Rodney is a child actor who appeared in TV commercials for the fast-food chain Jack in the Box in the early 1970s, as well as in numerous roles in television and movies.
In the spots, he was seen trying to wrap his mouth around the super-sized Jumbo Jack hamburger. The tag line “It’s too big to eat!” became a catch-phrase.
Another spot showed Rodney giggling while singing the song “Take Life A Little Easier,” which was released as a single by Bell Records in the fall of 1973 in the wake of the commercial’s popularity. The 45 approached Billboard Magazine’s Bubbling Under the Hot 100 chart in October 1973, peaking at #112. At the age of five, Rippy became the youngest person ever to make any Billboard music chart.
Rippy subsequently had guest-roles in many popular television shows, including The Six Million Dollar Man, Marcus Welby, MD, Police Story, and The Odd Couple. He also appeared frequently on talk shows such as The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Dinah’s Place with Dinah Shore. Rippy also had a co-starring role on the CBS Saturday morning children’s show The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine.
Rodney made his big screen debut in the Mel Brooks comedy Blazing Saddles in 1974. He portrayed a young Sheriff Bart aboard his parents’ buckboard wagon after a brutal Sioux nation attack. When the chief, portrayed by Brooks, allows the pioneers passage, for being darker than they are, Rippy says his only line, “Thank you.”
In a Peanuts newspaper comic strip dated July 3, 1974, Snoopy awakens from a dream in which he “had been invited out to dinner by Rodney Allen Rippy!”
In the mid 1970s, uber-cute child actor Rodney Allan Rippy was a sensation as the spokesperson for the Jack in the Box restaurant chain…so much so that Shindana Toys thought he needed his own doll.
Rodney was critically injured in a motorcycle accident in North Carolina in September of this year. It was last reported that he is recuperating in a trauma unit. The Museum Of UnCut Funk wishes him well.