News | May 27, 1999

Wendy's Dave Thomas Marks 10th Year

Dave Thomas, founder of the Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurant chain and pitchman for a decade, granted an interview on May 25 on the set of a sound stage in Queens, New York, where he was filming ommercials numbers 652, 653, 654 and 655, according to a Reuters report.

Thomas founded the chain in 1969, using his red haired, pig-tailed daughter's likeness for the logo. He retired as the CEO in 1982, but was reportedly brought back for a bridge ad campaign in 1989 while the company, says Reuters, "searched for something better."

The hype itself became news when Thomas was granted a guest spot ringing the bell to close trading on May 26, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Thomas reportedly has no plans to retire from his role as Wendy's pitchman.

"If it wasn't helping the company, I wouldn't be doing it," he said. "But it's given me a platform to talk about other things" including the issue of adoption. Thomas, adopted himself, runs a foundation and continues educational and political activism on the issue.

Thomas has reportedly made more commercials than Orville Redenbacher (104), Kentucky Fried Chicken's Colonel Sanders (127) and Chrysler's Lee Iacocca, who filmed 60. Mr. Whipple, the fictional Charmin toilet paper fetish, comes closest with 500.