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Snap, Crackle, Pop, Slurp: An Oral History

SNAP: There’s so much to say about this situation. I’m glad it’s finally being told.

CRACKLE: We were stuck. He was our brother, but also our colleague. Ya know?

POP: The world of onomatopoeic cereal marketing is very cutthroat, and our sibling was a corporate casualty. There were so many factors. It’s complicated.

SLURP: Kellogg’s said I sounded like a blowjob.


The beginning 


SNAP: We started harmonizing while in diapers.

CRACKLE: I originally sounded more like a Chomp.

POP: And I was more of a Plop.

SNAP: But we all landed on our sounds eventually.

SLURP: Truth is, I got all the family talent. My brothers relied on exhalations and plosives. I had to give voice to an inhalation. It’s a much more technically complicated sound.

SNAP: Okay, yeah, Slurp was good. But cocky.

CRACKLE: He thought he was better than us, but we put up with it. We were driven.

POP: We wanted to be powerful voices for morning cuisine.

SLURP: Oh please. I was the only one who studied the high art scene of the midcentury Saturday morning era. They were just fame-whores.


The big break


POP: It took all of us to land the Kellogg’s account.

SLURP: My talented mouth got us that job.

CRACKLE: We rehearsed morning, late morning. Early afternoon.

SLURP: People know the casting couch as a cocktails-in-a-hotel-room sort of thing. But I’m here to tell ya it can be a coffee-in-a-breakfast-nook thing, too.

SNAP: Our hard work paid off. Kellog’s could hear we were naturals.

SLURP: No, my hard work paid off. Let’s just say there’d be no Rice Krispie treats had I not turned a few tricks.


The incident


SNAP: All was going well. Kellogg’s was happy.

CRACKLE: But Slurp was really hitting the milk hard. It started with Skim, but he was on Whole benders soon enough.

POP: Slurp would show up to recording sessions slurring his word.

BOB UNRUH, Kellogg’s head of AM Marketing (1952-66): I was already dealing with Tony the Tiger thinking he was so grrrreat. Plus Toucan Sam was following his nose to piles upon piles of coke. I had a lot on my plate, and Slurp was no longer part of a balanced breakfast.

SLURP: Yeah, I liked to have a good time. But so did everyone! Boo Berry floated up secretaries’ skirts. Lucky was blowing pots of gold on a major gambling addiction. That goddamn Trix rabbit was literally—LITERALLY!—stealing kids’ cereal. But I’m the bad guy because I liked to party?! Give me a break.

UNRUH: It was decided Slurp had to go.

SLURP: The truth is they had to silence me because I knew too much. Those Kellogg’s executives sure loved the sounds of my wet Slurps — until I threatened to tell their wives.

UNRUH: I’ll direct those allegations to legal.

SLURP: I’ve tried to get Ronan Farrow on my story, but he’s more of a brunch guy.


The aftermath


SNAP: Do I feel bad we became so popular once Slurp left? Sure. But what were we supposed to do?

CRACKLE: We had bills to pay. Kids to feed. Lazy parents to help feed those same kids.

POP: I tried reaching out to Slurp, but he stopped taking my calls.

SLURP: I tried to move on to grapefruit. Then 7-11 was interested in me for a little while, but turns out Slurpee and Slurp are very different sounds. I did manage a couple of soup commercials in China. But it was the adult film community where I finally found a home.

SNAP: No, I’ve never seen Slurp’s blue films. I’m a Christian.

SLURP: You might’ve heard my work in Spicy Dick-Tease. One, two, or three.

CRACKLE: Slurp made his choices.

SLURP: Oh, and Debbie Does Breakfast.

POP: I don’t know anything about that other life of his.

SLURP: Or my masterpiece, Deep Oat.


The legacy


SNAP: Sure, we got the money. The big houses. Cap’n Crunch’s finest yachts.

CRACKLE: The whole ASMR movement has been huge for us. I’m busier than ever!

POP: It’s been a sweet life for us all. I think I can speak for Slurp and say that he’s happy too.

SLURP: My OnlyFans is half off with code SPOONLICKER.