BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (CAP) - Famed breakfast icon Tony the Tiger admits in his tell-all autobiography that the cereal which he has touted as "grrrrreat" for over 60 years has actually only been "pretty good at best" for quite a while now.
"You pour the milk and you've got, what, a minute tops before that bowl turns into something you could patch drywall with?" Tony told CAP News in an exclusive phone interview from his Baton Rouge, LA home. "Now imagine what it tastes like after a six-hour shoot for a commercial.
"They're grrrrross!" he bellowed.
In the book, Tony details his struggles with alcohol, including all night drinking binges with Krackle of Rice Krispies fame, and a torrid affair with Gloria from All In The Family which ultimately led to a cocaine addiction.
"Tony the Tiger was huge in the '70s, - magazine covers, red carpet premieres, Studio 54 - he was the IT tiger," said CAP News Food Editor Dale Cooper. "But it all came crashing down when he lost Tony Junior in 1980."
After almost two decades as his father's sidekick, Tony Junior was finally named mascot of his own cereal with the advent of Frosted Rice in 1975. However, the continued ingestion of a cereal that contained so much iron it could be picked up with a magnet resulted in Hemochromotosis, a disease from which Tony Junior would never recover.
"That's when he hit rock bottom, but ironically it was also the impetus that got him to clean up his act," said Cooper. "Gone was the fluffy tiger of the 1960s, replaced by a cantankerous old cat hardened by years of too much scotch and Sally Struthers."
Despite his criticism of the cereal, Tony said he still enjoys the occasional bowl, at least when daughter Antoinette isn't pestering him to "lay off the sugar cereal, dad."
"Yeah, I don't want to get da beetus!" Tony cracked in response.
Fortified With Vitamins: The Tony The Tiger Story is available for the Kindle and Nook.
- CAP News Staff