John Gilchrist who played “Mikey” top top the famed Life grain commercial; popular music Rocks. Source: (;

In the 1970s, the was among the many frequently-aired advertisements ~ above TV: the Life cereal "Mikey Likes It" TV commercial. The clues starred a an extremely cute youngster with a round face and freckles named Mikey, that is a stroller, stick eater. The advertising spawned the catchphrase "Mikey Likes It," and ran because that over 13 years; later, Quaker Oats (the company that makes Life) do the efforts to hawk its product through sequels and remakes. But most curious of all was the story that Mikey -- specifically, the tale that the most famed picky eater in teeveeland had died from consuming a volatile mixture of popular music Rocks and Coca-Cola. If you were a kid in the late "70s or "80s, you no doubt heard this rumor from her peers:

"Remember Mikey, the boy on the Life commercial? that ate pop Rocks and also drank Coke and his stomach exploded. Popular music Rocks and Coke will certainly kill you."

The story had the allure of arts imitating and also then obliterating life: a young boy that is well-known for a reluctance come try new healthy foods items meets a grisly end because he foolishly blended two volatile junk foods. Mikey to be played by an actor named John Gilchrist, and whether he endured the "70s after shoot to call in the Life grain "Mikey Likes It" commercial was a warm topic of debate.

You are watching: Give it to mikey he ll eat anything

In the commercial, it"s breakfast time, and Mikey"s 2 older brother are faced with a new cereal. Castle go earlier and forth around who is walk to try it first because it"s supposedly healthy, and therefore unappealing. “You try it,” claims one, and also the various other replies, “I’m not going to shot it. You try it.” climate they say, “Let’s acquire Mikey (to try it). He hates everything.” if they space prodding each other and also conspiring, small Mikey, play by three-and-a-half-year-old john Gilchrist, digs into the heaping key of Life grain on the table, and plainly enjoys it. His brother exclaim, “He likes it! Hey, Mikey!” 

It"s a classic, unforgettable commercial, albeit one through a dark post-script. Well, maybe. What"s the deal -- did john Gilchrist, far better known as Mikey, really dice in a bizarre junk food accident? Or was it all simply one of the biggest urban legends TV advertising have ever known?

Mikey"s TV brothers Were really His Brothers


John Gilchrist was actors as tiny Mikey in the Life cereal commercial v his two real-life brothers, Tom and Mike. The commercial was filmed in 1971 once he was just three and a fifty percent years old, and by 1972 it to be being aired nationally and ran through 1986. No too bad considering that small Mikey never ever uttered a solitary word in the commercial.

Gilchrist and also his 6 siblings acquired into exhilaration as kids at the tip of a family friend. The family members was at a long Island beach because that the day once they to be told the their kids and their freckled faces were just the all-American look at producers to be looking for. Eventually, all of the siblings ended up acting making more money in someday than their father made at his task all week. The money they lugged in placed the youngsters through college.

The Gilchrist kids didn’t check out themselves together special. For a household of seven youngsters who every acted at some point, the wasn’t unexplained to check out themselves top top television. It to be just part of your lives. They assumed all youngsters acted. 

Gilchrist’s very first Life cereal commercial was simple gig for everyone. The youngsters were not only comfortable acting, yet they also had a organic dynamic being real-life brothers. It was a dream come true for producers. The commercial to be a vast hit v kids and parents alike. Not just did it help to offer a the majority of Life Cereal, however it ended up being ranked together the No. 10 commercial of all time. Still today, tiny Mikey is brought up in conversation once someone is a stroller, stick eater.

Rumors of Mikey"s Death: considerably Exaggerated


Pop Rocks is an effervescent candy containing pressurized carbon dioxide gas. When it come into contact with saliva, the solid liquid dissolves and the gas is released, emitting a funny popping sound and also causing a tactile sensation on the tongue. Pop Rocks were presented in 1975 by general Foods, and also were a hit with kids, though their signature trait faced chemistry your typical pre-teen could hardly understand.

Rumors about Pop Rocks, and also what they can do if merged with soda, and also what they in reality did to john Gilchrist, surfaced roughly 1979, and also eventually reached Gilchrist"s family. One day, his mommy received a contact from a family members friend that said, with tears, "I’m so sorry to hear around your son," explaining that she"d been educated of his death by pop Rocks and also Coke.

Gilchrist"s mother had actually soothing news: john was just fine. "He simply came home from school!" she said, yet then referred to as him in from playing just to make sure.

John Gilchrist, Mikey native the Life grain commercial, is alive and well.

General foodstuffs was so vexed by the rumors about its famed (or infamous) candy the the agency issued statements to parents" groups and school and also ran newspaper advertisements, that tried come assure the general public that popular music Rocks to be safe. In 1983, General foodstuffs stopped making popular music Rocks, explaining that it just wasn"t a effective product. For gullible kids, the disappearance of the product only evidenced the rumors around Mikey -- pop Rocks had actually been taken off the market, lock figured, since they had killed a kid. 

The popular music Rocks formula and also brand to be licensed to the firm Zeta unique S.A., which tho manufactures and also sells popular music Rocks today.

Mikey Returns


John Gilchrist in an ad intended to reprise the role of Mikey in the Life grain commercial. Source: (

The call that man Gilchrist garnered because that the portrayal that the personality Mikey ~ above the Life grain commercial start in the beforehand ‘70s has adhered to him his entire life. Unlike countless child actors, Gilchrist has fond storage of his childhood and acting career. The reports the he led a an extremely normal life, in spite of the acting gigs and doesn’t regret the moment he invested doing it. He eventually moved on indigenous acting yet not prior to he had actually been in around 250 commercials. He acted external commercials as well, although he to be passed end for part that that auditioned because that in donate of the likes the Rodney Allen Rippy, Haywood Nelson, and also Ricky Schroder.

Gilchrist didn"t die in actual life, and also Mikey live to market again in commercials as well. In the mid-‘80s, the Quaker Oats firm sought to develop excitement because that the Life brand through reviving the public’s emotional attachment to tiny Mikey. Gilchrist reprised his function as Mikey in brand-new ads, entitled, “Today’s Mikey.” this ads illustrated grown up Mikey together a college student. Let’s just say the it wasn’t the same. That wasn’t almost as cute together he was as a kid. In 1996, Quaker developed an ad that digitally enforced a bottle of Snapple right into the original Life ad. This certain ad had a twist in the Mikey just liked few of the flavors and snubbed the others.

Mikey: wherein Is he Now?


Gilchrist at some point left exhilaration to seek a interactions degree at Iona College. His love the the brand-new York Knicks led him to a position at Madison Square Gardens wherein he landing a job in advertisement sales as director of media sales. His primary role is negotiating v TV advertisers.

Gilchrist reportedly still enjoys Life grain and constantly has it on hand in ~ home. Sadly, he didn’t get a life time supply for his spot on the famous commercial. He also reports that he to be not and is not a stroller, stick eater. He told brand-new York Newsday that " that I am, however it"s only a component of who I am; I have actually a lot of great things in mine life."

He additionally admits that doesn"t remember make the advertisement -- ~ all, the was simply three and also a half.

Gilchrist currently lives in Pelham, NY through his wife and also three children. He consistently gets requests to sign autographs and does therefore happily. That appreciates the ongoing fascination v the commercial and also his personality although he has actually said, "I just never looked in ~ it like some huge, large deal. Maybe that comes turn off to some civilization like i don"t want to talk around it. Entirely not the case. Ns love talking around it. It"s a component of me."

What Really ended up being Of Life Cereal?


The initial Life cereal as formulated earlier in 1961 was made up only of whole grain oats. Original ads because that the breakfast grain coined the slogan, “Life is complete of surprises.” about the time advertisers realized they were in reality marketing come children, who had no interest in vitamins and minerals, castle wised up. Not just did the company readjust its slogan, however now Life grain has tons of sugar in it which it didn’t before.

Since the original Life, there have been multiple ranges of the historically famous cereal. In 1978, Cinnamon Life emerged followed through Raisin Life. Not surprisingly, Raisin Life wasn’t a substantial seller and also was lastly discontinued. Small Apple Life was released in 2002 and then honey Graham Life in 2004. 2005 brought Life Vanilla Yogurt Crunch to the market and Chocolate Oat Crunch was presented in 2006. All of these varieties were discontinued since they just didn’t sell.

See more: Best 30 Black Hair Salons In Clarksville Tn With Reviews, Gems Hair Salon

In 2008, Maple & Brown street Life fight the shelves which ultimately took a back seat come Vanilla Life. Canada and parts that the U.S. Have consisted of Multigrain Life in the mix. Newer Life cereal varieties include Pumpkin summer sprouts Life, Gingerbread Life and also Strawberry Life which to be a substantial hit.

It"s hard to boost on perfection. At one point, Quaker presented what they dubbed a “new and improved” variation of Life Cereal. After consumers balked at the new formula, the company quickly went back to the initial one that everybody loved. Because 2018, Quaker has actually been billing the breakfast cereal based upon the insurance claim that “Diets rich in totality grain foods and other tree foods and low in saturation fat and also cholesterol, may help reduce the danger of heart disease."