Rodney Allen Rippy (born July 29, 1968) is a former American child actor. He appeared in TV commercials for Jack in the Box in the early 1970s, as well as in numerous roles in television and movies.
Jack in the Box
In the advertisements, Rippy was seen trying to wrap his mouth around the super-sized Jumbo Jack hamburger. The tag line "It's too big to eat!" (pronounced "It's too big-a-eat!") became a catchphrase. Another spot showed Rippy giggling while singing the song "Take Life a Little Easier," which was released as a single by Bell Records in the fall of 1973 in the wake of the commercial's popularity. The 45 (b/w "World of Love") approached Billboard Magazine's Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chart in October 1973, peaking at #112. At the age of five, Rippy became the youngest person ever to make any Billboard music chart.
Rippy subsequently had guest-roles in many popular television shows, including The Six Million Dollar Man, Marcus Welby, MD, Police Story, and The Odd Couple (where Rodney played the owner of the building where Oscar and Felix lived). He also appeared frequently on talk shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and Dinah's Place with Dinah Shore. Rippy also had a co-starring role on the CBS Saturday morning children's show The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine.
Rodney made his big screen debut (uncredited, filmed before the Jack in the Box spots) in the Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles in 1974. He portrayed a young Sheriff Bart aboard his parents' buckboard wagon after a brutal Sioux nation attack. When the Sioux chief, portrayed by Brooks, allows the pioneers passage (for being darker than the Sioux are), Rippy says his only line, "Thank you."
In a Peanuts newspaper comic strip dated July 3, 1974, Snoopy awakens from a dream in which he "had been invited out to dinner by Rodney Allen Rippy!"
Rippy graduated from California State University, Dominguez Hills in 1995. He has taken on a few acting roles since his childhood stardom, filming a few episodes of Parker Lewis Can't Lose in the early 90s, appearing in the 1997 independent film Former Child Star and the 2003 David Spade comedy Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.
Rippy is a partner in the film production company, Bow Tie Productions, and spokesman for Hurricane Housing Relief. He also worked atKABC-TV in Los Angeles, California. A resident of Carson, California, he has served as Master of Ceremonies for the Carson Relay For Life (Rippy's mother died of cancer in 1986). He is also a national director of marketing with Metro Networks (Westwood One).
The Washington Post reported on April 26, 2013, that Rippy was a candidate for mayor of Compton, California. He later decided to bow out of the race after finishing 10th out of 12 candidates in the election's primary.
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