloin Flavor with Meaty Juices (Ayo!).
Duke, Bush's Best Beans
• The talking dog effect never fails. Duke, the golden retriever featured in Bush's Best ads, is a prime example of how cute, fluffy animals can make you forget you're eating decade old beans that taste like shit. Works for us.
Mister Ed, Studebaker
• Who's Mister Ed? What's a Studebaker? What were you born in 1980? Possibly the earliest and most classic example of a talking animal. We'd take ol' Eddie over a used car salesman any day.
Hungry Dog, Beggin' Strips
• Everyone loves these commercials with the dog who's looking for bacon bacon bacon bacon. Here comes the real surprise: it's not really bacon, it's beggin'! But, don't be surprised when your dog starts jonesin' for some bacon and flips on you Man's Best Friend style.
Chipper the dog, RCA
• Chipper the dog has embedded himself in pop culture as "that RCA dog who sits next to the old record player." But since Chipper is supposed to be a puppy a new one gets swapped in every couple months, kinda like the hosts on "106 & Park."