Friends, as I have mentioned in numerous articles on this site, when growing up since I was in a single-parent household, there just wasn’t a lot of money to spend on frivolities like eating out or buying toys. Having said that, once in a blue moon we would go into town and eat at the local Burger Chef – which always felt like something so incredibly special. A lot of that of course had to do with getting one of their Funmeals – which included a Funburger (no onions!) and you might get a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee or a plastic race car – in addition the meal boxes generally were used as little games and such. The bar was raised though in ’77 when a little movie called Star Wars was released because Burger Chef was offering 4 different character posters with a purchase of a large Coke! In addition it appears that Denise Nickerson aka Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is working behind the counter in this particular television commercial!
Although not featured in that Star Wars commercial, the mascots for Burger Chef were – well – Burger Chef and Jeff. The duo were featured in TV commercials as well as being featured on the placemats as well as the Funmeals themselves – but there were other characters too like Count Fangburger, Cackleburger the Witch, Burgerilla the Ape, Wolfburger the Werewolf, and Crankenburger which was a kind of Frankenstein’s Monster. The character of Burger Chef was voiced by none other than Paul Winchell (The Banana Splits, Wacky Races) with Jeff who acted as his young sidekick believed to be voiced by Lionel Wilson (The Deputy Dawg Show, Courage the Cowardly Dog) – although I should point out that Wilson’s involvement hasn’t been confirmed.
Another item that was offered at one point were Flexi-disc records – as I understand it there were six in total and it appears that at least four of them focused on those monster characters I just mentioned. With The Ghost of Grizzly Mountain though it seems like Chef and Jeff are running into the ghost of a bear – a haunting due to being abducted by a traveling circus!