Domino's Had To Get Rid Of Bad Andy And It's Clear Why

These days, Domino's Pizza commercials mostly tend to involve real people (with or without superpowers, as per this 2022 spot), but back at the turn of the millennium its advertising made use of a spokescharacter, instead. While you might think that a Muppet-like bear/monkey creature would be cute and cuddly, the name Bad Andy was the first clue that Domino's new mascot would be anything but loveable.

As the commercials portrayed him, Bad Andy was the very epitome of a non-model Domino's employee as he went out of his way to irritate coworkers, customers, and anyone else who came within his sphere of annoyance. He did, however, prove to be an invaluable scapegoat when Domino's sales started trending downward toward the end of 2000. The company cited several different factors for the downturn: The economy (it's always the economy), the costs of paying off a pricey prior-year company restructuring, and the unpopular Andy. While it couldn't do much about the first two, it was able to address the Andy issue by giving the bear/monkey the boot and replacing the "Bad Andy/Good Pizza" campaign with ”Get the Door, It's Domino's” instead.

Bad Andy was everyone's on-the-job nightmare

One thing that most of the commercial-watching, pizza-buying public has in common is that from time to time we've all had coworkers who were, well, not always easy to get along with. Perhaps this is why we're drawn to commercials such as the Progressive insurance ones with Flo and Co., or the Arby's ads where everyone working in the restaurant actually seems to be pretty good friends. Andy, on the other hand, was the coworker from hell — nobody wants to be reminded of that.

Some of the numerous ways in which Bad Andy made his fellow Domino's employees' lives miserable included faking sick so he didn't have to deliver his share of pizzas (he used a thermometer tucked in a hot bag to run up his temperature) and insisting that they make pizza the wrong way (rolling rather than stretching the crust). He also unplugged the hot bags to run a massage chair until the fuses blew and, in a seemingly random act of weirdness, changed the daily special sign to read "Big Man Trouserz" instead of advertising pizza. While that last one might have drawn a giggle or two from his coworkers, it was all fun and games until somebody (not Andy) got stuck with the task of changing the sign back again.

Bad Andy was actually a Jim Henson Company creation

If Bad Andy looked familiar to anyone who grew up watching "Sesame Street" or "The Muppet Show," that's because he was actually created for Domino's by The Jim Henson Company. This makes him not just Muppet-like, but an actual Muppet. Yeesh! Way to give all those other characters a bad name.

Many Muppets do have their annoying qualities, true, but all of them, even Oscar the Grouch, have a few redeeming traits, as well. Andy's personality, on the other hand, seemed to consist of nothing other than selfishness and a fondness for making others miserable. Some people, too, were disturbed by his ambiguous appearance. Not all Muppets belong to an identifiable species — Animal was just an animal of sorts, while quite a few of the gang (the aforementioned Oscar, along with Grover and Elmo) belong to the rather nebulous category of furry monsters. Andy, however, looked like he should be ... something, but it was hard to determine exactly what. We've opted for bear/monkey hybrid, but per Muppet Wiki, one pundit from The Detroit News suggested he looked like "an extremely furry California raisin."

Domino's recently brought back another annoying spokescharacter

Bad Andy wasn't the first time Domino's went the spokescharacter route, as back in the '80s they introduced The Noid. The Noid was an animated supervillain, yes, but his ambition was not to rule the world. Rather, he yearned to delay Domino's deliveries so that its pizzas arrived cold. Despite his antics, The Noid was rather popular back in the day, perhaps because at the time Domino's was promising that any pizzas that took over 30 minutes to deliver would be free. In such a case, who wouldn't root for a delay?

Even so, the Noid gimmick did not go over too well with one Domino's customer by the name of Noid. So upset was he by the commercials that in 1989 he took two Domino's employees hostage at gunpoint (both were later released unharmed). In 2021, however, Domino's revived its controversial Noid character for a few commercials timed to coincide with the character's appearance in a "Crash Bandicoot" video game. Does this mean that Bad Andy, too, could be in for a reboot sometime within the next decade? Who knows, but it's always possible that Pizza Hut and Papa John's are secretly hoping for his return, provided it once again precedes a Domino's sales fail.