Everything We Know About the Keebler Elves

Elves are one of the most varied fantasy characters. With a vampire, for example, you basically know that it’s going to be a creepy humanoid with fangs who likes drinking blood. With a leprechaun, you can be fairly certain that it’s going to be a little guy dressed in green who will give you gold if you catch him.

But if you hear “elf,” it could be referring to one of Santa’s helpers (or even Santa himself, that “jolly old elf”), a small goblin-ish creature like Dobby the House Elf, or a tall, blond archery expert like Legolas in Lord of the Rings

Elves cover a lot of ground, and one of the most famous groups of elves in the culinary world is the Keebler Elves. But how much do we really know about these tiny bakers? Where do they come from? When did they come on the scene? And do they have anything to do with those awful Snap, Crackle, and Pop siblings? (No, they do not.) 

Who is the head Keebler Elf?

The most famous of the Keebler elves is, of course, Ernie J. Keebler, the behatted boss of the Keebler factory. But did you know that J.J. Keebler was the original “Head Elf” before being replaced by Ernie in 1970? If there was a corporate power struggle for control of the tree, we’ll never know. 

How many Keebler Elves are there?

Unlike some other food mascots, such as the M&M bunch, there isn’t exactly a set number of Keebler elves. More appear all the time as their product line and commercials continue on. But there are at least 18 of the little folks at this point running around selling cookies.

What are the Keebler Elves’ names?

Ernie is by far the most well-known of the Keebler Elves, but there are actually a whole bunch of them. According to Wikipedia, there’s “Fryer Tuck (who promoted “Munch-ems”), Ernie’s nephews Zoot and J.J. (known for Pizzarias Pizza Chips), Ernie’s mother Ma Keebler, young Elmer Keebler, Buckets (who threw fudge on the cookies), Fast Eddie (who wrapped the products), Sam (the peanut butter baker), Roger (the jeweler), Doc (the doctor and cookie maker), Zack (the fudge shoppe supervisor), Flo (the accountant), Leonardo (the artist), Elwood (who ran through the dough), Professor, Edison, Larry and Art.” It turns out it takes a lot of elves to run a cookie company in a tree. 

Where do Keebler Elves live?

The Keebler Elves live in the Keebler Hollow Tree Factory, which mimics the Keebler logo. Or at least, they work in the Hollow Tree Factory. I’m assuming that their place of business is also their home, which makes it sound tough to have a work-life balance, but this is the lot of a Keebler Elf I suppose! 

How old are the Keebler Elves? 

The Keebler Elves were first conceived of in 1968 by Leo Burnett Worldwide, an advertising agency. Since then, they’ve become immensely popular and some of the most recognized food mascots in the world. So, if you’re judging age that way, they’re all about 55 years old. But since they are elves, there’s really no way of telling how old they are. They could be 3,745 years old. Elves live a long time! 

Are Keebler Elves real?

Sadly, as with so many of the wonders of the world, the Keebler Elves are simply the dream of a marketing team. If you find yourself seeing elves, make sure that the cookies you’re eating are actually Keebler and not something a little more homemade.

Well, there you have the Elf-A-Q for the Keebler Elves. Now that you know all about them, don’t Keebler cookies seem just a little more magical?

About the Author

Matt Crowley

Matt Crowley is a comedy writer living in Los Angeles. He likes maple-flavored snacks, loves every kind of cheese, and is slowly learning to accept mushrooms.

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  • There should be a Keebler Elf with the name that begins with a K because it goes with Keebler. Like Kenny is a good name, but just mostly a name that begins with a K.