Web Geek Chad was a contestant on Comedy Central's "Win Ben Stein's Money" in April, 1999, with an original air date of June 2, 1999. He was introduced with the Mentos FAQ as his claim to fame, and was later referred to as "Mentos crazed" by Jimmy. The epsiode number is 3039.
Christopher Heyn tells us that he's the Script Cooardinator for the TV show Baywatch. He (among other things) works with one of the co-producers in product placement in the show. In other words, he makes sure certain products are in certain scenes. he says that in 1994, Van Melle spent "their entire TV advertising budget for the 1994 season" on "Baywatch". So, if you are lucky enough to catch reruns of the '94 season, keep your eyeballs peeled for rolls of Mentos roaming around on the beaches. Unfortunately, we don't have an episode list to guide you on your search. So if anyone is a fan of the show and can mark down which episodes are Fresh & Full of Life, please let us know.
According to J.B. Nicholson-Owens, Janeane Garafalo was on the "Conan O'Brien Show" and they made a spoof of "The Fake Photographer" (#2). Janeane spoke of how odd the ads were, and J.B. says that the spoof was quite funny.
Janeane Garofalo must enjoy speaking of The Freshmakers because Fran Pelzman Liscio says that on Garofalo's recent HBO Comedy Half-hour special, she did an impression of someone watching a Mentos ad. It starts off with her face completely deadpan, and then she gradually looks more and more bewildered. Finally, she says, "Wha....? Is that guy a mannequin?...What are these, German?..." She also offers some interesting new commercial ideas for "Das Freshmacher" Comedy Central is currently re-running the special.
In the 1996 "Studmuffins of Science" calendar, Dr. August (Rob Elia) lists his "favorite current web site" as the Mentos web site. (Thanks to Chad Jones for reporting this)
"Weird Al" Yankovic did a Mentos spoof on the most recent installments of AL-TV (US) and ALMUSIC (Canada).
In the Al-TV sketch, Al pushes an overzealous fan off the roof of a posh LA area hotel. Afterwards Al, visibly shaken, is faced with the fan's friends, who are obviously upset at this drastic turn of events. Then, Al gets a fresh idea and pulls out his roll of Mentos! The friends suddenly understand and live happily ever after.
Al himself pointed out to us that he turned the "M" upside down on his roll to make it read "Wentos." Thanks, Al!
In the Al-music special, Al's Mentos parody is a little different. He's showing the viewers the proper way to hail a cab. After he gets one, another bystander tries to hop in, at which point Al begins to beat him into a pulp with a crowbar. MuchMusic cuts to one of those "PLEASE STAND BY" logos and when we return, Al has murdered the gentleman. Shocked, Al pulls out his roll of Mentos, once again making everything FAFOL! (Special thanks to Chris Foley for getting a copy of this to us!)
MaintainerSean confirmed that "The Late Show with David Letterman" did a Mentos parody on July 11, 1996:
On the show, Letterman's guest, Dennis Rodman, couldn't be there. Dave announced this in a panic and screamed "What are we going to do?" Paul Shaffer then pulls out his trusty roll of Mentos, pops one and runs off into wardrobe as the Mentos theme is being played. When Paul returns to the stage he's wearing a bright green wig, and a basketball jersey. "Mentos! The Freshmaker!" Also on the Late Show with David Letterman, the day after Thanksgiving, 1996, Teri Hatcher was a guest. As they spoke of Thanksgiving dinner, the conversation took a turn toward stuffing. Dave mentions that he makes stuffing with Mentos. (Thanks Alex Bischoff)
MaintainterDave reports that while watching an episode of Talk Soup a few months back, Skunkboy introduced himself as Jon "The Freshmaker" Henson.
Jason Alan Pfaff was first to report that on the September 12, 1996 episode of "3rd Rock From the Sun" one of the characters picked up a scrap from a table and said "Mmmm, a Mento!", popped it into his mouth, looked disguested, took it out and said, "oooh...not a Mento." Anyone catch this gem on tape?
The band Supernova has a song called Mentos on their CD entitled Ages 3 and Up. The song, a 30 second salute to Mentos, features the same chorus repeated three times: "Uno momento...everybody do the Mentos!" We're still researching exactly what that means, but it's a fun song (and a fun CD!)
According to an article in Entertainment Weekly, Siskel and Ebert made their own Mentos spoof! The article says that at the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards in February, 1996, the movie reviewers were giving a tribute to designer Isaac Mizrahi in "what appeared to be a Mentos spoof." Apparently Gene and Roger were giving their thumbs-up in a fresh and full of life manner.
In an ad that appeared in the July 21, 1996 edition of the Philadelphia "CITY PAPER", the Reading Terminal Market's slogan was, "More Cheese than a Mentos Commercial."
On March 1, 1996, Inside Edition apparently had a piece on Mentos, which, among other things, mentioned Dan Wood's Mentos Art Gallery. If anyone caught this on tape, please E-mail us!
On May 15, 1996, in the comic strip "Thatch", characters in the strip tried to make "catching things with your mouth" an official Olympic event. The item that is tossed is a Mento. (Thanks to Michele Liguori for bringing this to our attention, and to the artist, Jeff)
According to a recent People Online article, the pseudonym for Jim Carrey when he checks into hotels, according to Buzz Magazine is "Mentos Toblerone." Look out, Jim-your fresh cover has been blown! (Thanks again, Alex Gordon for pointing this one out!)
Also in People Online, you can find an on-line chat that "Downtown" Julie Brown did a few months back, where she mentions her love of Mentos.
The Brown Derbies (an a cappella group from Brown University) have a CD called "Nightcap". On this CD, there is an answering machine message done to the tune of the Mentos theme. The tagline: "Mentos-The Messagetaker." (Thanks, Dawn Lester for finding this!)
Eric Brach noted that on the January 23, 1997 episode of NBC's "The Single Guy", Johnny asks his pal Sam for a mint. With a smile, Sam pulled a tube o' freshness out of his pocket and said, "Mentos: The Freshmaker!".
The July 2, 1997 edition of the comic "Robotman" had a Mentos reference. A few of the characters are moving a sofa. As the one is struggling, he asks his partner, Moondog how he's making out on his side. We see him lounging on the couch, sending the first man into a tizzy. He's about to pummel him when the robot says "Woah! He's eating Mentos. He's not a *&!$#. He's just a crazy fun-loving scamp!" To which the first man repies "Argh! Thwarted by breath mints!" (Thanks to Carlotta Barnes for sending this clipping to us!)
According to the book Gen X TV: The Brady Bunch to Melrose Place, the first episode of Friends, Chandler consoles Ross after his wife leaves him. He says of himself and his pal Joey, "Between us, we haven't had a relationship that's lasted longer than a Mento." This is, as of yet, unconfirmed. (Thanks, Rob Owen)
The on-line comedy radio show "Who Nose" featured Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz & Amanda Cohen (Organizer of the Weird Al convention) on it's May 2, 1998 edition. The host, Seth Noseworthy, asked Jon about his love of Mentos (which he, no doubt, read about in this very FAQ!)
Several folks responded to our call for the Mentos bit on "Mystery Science Theater 3000". It turns out that there were two mentions of Mentos on MST3K, thus causing the confusion regarding this matter.
MST3K did their own version of a Mentos commercial: "Mystos" a transcripts is available at: http://www.slinknet.com/~wmorgan/trans/mst89.txt
Thanks to Nick Morencey (he was first to respond to our call) and to everyone else (and their brother) that wrote in. A tape of this episode is available through the fan club.
On Valentine's Day, 1996, The Foo Fighters released a video for their song Big Me. The song's video, directed by Jesse Peretz is a very well-produced spoof of three different Mentos Commercials.
The first spoof, a frame by frame parody of the original "Car Movers" ad, features our heroine getting blocked in by an unfresh motorist who decides his business call is just that much more important than our damsel in distress. She pops a "Footos" and waves four guys in overalls over. But wait! These are no ordinary council workers! These are the Foo Fighters!! Dave Grohl and the gang lift her car out of it's predicament and Freshness is achieved! Up comes the logo: FOOTOS--The Fresh Fighter!
Next up is the "Foo The Car" episode. As the guys are gearing up to go play soccer, Dave stops to tie his shoe. A simple task to say the least, but today it almost cost him his life. A speeding limo separates Dave from the rest of the Fighters and he is left, stranded, on the other side of the street. Unsure of what to do, he whips out his roll of Footos, chows down and realizes there is only one solution to this problem. With that solution in mind, he hops into the limo, wanders past the businesswoman on the phone in the back, and hops out. The rest of the band goes crazy, and the rider of the limo looks on with wild abandon and Dave pops another Footos!
The third spoof, "The Backstage Foo" finds a helpless boy trying to get in to see the Foo Fighters. The boy is shown a "NO ENTRANCE" sign by an unfresh security guard. Undaunted, the boy pops a Footos, runs off to grab himself a guitar and bandana, and makes his way to the stage. The show grinds to a halt as Dave Grohl, the rest of the Foo Fighters, and the guard spot him as he is playing along on stage. The boy, not frightened at all because of his source of power, ingests one more Footos and flashes the winning smile to the camera. Dave and the guys understand. Footos! The Fresh Fighter!
The video garnished much attention for the band, and for Mentos. In September of 1996 at the MTV Video Music Awards, The Foo Fighters were presented with the "Best Group Video" award for the video. Upon accepting the award, Dave Grohl said he felt the award brought on a "sense of closure" and asked fans to "please stop throwing Mentos at us at our concerts."
The video is currently available at Dan Wood's site, courtesy of Chris Carman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In the December 21, 1994 edition of "SF Weekly" (a San Francisco based magazine) Mary Elizabeth Williams wrote an article on 'Hacker cuisine'. Among other things, the article discusses a woman (Julie) who brought "Freshmakers" to a party. "Freshmakers" are Jell-o and vodka shots spiked with Mixed Fruit Mentos. There is even a photo of them in shot glasses! In real life, though, Mary Elizabeth says the Freshmakers came in paper muffin-shaped holders for "easy slurping"
'Sassy' magazine's "Working our Nerves" column in the Dec '94 issue. "Mike shares his personal and rather visceral opinions of the Mentos commercials..." - Susannah Strang
Francis Volpe let us know that USA Today had an article on Mentos being #2 on the list of the 10 worst commercials of 1994 as chosen by ad agency creative directors. (The article ran the last week of December, 1994)
Francis Volpe then wrote a nice article for two Pittsburgh weekly papers: The Murrysville Star, and the Norwin Star. The date for the papers was January 4, 1995. If you'd like to read the article, which speaks up against USA Today's survey, take a look at the Mentos FAQ v4.0, or send us E-mail and we'll be glad to pass it along.
Spin magazine, January '95 "Flash" section - 'Mentos Deconstructed!' which was (incidently) fact-checked by research editor Aaron Naparstek.
Heath was interviewed in the New York Times, on June 12, 1995. The article gives a glowing review of the FAQ, and features several quotes from our hero, Heath.
Fran Pelzman Liscio writes a humorous newsletter called "Hip Hop Housewife" (or H3). In the July 25, 1995 (Vol 1, No 4) edition, she mentions Mentos in one of the "Observation" paragraphs: "As a nation, we may be divided on such diverse issues as the OJ trial, Nafta, and genetically engineered tomatoes. But isn't it reassuring to know that we're all united in our contempt for the Mentos commercials?" Fran would like everyone to know that, in retrospect, contempt wasn't quite the word she meant: "Contempt is something you would reserve for someone who does something gratuitously cruel. There is nothing gratuitously cruel about the Mentos commercials"
"Newsweek" featured a small article on Mentos on their September 11, 1995 Periscope page. The article features a nice photo of the elusive Mentos T-shirt.
Alex Gordon wrote a nice piece for the September 1995 issue of INSIDER magazine. Included in the article is our synopsis of commercial #8: A New Part-Time Job.
In the December 24, 1995 edition of the Washington Post, Tom Shales wrote an item on his 25 favorite things about Television. The article, "Televisions Joys to the World" lists as #18, the Mentos commercials: "I've never tasted a Mentos, never even seen one, but those hokey, corny ads with the smiley-faced Eurokids are always a pick-me-up. The ads are so unhip, they're hip, so uncool, they're cool, so dorky, they're groovy."
Tom Shales was up to it again in his On The Air Column on April 23, 1996. He was writing about the new series "Poltergeist: The Legacy" when he said it's "supposed to be horrifying...but I've seen Mentos commercials that gave me more of a jolt". (Thanks, Mike Hoffman for finding this!)
Alex Gordon wrote another article on the Mentos FAQ for the 2nd issue (January 1996) of INTERNET UNDERGROUND. The article "Are We Not Mentos?" can be found on-line at: http://www.underground-online.com/archive/issue2/mentos was the biggest and best article written on the Mentos craze to date! Several quotes from the Gathering were featured, along with (we're sorry to say) some relatively yucky photos of The Gathering (which, thankfully, didn't make it to the web-version!).
The week of Febuary 17, 1996's TV GUIDE has a tiny mention of the Mentos FAQ in their Cheers and Jeers section, where they "Cheer" the Foo Fighter's video for "Big Me" (and the Mentos FAQ!)
Entertainment Weekly had another write up of the Foo Fighters video, along with mention of the FAQ (and a great picture of Dave Grohl in his "Mentos pose". The article's name is "Fresh Mints of the Airwaves" and gives a few insights into the video. The article is in the Febuary 23, 1996 issue.
In the April 12, 1996 issue of the Tampa Bay Times in their Friday Extra guide to Entertainment, Curtis Ross wrote a fresh article on the Mentos web-craze. "Mentos Ads Up The Cool Quotient" was printed on the opposite page of a great interview with Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters.
The San Gabriel Valley (California) Tribune had their own article on the Mentos Mystique, featuring reactions from everyday people, trying to explain what the Mentos craze is really all about. (Including a quote from our own Chad Jones!) The article appeared in the April 21, 1996 edition in the "voices" section.
Bunnyhop magazine's issue #6 had a great article by Wendy Bryan: "The Great Mentos Conspiracy" The article gives a untold story of Van Melle and Mentos. A somewhat edited version of the article is available online at: http://www.bunnyhop.com/BH6/mentos.html
Samantha Miller wrote a nice article on the Mentos Online culture for People Online. You can see it at: http://pathfinder.com/people/daily/960613.html
The print version of People Magazine ran an article on Liam Killeen, vice president of Marketing for Van Melle. The article talks about the commercials and their impact on American pop culture. It appeared in the November 25, 1996 issue. (Online, you can see it at http://pathfinder.com/people/961125/features/mentos.html
Entertainment Weekly provided their list of the 50 best TV commercials of all time in their March 28, 1997 issue. At number 49 is The Freshmaker!
The June, 1997 issue of Internet Underground listed the Mentos FAQ as one of the Top 11 Funniest Sites.
*A Special Note: Sadly, the June 1997 issue of Internet Underground was the second-to-last edition to be published. The Mentos FAQ was featured in the second edition ever published, in January, 1996. We here at the FAQ wish everyone at the Internet Underground the best of luck. This version of the Mentos FAQ is dedicated to the memory of the Internet Underground. Rest In Freshness.
The new book Gen X TV: The Brady Bunch to Melrose Place has a fantastic write-up of the Mentos phenomenon, including some pop- culture sightings that we were previously not aware of! Check it out for the quotes by Heath, and a semi-candid interview with Tricia Gold (Mentos brand manager for Van Melle, Inc).
Check out http://www.suite101.com/articles/article.cfn/948 for an article about Mentos.
Chad Jones reports that on page 4 of the May 4, 1998 issue of Newsweek, a small article on a proposed alliance between American Airlines and British Airways says "'Alliances' may look good now, but get ready for Mentos for dinner."
Ryan Mead reports that in the January 1998 issue of Disney Adventures magazine, in the Pepper Ann comic, she lists "Some Cool Stuff I Like" On of which is "Candy ads featuring Scandinavian kids avoiding authority." On a TV nearby, a boy with the phrase "Mintees-Fresh fresh!" appaears.
And don't forget our periodical web newsletter on Mentos-- The Mentos Journal. Keep your letters and stories coming! You can find them on at Chad's web site: www.mentosfaq.com
'Wired' magazine Feb '95 pg. 158, "Netsurf" c/o Dan SickoOther Mentos related net features:
HotWired, 'The World Wide Web cyberstation brought to you by the same folks who produce WIRED magazine' http://www.hotwired.com The Mentos FAQ was featured there for 2 weeks only, beginning Jan 30, 1995.
'NetSoup', HotWired's daily showcase of the best (most interesting, amusing, eloquent, etc.) writing on the Net. c/o The HotWired NetSoup Team June Cohen, editor
'Sublime Site of the Week'. We were the Sublime Site of the Week, according to "From the Ridiculous to the Sublime" (http://ccia.com/~bross/ridsub.htm) for March 3, 1996.
'Blaster' issue #2 Jan, 1995. c/o Tom James
'Thumb' issue #? c/o Eric Mast
Henk Rijks recently wrote "A colleague of mine is currently writing a story about your Mentos server for Het Parool, one of The Netherlands leading dailys."
'Agency', the publication of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Winter 1994 issue. c/o Thom Forbes
'Baked and Crispy' c/o Allanarose
'Hitch' c/o Rod Lott [check out the original Mentos article in the 10/94 issue of Hitch. Very groovy, thanks Rod.]
THE MENTOS ART GALLERY: Dan Wood has a collection of *VERY* fresh graphic images, depicting the past, present, and future of Mentos. Go to http://karelia.com/mentos/ and take a look at these masterpieces. Also, add your own! Very Fresh Indeed!
PHOTOS: See your favorite celebrities pose with Mentos! Check out MaintainerSean's page at http://nimbus.ocis.temple.edu/~squinn/photos.html
THE MENTOS JINGLE: Direct from John Groves' web site...download the Mentos theme in AU or RealAudio format! http://www.groves.de (Thanks to Florian Bliesch & John Groves)
(Note--the announcer at the end has a slightly different read of the tagline in this version)
If you need it in .wav format, check out http://www.con.wesleyan.edu/~abelew/tv/commercials.htm
(Note--this is a slightly different arrangement of the Mentos jingle)
Or, if you're just in the mood to hear our friendly announcer say his ever-so-pleasing tagline, go to Ali's http://www.panix.com/~ali and click on the link that says "Freshness".
THE FRESHMAKER TOUR: http://www.mentos.com An official homepage, from those wacky folks at Van Melle, Inc! This page spotlights local bands from several cities across the country. It also includes a recipe page, and a pretty fresh contest. You can also grab a cool Mentos Screen Saver, and some Mentos on-line cards, for when you care enough to send the very best.
THE VIRTUAL CHURCH OF MENTOS: Check out Cybersurfer's http://www.restaurantcity.com/webtowers/mentos.html. Truly breathtaking. (This site is currently down...if anyone knows it's whereabouts, please e-mail us!)
MENTOS, THE CHURCH: Another Fresh place of worship exists at http://www.btf.com/mentos Nice piece of work by email@example.com
alt.food.mentos: David Rosenfield reports that he has created this newsgroup. Contact your news administrators and ask them to carry the group! Also, you can access the newsgroup at http://www.dejanews.com
INTERNET ADVERTISING DESIGN CONTEST: From June till October 1997, China's Sinanet had a design contest. One of the sponsors of this contest was Mentos. The language is Chinese, but the message is is universal: Freshness. Check out the top five winners at http://ww5.sinanet.com/iadc/voting/Mentos/MT01/ad.html (note: that is the link for the first place ad--to see the rest of the top five, replace the "MT01" with MT02, 03, 04, or 05) These are some of the freshest items on the net, but hurry, the contest is over, so they won't be there for much longer!
LIBER MENTOS: http://www.tezcat.com/~wednsday. These hysterical writings of Wednesday have moved! Go look! Go look!
DEMENTOS: http://kit.trdkunst.nd/kitsch/dementos.html. If anyone can translate this Dutch article, we'd really appreciate it...
Virus Internet Fanzine (http://220.127.116.11/Virus) had an article about Altoids in which Jen Garber (firstname.lastname@example.org) mentions that Mentos are indeed better. Click on Virus 2 and check out the article.
Chad Jones found a strange mention of Mentos in Nietzsche for Complete and Total Idiots. Check out http://web.mit.edu/afs/athena/user/t/h/thomasc/Public/stories/Nietzsche.html. You'll just have to read it for yourself....
Henry Lam wrote an article about online food sites at http://www.ypn.com/mm-bin/genobject/article/style19961030
Have you ever considered making chicken in a fresh, new way? Then check out "Mentos and Chicken". http://www.azstarnet.com/~bwsmith/mentos.html answers all of your concerns about this recipe.
MENTOS FAN KLUBB: http://home.sol.no/~kmathise/mentofanklubb.html Well--I can't understand one single word on this page, so if anyone can translate, we'd really appreciate it!
Michelle R. Madison found the "Top 20 cool things about a car that goes faster than the speed of light" on the internet. Number 9 is "Kid from Mentos commercials almost guaranteed to lose limb if he tries to duck through the back seat."
The "Gen X TV" book has a web site at http://www.albany.net/~genxtv