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Rodney Allen Rippy (born July 29, 1968 in Shelby, North Carolina) is an American former 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 televiosn 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!" (pronounced "It's too big-a-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 (b/w "World of Love") 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 televsion shows, including The Six Million Dollar Man, Marcus Welby, MD, Police Story, and The Odd Couple (where Rodney played the owner of the building where Oscar and Felix lived). 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 (uncredited, filmed before the Jack in the Box spots) 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!"

Later years

By 1976, Rippy (then eight years old) dropped out of acting to focus on school, eventually graduating from California State University, Dominguez Hills. He has taken on a few acting roles since his childhood stardom, filming a few episodes of Parker Lewis Can't Lose in the early 90s, appearing in the 1997 independent film Former Child Star and the 2003 David Spade comedy Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.

Rippy is a partner in the film production company, Bow Tie Productions, and spokesman for Hurricane Housing Relief. A resident of Carson, California, he has served as MC for the Carson Relay For Life [1] (Rippy's mother died of cancer in 1986). As of December 2007, he is also a national director of marketing with Metro Networks.

He also worked at KABC-TV in Los Angeles, California.

External links

References

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