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A Salute to Pizza Hut

If there was one thing I remember much from growing up in the 1990s, it was having Pizza Hut. As Pizza Hut celebrates its 55th anniversary, I think it's time that we children of the '90s offer up some thanks for that pizza franchise with the red roofs. So please join in with the celebration as we deviate from our usual ass-patting of spandex-hero films and reviews of Saturday Night Live skits.

The Genius Product Placement
If you were cool, you were all about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The cartoons, toys and movies made us all think Michelangelo was the coolest, all female newspersons wore jumpsuits and Vanilla Ice was a great rapper. Pizza Hut understood our need for being cool and teamed up with Nintendo and bought ads in the game. The restaurant further sealed the deal by offering a coupon for a free pizza with each game.

Author's note: I never actually owned any Ninja Turtles action figures, but I did watch the show, so I was kind of cool. My mom says I'm cool.

Reinventing Pizza
At first there was just pizza. Pizza Hut would have none of that. They decided to take the most American food and Italianize it … if that's a word. They created the Neapolitan pizza campaign in the early 1990s. The Hut was not finished — they decided to make crust cool, ushering in the brilliant era of stuffed-crust pizza. Who could forget that genius ad with the most-sold out Beatle, Ringo Starr, appearing with the members of The Monkees? Personally, the idea of stuffed-crust pizza is gross. Any cheese on the crust should be regarded as a reward, not a privilege.

The Pizza Head Show
Every Saturday morning during In The Zone, the prelude to FOX Saturday Baseball, Pizza Hut used this campaign to get us kids to beg for pizza. Pizza Head, in a Mr. Bill-like short, would convince us that his pain and suffering equated to us eating pizza while you watch regional baseball coverage.

Seriously, God probably invented pizza just so that we could have a bread-based entree that could be paired with a bread-based appetizer. Those breadsticks from The Hut were greasy and loaded with that garlic seasoning, and they're amazing. I myself hate condiments (that's just another issue itself), but I know you Americans love marinara sauce. Breadsticks — ain't nothin' wrong wit dat!

Book It!
Popculturology has many ties to libraries and reading (or at least seeing movies based on books). My mother is a librarian, so she was all about reading. While most kids got video games for Christmas, I got books. Kids were not down with reading during my time. This was before awful book series concerning vampires or magicians … whatever Harry Potter is about. So Pizza Hut and schools decided to bribe the youth of America. "If you read like four books, we will give you a personal pan pizza," they promised. Personal pan pizzas were better than heroin. Not to go all Irvine Welsh, but getting a personal pan pizza was better than sex and an A+ on your math test. The greatest scheme in American education since the half-day.

Americans, you better thank Pizza Hut. They're looking out for you. They deal you pizza, and all you have to do is eat it, and it's good. Thank you, Pizza Hut, for making it great!

Editor's note: Pizza Hut in no way endorses Popculturology nor did Popculturology receive any kind of payment for this article. Seth just really, really likes Pizza Hut. Also, those Land Before Time puppets from Pizza Hut were awesome.
A Salute to Pizza Hut Reviewed by Seth Pohorence on 6/25/2013 Rating: 5

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