‘Little Mikey’ Lives in New York State?! ‘He Likes It!’
Remember Little Mikey? "He hates everything!"
It's one of the most memorable commercials of the last 50 years. In 1972, American TV viewers were introduced to "Little Mikey," who in just 60 seconds, gave one of the best product endorsements ever, and he doesn't even say a word.
Two brothers are skeptical about their new breakfast cereal, so they make Mikey be the guinea pig. And as we all know... "He likes it!" and kids across the country did, too.
Quaker Oats, Life cereal's parent company, had a hit on their hands, and "Mikey Likes It!" became a catchphrase for more than a decade.
THE THREE KIDS WERE ACTUALLY RELATED
John Gilchrist was just 3 years old when he filmed the commercial. The other two kids? Those were his real-life brothers. There were six Gilchrist siblings in all, and all six got into acting when a family friend said they had an "All-American look" that was perfect for the screen.
Allegedly, the money they made from that one commercial alone was able to put them through college.
'LITTLE MIKEY' BECOMES AN URBAN LEGEND
Before the age of the internet, there was a popular urban legend that Gilchrist had died from a lethal combination of Pop Rocks and soda. It's impossible to know how the rumor got started, but luckily for the Gilchrists, it just wasn't true. (Unluckily for Pop Rocks, the rumor had some devastating effects on its sales.)
WHAT IS JOHN GILCHRIST DOING NOW?
Gilchrist eventually left acting and led a "normal" life. He's said that he barely remembers shooting the commercial, but the memories he does have were positive.
It's a curiosity thing. It didn't take a lot of talent for me to sit there, or at least I don't remember.
Gilchrist parlayed his selling of cereal into a life of advertising, and he eventually joined Madison Square Garden as a director of media sales.
Gilchrist now lives in Pelham, New York, a downstate town in Westchester County. He has a wife and three children.