Quisp vs. Quake: The “breakfast feud” between cereals from outer and inner space

By on September 8, 2015

Fifty years ago, in 1965, the Quaker Oats company decided to simultaneously release two new cereal flavors — Quisp and Quake — and they further decided to have the two cereals compete against one another in a kind of popularity contest, broadcasting a TV commercial in which the voice-over announcer, Paul Frees, invited viewers at home to decide: “Take sides with either – two new cereals from Quaker, sort of a breakfast feud.”

Both characters were created by animators Jay Ward and Bill Scott, who had teamed up in 1959 to make cartoons in Los Angeles. Their first creation was “Rocky and Friends,” featuring iconic cartoon characters Rocky & Bullwinkle, but Ward was also responsible for “Dudley Do-Right.” Rocky and Bullwinkle were owned, in part, by a competing cereal company, General Mills. Ward and Scott may have been inspired in designing Quisp by the moon men Gidney and Cloyd who appeared in “Rocky and His Friends.”

QUISP AND QUAKE 2

Each cereal had its own mascot, but they were essentially the same cereal with different shapes and slogans: Quisp was “The quisp new cereal from outer space!” and Quake was “The power cereal from inner space!”

Quisp — voiced in the commercial by Daws Butler, the voice of Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound and Cap’n Crunch — was an annoying little space alien with a propeller on the top of his head. He’d say things like “For quazy energy . . . Quisp is best!,” and would cry out that his cereal was the “the biggest-selling cereal from Saturn to Alpha Centauri.”

QUISP 2

Quake — voiced by actor William Conrad — was a lunkhead miner with a miner’s helmet and oversized biceps who would talk about the brute strength his cereal provided, referring to his Quake as an “earthquake-powered cereal.”

quakebox

Ward and Scott had created cereal mascots before too: a few years earlier they had created the now iconic Cap’n Crunch, which if you ask us was the best of all the sugar-sweetened kids cereals in the sixties.

QUISP 1

The commercials also sometimes featured Quake’s mother, Mother Lode (voiced by June Foray) and Quisp’s sidekick Quunchy (voiced by Bill Scott).

The competition reached its peak in 1972, when a series of commercials asked children to vote for which cereal should remain on the shelves. Quake had a makeover in 1969, changing his miner hat for a cowboy hat. This commercial shows how he changed.

QUAKE 1

It turned out to be no contest at all: Quisp was the winner and Quake was immediately discontinued.

The character Quake was later resurrected in 1976, for an orange-flavored cereal called Quangaroos, the character now apprearing with a sidekick, an orange kangaroo named Simon, only he appeared to have undergone some kind of diet (he was much slimmer) and also had become Australian.

QUISP, QUAKE, QUANGAROOS

That year, Quaker Oats ran another contest, this time asking children to choose between Quisp and Quangaroos. Quisp won again and Quangaroos was discontinued.

QUISP 3

About Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas has been a freelancing writer/critic for All Music Guide, and a contributor to Launch, Music Connection, Big Takeover and numerous other publications and entertainment websites, blogs and zines, most of them long gone. He's written more than sixty sets of liner notes. He’s also worked for over twenty years at mostly reissue record labels -- prior to that he worked in bookstores and record stores, going all the way back to the original vinyl daze. He lives in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of Los Angeles, CA.
  • rogerogreen

    These were TERRIBLE cereals with fun marketing

  • Ellis Tomago

    I still like Quisp.

  • Tim Pendergast

    Like most cereals. ;)

  • rogerogreen
  • Thomas Robertson

    I agree. I bought a box of Quisp because I wanted the comic book inside the box. Then I found that it tasted like library paste.

  • http://hamburgertoday.wordpress.com hamburgertoday2017

    They had cool toys.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/KizoneKaprow Kizone Kaprow

    Cap’n Crunch remains the gold standard for both children and stoned adults with the munchies.

  • J.Q.Public

    That’s completely superficial of you. I happen to love Cap n Crunch whether I’m stoned or not.. lol

  • J.Q.Public

    I also hear it’s Seth Rogens favorite cereal.

  • J.Q.Public

    Really, I always thought Quisp was a decent cereal that was just a less sweet version of Captain n Crunch. He’s not just Captain, he’s also the King (of cereals).

  • David McCullough

    I’m proud to say I didn’t eat those sugar sweetened cereals growing up. I ate Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, soaked in milk until limp, covered with about a half inch of sugar on top. But it wasn’t a sweetened cereal.

  • dittoheadadt

    Well of course the comic book would taste like library paste…although…I’m curious how you know what library paste tastes like…? ;-)