He can bake his own birthday cake: Pillsbury Doughboy turning 50


With five decades under his chef's hat, the Pillsbury Doughboy has had quite a shelf life – and he's still not stale.

The mascot for the the dough, bread and cake mix brand – owned by Twin Cities-based General Mills – is celebrating its 50th birthday this weekend, according to the company's blog.

The beloved doughboy came into existence on Nov. 7, 1965, though it was the head of a Chicago ad man – not an airtight canister – that he popped out of.

However, the "popping" out of a refrigerated Pillsbury can was pretty much what Rudy Perz, who died at the age of 89 earlier this year, imagined when he first came up with the little potbellied giggler.


Inspiration struck while he was working as a copywriter for renowned ad agency Leo Burnet, which handled advertising for the Minneapolis-based Pillsbury at the time before General Mills bought the flour company.

Perz was credited with raising the company's profile dramatically with the invention of his character – in fact, Pillsbury’s brand recognition soared to 87 percent just a few years after the Doughboy’s first ad hit the airwaves in 1965.

And when he died in April, Pillsbury President Liz Nordie praised him for creating “one of America’s most loved and adored characters.”

But let's not butter the little guy up too much; he can speak for himself. Have a look at one of the first "Doughboy" commercials from 1965:


He doesn't look much different, but the trademark "giggle" would come along later.

In honor of the anniversary, Taste of General Mills has devoted their podcast to Perz and the process that brought the Pillsbury Doughboy into the world.

Next Up

Pixabay - black bear

Black bear bites professional baseball player in western Wisconsin

The former MSU-Mankato star was bitten in his back.

mickey moore driver's license shared

Beleaguered Ward 9 city council candidate loses Strib endorsement

Mickey Moore has faced questions in recent days about where he actually lives.

CDC biohazard scientist health work

New clue may explain how rare tropical disease sickened Minnesotan

The disease, known as melioidosis, killed 2 people earlier this year.

Sen Mark Koran crop

MN lawmaker encourages donations for locals charged in Jan. 6 insurrection

"They are a good family!" Sen. Mark Koran wrote Friday.


Money Gal Coaching: Mastering the spiritual parts of money

Kelly Blodgett used her passion behind becoming debt free to launch Money Gal Coaching.

University of minnesota sign

U of M will now require proof that employees have been vaccinated for COVID

Previously, only students were required to be vaccinated.

Jim Hagedorn

Report reveals details about ethics investigation into Rep. Hagedorn

The congressman described the report's findings as "unfounded conclusions."


SkyWest cancels hundreds of flights due to server error

More than 80 have been canceled at MSP Airport.


First elk in more than 100 years spotted in parts of southern WI

The elk population was reintroduced to Wisconsin in recent decades.