Adios, Taco Bell Dog

By Yul

Whenever I see our bobblehead figure or the basket of cheap little stuffed talking Chihuahuas, I will fondly remember the Taco Bell dog, who was actually a female named Gidget, the canine Meryl Streep.

Gidget-TacoBellDogWe acquired all our toy dogs from 1997 to 2000, every time Karen saw the Chihuahua in another cute commercial and craved putrid faux-Mexican food. Karen saw Legally Blonde 2 because “her dog” was in it, and futilely hoped Gidget was poised for a big comeback in 2002 when she did a cameo in an ad with the GEICO gecko.

Gidget’s run with TB ended when they hired new marketing geniuses who dumped her in favor of mumbling young boys, their prime demographic. It worked, because Karen never eats at Taco Bell anymore.

Two guys who originally conceived the talking dog recently got the last laugh, to the tune of $42 million. Seems Taco Bell nixed their concept, then had their own ad agency run with it.

We cats tolerated Karen’s fascination with the dog because I could have kicked a Chihuahua into next Tuesday with one foot tied behind my back if Karen were ever crazy enough to bring home a real one.

But Gidget’s passing at age 15 after a stroke she suffered at her trainer’s home on July 21 has left us all sad.

Taco Bell never recaptured the wit and appeal their ads had when that winsome Chihuahua was teaching us all a little Spanish. Maybe some day, TB will wise up (and run out of ways to churn the same half-dozen ingredients) and give another Chihuahua a chance.

Resto en paz, Gidget.

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2 Responses to Adios, Taco Bell Dog

  1. Adele says:

    Yul, I have to confess a fondness for the Taco Bell chihuahua as well, although there was some resentment of her (I always thought she was a guy) among Latino groups, feeling that her commercials were in the same league as people appeaing in blackface. I think that’s why the commercials were stopped. I was particularly fond of the commercial with her as the revolutionary and did think that her commercials were cleverly, if not ethnically sensitively written. In fact, that dog was the only thing I ever liked about Taco Bell. Talk about putrid food. Anyhow, we hope she had a good life.

  2. catsworking says:

    Adele, from everything I ever saw about Gidget, she had a very good life living with her trainer. I never saw the commercials as a slam at Latinos, but rather as a celebration of their culture, and they were stupid to make a stink about it.

    “Viva Gorditas!” was certainly a classic. One of our stuffed dogs says it. I also loved the one where the dog was trying to catch Godzilla and says, “I think I need a beeger box.”

    And when the dog showed up in the GEICO ad, saying, “Oh, great, a talking lizard,” or something like that, I saw potential in a series that teamed them up, but it never happened.

    Karen never had any taste for Taco Bell until the dog, and she lost it again as soon as they dropped the dog. As for us, she would never dare to feed us that slop.

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