Whatever Happened To McDonald's Captain Crook?

Many customers agree that the McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sandwich is mighty delicious. The crunchy fish filet patty topped with melted American cheese and creamy tartar sauce, all stuffed between two fresh burger buns, has been satisfying fast food cravings since 1961. And back in the day, a sneaky buccaneer named Captain Crook couldn't keep his hands off of them, either.

So, who was Captain Crook anyway? According to The Daily Meal, Captain Crook was a fictional pirate who first appeared in 1970 as part of the original McDonaldland gang. Being the evil villain that he was, he was known for stealing (or at least attempting to steal) Filet-O-Fish sandwiches. Captain Crook was one of the two major antagonists of McDonaldland. His partner in crime was The Hamburglar, a thief infamous for snatching hamburgers (Mental Floss). This greedy (perhaps even gluttonous) duo notoriously nabbed sandwiches left and right. But the heroes often foiled their plans.

Why was Captain Crook such a bad guy?

The hilarious (and a little creepy) advertisements (compiled on YouTube) showed a series of Captain Crook's schemes, which often don't go as planned. Perhaps the most celebrated fast food mascot of all-time and McDonaldland's resident celebrity, Ronald McDonald, prevented Crook from committing such awful crimes. One heroic feat involved Ronald snagging a plug from the bottom of the Captain's boat to make it sink. Captain Crook would eventually apologize for his felonies and relish in his fish sandwiches after all, according to the McDonald's Wiki.

Eventually, the seafaring character became known as "The Captain" and was given a more Muppet-esque, kid-friendly appearance. The Captain was sadly eliminated from TV ads in the 1980s, according to Pop Icon. And as one would assume, yes... The character was closely inspired by the skeevy pirate Captain Hook from Peter Pan.

Between 1998 and 2003, fast food chain McDonald's produced its own direct-to-video cartoon series, The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald, says TV Tropes. Unfortunately, Captain Crook was discontinued before its debut, but he lives on in old school McDonald's fans' hearts.