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Mac Tonight animatronic at Solid Gold McDonald's in Greenfield, WI

Mac Tonight was a mascot introduced by McDonald's restaurants in 1986. He was intended to advertise McDonald's late night hours to adults. He had a crescent moon for a head, wore a suit and sunglasses, and was depicted as being a jazzy lounge singer. The name was a play on words of the song "Mack the Knife", made popular in America by Bobby Darin. The song that played over the advertisements, called "It's Mac Tonight", was also a variant on that song, but with McDonald's-themed lyrics, such as those featured in the original 1986 commercial:

"When the stars come out to play, babe
A twinkling show, ooh -- dinner! -- out of sight
Yeah, the night time is golden light time -- big dipper!
At McDonald's (showtime), it's Mac Tonight!"

Other lyrics include this set from a 1987 commercial:

"When the clock strikes half past 6, babe
Time to head for golden lights
It's a good time for the great taste -- dinner!
At McDonald's, it's Mac Tonight
Come on, make it Mac Tonight!"

Mac Tonight is the only character in the McDonald's world to not appear in the McDonaldland advertisements.

Mac Tonight no longer appears in commercials in the United States, but pictures of him can still be seen in some McDonald's restaurants, and on some smaller signage by some restaurants' drive-through entrances/exits.


Advertising campaign

The campaign included 29 commercials, initially airing from 1986 to 1997. Doug Jones played Mac Tonight in 27 of them. A number of 3-inch hard plastic Mac Tonight toys were available in Happy Meals. Mac Tonight also was a cameo in a Big Mac commercial in 1988, as a costumed greeter when the woman entered McDonald's.[1] In 1997 and 1998, McDonald's sponsored Bill Elliott's #94 NASCAR, with Mac Tonight featured on the hood artwork. During the late 1980s through the early 1990s, people in Mac Tonight costumes used to greet McDonald's customers, along with Ronald, Grimace, etc.


In 2007, Mac Tonight was given a CGI makeover and starred in a new commercial in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa and The Philippines. He is no longer seen flying over Earth or a city with a piano, but instead he dances on top of a McDonald's store singing and playing a saxophone. He also has a different, slightly gruffer voice, and new lyrics.[2] All references to "Mack the Knife" have been removed, partially because Bobby Darin's estate didn't approve of the re-working.

"All day and all night, step out for a bite.
Oh for treats that delight, --24 Hours a day!
Come down to Mac Tonight, hey!
[Plays a Short Piece on a Saxophone]
Chill out, (name of country), McDonald's is 24 Hours
Come down to Mac Tonight, -24 Hours 'round the clock.
Come on down to Mac Tonight!"

Recently, Taiwan has begun to run Mac Tonight ads with Mac speaking Mandarin Chinese. Similarly, Hong Kong has a new commercial featuring the character, in which Mac Tonight is voiced by singer Eason Chan, in order to promote local branches' new 24-hour operation schedule.

Popular Culture

  • Talk show host (and onetime McDonald's employee) Jay Leno often makes references to his likeness to Mac Tonight and promos for his show during the credits of BGC programming show his face as a moon.
  • Mac Tonight is also a meme on the website The meme is based on Mac Tonight, and shows a .gif from one of the commercials and features "Moon Man" saying highly derogatory, racist, and sexual things through AT&T text to speech.[1]
  • The Simpsons episode "Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore" featured Mac Tonight. Bart mentions that the thermostat is "just painted on". In response, Homer says, ""Oh my God, you're right. I better call the guy." and pretends to dial a phone also painted on the wall. He then reaches into the kitchen and, retrieving a cardboard cutout of Mac Tonight, says, "Oh, here he is." Lisa remarks, "Dad, that's Mac Tonight." Homer replies, "Yeah, well while I'm gone, you'll do what he says."


External links

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