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  • 07.09.15

A Former Ronald McDonald Shows You Never Really Leave The Wig Behind In This Bleak Mini-Doc

A short film talks to Joe Maggard, who wore the red wig from 1995 to 2007, to see Ronald in retirement.

A Former Ronald McDonald Shows You Never Really Leave The Wig Behind In This Bleak Mini-Doc

No matter what Taco Bell would like you to believe, only a fortunate few have donned the big red shoes. Just nine men have played the role of Ronald McDonald. As observed in this new doc, more men have walked on the moon than suited up as the Golden Arches’ Chief Happiness Officer. Joe Maggard is one of them.

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Officially, Maggard was Ronald McDonald from 1997 to 2002, but as we find out in the Guardian‘s new short, you never really retire the Ronald. We meet Maggard poolside in Vegas as he prepares to suit up for a stroll through a local carnival. And we learn a few things.


Joe is not quite as cool or funny as Ronald. Joe is more laid back. He likes karaoke. He’s also very committed to the fast-food clown. The Ronald make-up is sealed on his face with sealer, you can’t sweat it off. And it takes three hours to apply. That’s not in the film because, as Joe says, “it would’ve been boring as shit.”


Maggard believes the clown is always somewhere inside of him, and when he comes out Joe is gone. “You can sit there and say, ‘You psychotic bastard, it’s gettin’ a little freaky here!'” says Maggard. But it’s method acting, man. Brando did it!


Overall, this serves as a three-minute reminder to McDonald’s that they probably should’ve asked for the suit back.

About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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