Who Is the Pillsbury Doughboy, Really? There’s More to Him Than a Giggle

In the pantheon of food mascots, there’s a very special subsection of food mascots made of the food that they’re trying to convince you to eat. There’s always something slightly creepy about this—Charlie the Tuna selling us on Starkist, Mr. Peanut encouraging us to eat his brethren. And of all these edible mascots, there is perhaps none more famous than the Pillsbury Doughboy. Yet how much do we really know about this sentient dough creature? Let’s poke the proverbial belly of the beast and discover all we can about this iconic spokesman.

What is the Pillsbury Doughboy’s real name?

“Pillsbury Doughboy” is merely a descriptor for the creature/guy/walking abomination. His real name is Poppin’ Fresh, a nod to Pillsbury Dough’s freshness (plus Poppin’ Stale isn’t really a catchy name). 

How old is the Pillsbury Doughboy?

According to the Pillsbury website, Poppin’ Fresh was created in 1965, the brainchild of a Chicago copywriter named Rudy Perz. This makes the doughboy around 58 years old today, an AARP member in good standing and able to enjoy all sorts of discounts at the movie theater. 

What color is The Pillsbury Doughboy’s scarf?

The second most iconic element of Poppin’ Fresh’s fashionable ensemble after his toque hat is, of course, his scarf. That scarf is white, to go along with the dude’s whole white flour vibe, but around the holidays he’s been known to wear a white and blue knit scarf as well.

How tall is The Pillsbury Doughboy?

Since the Pillsbury Doughboy is not an actual being who exists in reality, his height is a little flexible and can have some inconsistencies between different ad campaigns. However, the generally agreed upon height for Mr. Fresh is eight and three quarter inches—about the height of an average house cat.  

Is the Pillsbury Doughboy dead? 

Remembering, once again, that the Pillsbury Doughboy is not a real person or entity and thus can’t actually die, the answer to this question is no. Unlike Mr. Peanut, who went through an unfortunate death and rebirth, much like the mythical phoenix, Poppin’ Fresh is still alive and kicking. 

However, if the idea of him dying rings a faint bell to you, and you were a ‘90s internet user, it might be from this viral joke about his funeral that notes he was “laid to rest in a lightly greased coffin,” and eulogizes him by saying, “Doughboy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a very ‘smart’ cookie, wasting much of his dough on half-baked schemes.“ Please keep in mind if you were eight years old reading this on the internet for the first time, it was basically the funniest thing in the world. 

Does The Pillsbury Doughboy have a family?

While Pillsbury doesn’t trot them out particularly often, I was surprised to learn that there is a whole Doughboy family. They include Pops’ female companion Poppy Fresh, Granmommer and Granpopper, a son named Popper, a daughter named Bun-Bun, a dog named Flapjack, and a cat named Biscuit. This is great news for those of us who can’t distinguish between fiction and reality as we no longer have to worry about Poppin’ Fresh being lonely. No, he has a whole family of sentient dough freaks to keep him company. How nice.

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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