Jolly Green Giant “not so jolly any more”
As he surveys his ranch in Texas, the Jolly Green Giant cuts a forlorn figure. Years ago, he was recognised as the happiest, most jovial giant in the whole of the United States. Today, he admits that he’s caught a dose of the blues, and no one appears to understand.
“I haven’t been jolly for years”, he explained. “In fact, I’ve been quite morose. And what makes it worse is that everyone just assumes I’m the life and soul of the party because of this rather unfortunate moniker I’ve been lumbered with. “Jolly” indeed. It’s followed me around like a ball and chain all my life. An albatross around my neck, if you would.
“All I want to do is settle down on my own with a good book, and maybe watch some telly,” he mused.
In his 1970s heyday, the Jolly Green Giant was the symbol of sweetcorn for generations of children, a smiling beacon of vegetable hope and goodness. Reminiscing on those halcyon days, he says “yes, they were something special, but people move on, you know. I was in a few adverts in the 1980s, but the minute you try to branch out from advertising sweetcorn, people start to say – hey, you’re the sweetcorn guy, you can’t do Shakespeare, or hey, you’re the sweetcorn guy, you can’t advertise mens’ underwear.”
“There I was saying ‘ho ho ho’ all the time when I was starting to think to myself – hey, is this all there is? I started reading Alain de Botton and Jacques Derrida, and they really helped me get my head round this existential feeling of nothingness. But at the end of the day, those advertising executives, all they’re interested in is money, not the welfare of a formerly Jolly Green Giant. Yeah, sure my face is all over packs of vegetables – how do you think I bought this ranch?”
The Giant has been to see a number of psychiatrists, and claims that he is making progress from his “lowest point” in 2004 when he first visited the Jolly Green Giant statue in Minnesota. “I saw myself all smiley and half naked and I thought – blimey – no one knows the real me! I mean, you look at that statue and you think of a two-dimensional cartoon figure striding over the valley, laughing in a friendly, non-provocative, child-friendly manner, and does it tell anyone that I have feelings? That I play the banjo? That sometimes, just sometimes, I wear clothes that are not green and made of leaves? No it doesn’t. It certainly does not. Other giants think I’m just a massive, funny-coloured paedophile.”