PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020) – Taco Bell recently started serving breakfast at their restaurants and as part of their ad campaign, they wanted Ronald McDonald to tell people how good their new breakfast is. So, they found 25 people around the county named Ronald McDonald to promote the new menu items.
One of the McDonalds is a funeral director from Kane, Pa. and he joined the KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway to talk about his experience.
What was it like to grow up with the same name as the popular McDonald’s clown? McDonald says the name is like the song “A Boy Named Sue.”
“You have to get used to it, you have to roll with it or else you become pretty bruised pretty easily.” he said.
McDonald had the name before the fast food mascot. He is named after his dad.
“[I] was about 6-years-old when the clown came out,” he said.
He says even to this day he gets grief about his name. He says Pennsylvania law states you have to name your funeral home after yourself or the previous owner. He says it’s a good thing because it gives him a lot of attention.
So, how did McDonald end up in the Taco Bell commercial? He says about a month ago, he got a call from a woman claiming to be from a casting company looking for people with unusual names. McDonald jokingly said, “Why are you calling me?”
After a few preliminary interviews, McDonald was selected to travel to L.A. to shoot a commercial. He says he didn’t know what the commercial was for until the day of the filming.
“The advertiser didn’t want anyone to know. They didn’t want it to appear on Facebook or anything,” says McDonald.
McDonald had to give his middle initial to check in to his hotel room because of all the other Ronald McDonalds involved in the commercial. He says the hotel employee told him, “There’s six Ronald McDonalds last night, there’s six Ronald McDonalds tonight, there’s eight tomorrow and the rest are coming Friday.”
He says it was “weird” to be around so many people that all have the same name.
McDonald says it was a great experience that paid pretty well, but that he’s, “not ready to retire because of it yet.”
After coming back home, McDonald says his life has been anything but regular.
“I go into the bank and they clap for me [and] I went to the hospital to pick up a death certificate and the doctor got down on his hands and knees and bowed to me,” he said. “When you’re in a small town and you got a name like Ronald McDonald, you’re one of two funeral directors in the town, everyone either knows you or knows who you are.”
Listen to the KDKA Morning News with Larry Richert and John Shumway weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.