Quisp and Quake

Reflecting on portmanteaus yesterday, I was reminded of the breakfast cereal Quisp, with a name that combines Quaker (Oats Co.) and crisp. Quisp was introduced with a companion cereal Quake, with a name that alluded to both Quaker and earthquake.

From Wikipedia:

Quisp is a sugar-sweetened breakfast cereal from the Quaker Oats Company. It was introduced in 1965 and continued as a mass-market grocery item until the late 1970s. Sometime afterward, the company sold the item sporadically, and upon the rise of the Internet began selling it primarily online. Quisp made its return to supermarkets as a mass-market grocery item in late 2012.

Quisp was initially marketed with a sister brand, Quake. Its joint-product television commercials were produced by Jay Ward, a major producer of animated television series.

History: Quisp and the similarly marketed cereal Quake were originally released in 1965 in the United States by the Quaker Oats Company and generally advertised together (during the same commercial) with their character mascots competing against each other. The successful ads were cartoons created by Jay Ward, who also created the cartoon characters Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, and many others, and the Quisp ads used some of the same voice actors as the Rocky and Bullwinkle series, including Daws Butler as the voice of Quisp (an alien [from Planet Q]) and William Conrad as the voice of Quake (a miner [from the center of the earth]).

Description: Quisp is a baked paste of corn meal and syrup shaped like saucers. The taste is similar to fellow Quaker Oats cereal, Cap’n Crunch. Quake cereal was produced by the same process and ingredients, but shaped like the letter Q. Packaging as of 2012 carries the tagline on the front panel, “Crunchy Corn Cereal”, and on side panels, “QUAZY Energy Cereal”.

(Energy in this context means lots and lots of sugar.)

On the voice actors:

Charles Dawson “Daws” Butler (November 16, 1916 — May 18, 1988) was a voice actor originally from Toledo, Ohio. He worked mostly for the Hanna-Barbera animation production company and originated the voices of many familiar animated cartoon characters, including Yogi Bear, Quick Draw McGraw, Snagglepuss, and Huckleberry Hound. (Wikipedia link)

William Conrad (born John William Cann Jr.; September 27, 1920 – February 11, 1994) was an American actor, producer and director whose career spanned five decades in radio, film and television.

A radio writer and actor, he moved to Hollywood, California, after his World War II service and played a series of character roles in films beginning with the quintessential film noir, The Killers (1946). He created the role of Marshal Matt Dillon for the popular radio series Gunsmoke (1952–1961), and narrated the television adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (1959–1964) and The Fugitive (1963–1967).

Finding fewer on-screen roles in the 1950s, he changed from actor to producer-director with television work and a series of Warner Bros. films in the 1960s. Conrad found stardom as a detective in the TV series Cannon (1971–1976) and Nero Wolfe (1981), and as a district attorney in the legal drama Jake and the Fatman (1987–1992). (Wikipedia link)

3 Responses to “Quisp and Quake”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From Eric Holeman on Facebook:

    The Quisp / Quake commercials reached their peak in the transcontinental race that determined the ultimate survivor.

  2. Tané Tachyon Says:

    I remember being a Quisp partisan, and getting my mother to buy multiple boxes at once so I could send in boxtops for some offer I don’t remember the details of.

  3. fermata Says:

    and, like cap’n crunch, those Quisp pieces would really tear up the inside of your mouth unless you let them get really soggy, which was just yucky. Man, I loved that stuff…

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