I didn't want to derail Dabitch's thread, so I started this one. It seems the Cape Breton McDonald's commercial sparked some controversy, according the the Halifax Chronicle Herald:
A Cornucopia of What?
New Waterford kid's catchphrase catches on
By JOSH VISSER
If you had to describe this morning’s breakfast, does a "cornucopia of awesome-ness" come to mind?
Not exactly sure what that means?
You might soon because the term is threatening to join 2007’s lexicon.
It means like, really, really awesome.
New Waterford native Randy Conrad, 18, coined the phrase in a nationally aired McDonald’s television commercial and it has garnered him notoriety coast-to-coast.
The former McDonald’s employee was getting lunch at his former workplace on a fateful November day last year when he was told that the Sydney branch was offering free sandwiches and a chance to be on TV.
"I love free stuff and I’m a whore for attention. So I skipped my law class and drove into Sydney and they gave me a sandwich and asked me some questions and apparently it was TV history," the Grade 12 student at Breton Education Centre said in an interview.
In the commercial, a slightly moustached Mr. Conrad describes a McDonald’s sandwich as a "cornucopia of awesomeness" through a heavily exaggerated Cape Breton accent.
He said that the term "cornucopia" came from a Saturday Night Live celebrity Jeopardy skit and that his ad-libbed performance had the cameraman drop the camera at one point, keeling over with laughter.
He correctly points out that a cornucopia is known as the Horn of Plenty from Greek mythology, a symbol for food. He even understands how it related to a McDonald’s sandwich.
"The cornucopia is the horn of plenty that holds the fruit of plenty, the metaphor being that the awesomeness is the fruit and the cornucopia is the sandwich . . . or something," he said before he broke up in laughter.
The ad, which would be utterly forgettable without Mr. Conrad’s highlight performance, made him a local celebrity. But it also put a giant bull’s eye on Mr. Conrad’s back and the cyberspace community is firing away.
But that doesn’t bother him one bit.
"I think it’s awesome, but there’s a lot of people who want my kidneys on a platter." Mr. Conrad said.
Halifax-based (but "proudly" Cape Breton raised) funnyman blogger Jonathan Wilson never mentioned any kidneys, but gave the young actor’s debut performance a couple of hard right uppercuts.
"Thanks a lot McDonald’s for setting Cape Breton back 50 years," Mr. Wilson said on his blog, Wit and Sarcasm, in Perfect Moderation.
"If I ever see Ronald (McDonald) in the streets, there’s no way I’m braking for him. See if that (body) cast is a ‘corn-a-copia’ of awesomeness."
Mr. Wilson said the McDonald’s ad portrays Cape Breton negatively and that he received calls from friends in Ontario and British Columbia wishing him a "cornucopia of happiness over the holidays."
"It rubbed me the wrong way because anytime you hear about Cape Breton in the news these days, it’s oxycontin, call centres or this commercial." Mr. Wilson said.
McDonald’s Canada spokesman Ron Christianson said the commercial was not intended in any way to disrespect Cape Bretoners and the buzz from the commercial has been impressive.
"We’ve had all kinds of responses — chatter on the web, in our restaurant," Mr. Christianson said. "I have had friends mention it to me."
As for Mr. Conrad, he feels the buzz is always going to be following him.
"I’m never gonna live down cornucopia of awesomeness," he said. "I can’t walk anywhere without someone asking ‘How was your cornucopia of awesomeness today, Randy?’ "
Next time, however, Mr. Conrad would prefer to endorse another product with his infamous catchphrase.
"If I had to describe anything as a cornucopia of awesomeness, it would be Mickey D’s Subs – Fish and Chips’ poutine," he said, referring to the New Waterford eatery.
"If you could put that in the article, I’d roar."
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