Where's The Beef?
By Nick Greene
In 1984, 83-year-old actress Clara Peller famously asked, "Where's the Beef?" The importance of her inquiry was in no way diminished by the fact that it appeared in an advertisement for Wendy's—people wanted to know the location of the beef.
Thanks to the popularity of that ad, Wendy's annual revenue rose by 31 percent. Millions were convinced that the beef resided at Wendy's locations, but this assumption was thrown into doubt when Peller, who had filmed the first commercial for $317.40 a day, appeared in a 1985 Prego spaghetti sauce advertisement where she exclaimed, ''I found it. I really found it.'' Wendy's terminated her contract—which had been increased from that original paltry sum—because the spot "infer[red] that Clara found the beef at somewhere other than Wendy's restaurants.''
To make matters even more muddled, the 4'10" Peller starred in a commercial for Praise Complete dog food announcing that she had found the meat (not explicitly "beef") therein.
Is this a riddle with no end? Will its enigmatic echo ring throughout eternity, plaguing whoever dares try to find the beef to a lifetime of misery?
Here, according to the 2012 USDA census of agriculture, is the beef:
The beef is all around us, especially if you live in northwest Texas.