The Untold Truth Of Count Chocula

There's a lot to love when fall rolls around: the changing of the leaves from green to orange, the refreshingly cooler air after a long hot summer, and of course, the food. While pumpkin spice lattes might be the first product people think about every autumn, when Halloween comes closer, another popular and much spookier food can be found in the breakfast aisles of grocery stores. If you aren't hoping to make yourself a stack of pumpkin spice pancakes, then you might enjoy the sweet, scary treats inside boxes of General Mills Monster Cereals.

Boo Berry, Franken Berry, and Count Chocula are all ghoulish breakfast cereals that are released to celebrate Halloween every year. Boo and Franken Berry are both fruity cereals, while Count Chocula is the chocolate choice. With his cartoonish fangs and grin, the chocolate vampire has become a legend for cereal lovers. Count Chocula doesn't just have a rich, chocolatey flavor — it also has an equally rich history, with many fun facts that lie under the coffin. Grab your cereal spoons, because we're going to dive into the untold truth of Count Chocula.

Count Chocula is one of the oldest chocolate cereals in the country

Chocolate is a fairly common, if slightly indulgent, breakfast ingredient. It shows up in smoothies, oatmeal bowls, and muffins. Reese's Puff cereal wouldn't be the same without the chocolate, and Cocoa Puffs bring intense chocolate flavor to cereal bowls across America. Count Chocola, as the name suggests, is one of the many iconic cereals that offer consumers a deliciously sweet and chocolate flavor — though it's been doing so a bit longer than the others. Chocolate wasn't always such a common part of the morning meal.

Count Chocola was first introduced to the public by General Mills in 1971 (via General Mills). When it was first released, Count Chocola was the only chocolate-flavored cereal on market. While we have plenty of chocolate-flavored cereals that we can buy year-round these days, we have Count Chocola to thank for introducing us to this beloved cereal flavor.

Count Chocula once got a modern redesign

The Count has undergone some pretty interesting changes over the course of his life. We all know and love the original Count Chocula design: a tired-looking vampire with chocolate-colored robes, a long chin and nose, and two buck teeth instead of fangs. The look is pretty iconic at this point, and though the art style on the cereal boxes has changed over the years, the chocolate vampire's look has remained pretty consistent. He's certainly a lot more goofy-looking than scary, but his friendly appearance is something we love about the Count.

The art style used for the cereal boxes is usually very cartoonish and silly, though there was a time when the Count's design was less goofy and more like what you'd see in a superhero comic book. Back in 2014, General Mills teamed up with DC Comics to create limited-edition boxes that featured the Monsters Cereal characters, including the Count, in an art style similar to what you might find in a DC comic. Though Count Chocula and his spooky associates might not be your typical superheroes, they are certainly lifesavers when breakfast rolls around in the fall.

Count Chocula won the Monster Election

It's difficult to keep up with everything that happens in a presidential election, and only 33% percent of Americans claim to pay attention to national news, according to the Knight Foundation. Polls and debates about how many people prefer a certain flavor or food are a different story. Count Chocula did actually participate in a presidential election — to become the president of Monster Cereals.

Back in 2015, when Count Chocula was released for the Halloween season, an election was held between the chocolate cereal and its berry counterparts. America was asked to vote for their favorite cereal. Ultimately, Count Chocula, with his slogan "You can count on me," won with 41% of the votes. He managed to snag the most votes in all but seven states, with six voting for Boo Berry and Montana ultimately favoring Franken Berry (via Bloody Disgusting). Though the four-year term for the Count would have ended by now, the next time the spooky cereal election comes around, we know which cereal we'd pick.

Count Chocula has gone to Hollywood and space through his records

In 1979, General Mills released three records that featured the characters from the company's Monster Cereals. Each box of cereal contained one of the three records, which were printed on flexi discs, a type of thin, flexible vinyl. Even though one of the records was called "The Monsters Go Disco," they weren't songs. Instead, they were spoken-word comedy albums with short skits performed by voice actors. The other records included "Monster Adventures in Outer Space," and, with the Count as the central protagonist, "Count Chocula Goes to Hollywood." 

Each record featured the monsters going on wacky different adventures. You can still find the audio from the Monsters Adventures records on YouTube. While the records might not make everyone at your party rush for the dance floor, they are still super fun to listen to and make a perfect soundtrack to get you in the spirit of Halloween.

Count Chocula and his spooky friends aren't very scary

We all remember growing up fearing the monsters under our bed or hiding in the darkest corners of our closets. Some may enjoy the thrill of watching a slasher movie or old vampire film, but others don't enjoy the terrors that come with the spooky season. While vampires and ghouls can be frightening, Count Chocula and his friends aren't going to scare anybody.

Count Chocula, Franken Berry, and the Boo Berry Ghost might all be based on creepy monsters like Frankenstein and vampires, but the cereal mascots are not only harmless, but they're also pretty big scaredy cats themselves. In a 1971 cereal commercial, Count Chocula and Franken Berry appear and argue about which of their cereals are better. The argument ends when they are suddenly frightened by a little boy who casually walks past them, with Count Chocula fearfully leaping into Franken Berry's arms. Count Dracula is less spooky and more sweet.

The cereal was not always ghost-shaped

It's a well-worn cliche that you eat with your eyes first (via Eatnorth). The way food is presented affects how enjoyable it is. Would you rather have a marshmallow covered in sprinkles, or an adorable little chick-shaped Peep? Would you rather have a chicken nugget or a dinosaur chicken nugget? We think you get the point. We love it when breakfast cereal has fun shapes. While many are more ring-like, such as Froot Loops, others have a bit more character. Count Chocula and the other monster-themed cereals have fun, creative shapes, but it hasn't always been that way.

We all know Count Chocula as a chocolatey ghost-shaped cereal with marshmallow bits. When the monster cereals were first released, however, they had a more boring shape: They were circular with a cross in the center. According to the General Mills history page on the cereal, Count Chocula became ghost-shaped in 1985 and remains in that form to this day. The marshmallows have changed shape and size over the years, but the cereal itself has remained consistently ghostly and perfect for the spooky season.

Count Chocula was recreated in action figure form

When you think of your favorite action figures, you likely think of powerful, musclebound characters like He-Man or G.I. Joe. Even though we wouldn't consider them your typical superhero or action characters, Count Chocula and the other cereal mascots are loved by many, and not just when Halloween creeps up on our calendars. Why not turn them into action figures?

Jada Toys once sold figurines of both Franken Berry and Count Chocula, each with replaceable heads and a miniature box of each mascot's cereal. According to Toyark, the figurines could be found on multiple online toy websites and were released in October of 2021. They were 6 inches tall and came with two different heads so you could change their facial expressions. Another Count Chocula toy features the chocolate vampire riding in a tricked-out 1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille. With this set, the Count could cruise through the streets of Hollywood in chocolatey style.

There are limited edition Count Chocula cereal bars

Rice Krispie Treats may be the most iconic cereal bar, but any kind of cereal can be held together with sugary goo and pressed into bar form. This next Count Chocula product is just as spooky and fun as the normal cereal, but it's perfect for snacking on the go.

When Halloween season rolls around, keep your eyes peeled for Count Chocula cereal bars. They are made out of the chocolate-flavored cereal the Count is the mascot for, along with marshmallows, chocolate chips, a rich chocolate drizzle, and a chocolate coating (via Cerealously). That is to say, they are very chocolatey. Count Chocula cereal is already sweet enough to almost be classified as a dessert, and all the other additions in Count Chocula Treats push them over the edge into candy territory. In 2021, General Mills also released a mini version of this sticky-sweet treat, according to Foodsided

Count Chocula has appeared on SNL

"Saturday Night Live" has a long history of food-based sketches. From Dan Aykroyd's Julia Child impression to a hungry dog to Adam Sandler's classic "Lunch Lady Land" song, food and food celebrities have been recurring subjects for the show's writers.

Count Chocula isn't exactly a food celebrity, but he still managed to make an appearance in an episode of SNL. In a 2020 skit, Pete Davidson acted as the chocolate vampire. He gets fired from his job, along with Uncle Ben and Aunt Jemima. The skit was poking fun at food brands trying to rehabilitate their images by getting rid of racially insensitive mascots. Count Chocula gets fired under the pretense that he is black, though he adamantly argues that he's not, and instead, chocolate. Even if this skit didn't make you chuckle, it was still surprising to see the cereal mascot being portrayed on television.

Count Chocula used to be available year-round

When you can't have something all of the time, it makes it all the more special when you manage to get your hands on said thing. Count Chocula is only around during the spookiest part of the year and fans of the ghoulish cereal are quick to try to get their hands on these breakfast boxes before they leave shelves.

It hasn't always been this way for the Count, though. Up until pretty recently, Count Chocula was like most other cereals you'd see in the cereal aisle — that is to say, it wasn't offered for just two months a year. You were able to purchase a box of Count Chocula year-round up until 2009, according to the General Mills page. Today, however, the chocolate, strawberry, and blueberry cereals that feature the Count and his friends only pop up around Halloween. Though this is fitting for monster-themed cereals, we do wish we didn't have to wait until Halloween to get a bite of Count Chocula.

The character was inspired by a famous vampire

Though his fangs aren't super sharp and he isn't particularly intimidating, it's clear that Count Chocula is a vampire. We don't know if he drinks blood or chocolate milk, but we do know that he's supposed to be a fun, cartoony take on the terrifying monster. 

Though the Count's fangs are more like a rabbit's than a vampire's, it's still clear that he is heavily inspired by classic vampire imagery. His pointed fingernails, long, collared cape, and suit are all reminiscent of a classic vampire you'd find in early films, such as 1931's "Dracula." In this film, the role of Dracula was played by Bela Lugosi, whose portrayal of the vampire is likely what inspired Count Chocula's character. Lugosi's iconic "I vant to suck your blood" line is parroted by Count Chocula's catchphrase of "I want to eat your cereal" (via Bloody Disgusting). Though he isn't as horrifying as a real vampire, Count Chocula is still a ghoulish cereal mascot who has won his way into our hearts.