That’s yours truly, dressed as the Headless Horseman, on Halloween 1982, in Sleepy Hollow, my hometown. (Just blocks from Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Washington Irving, author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” is buried.) #sleepyhollow #headlesshorseman #halloween #costumes #throwback #1980s

That’s yours truly, dressed as the Headless Horseman, on Halloween 1982, in Sleepy Hollow, my hometown. (Just blocks from Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Washington Irving, author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” is buried.) #sleepyhollow #headlesshorseman #halloween #costumes #throwback #1980s

A superstitious, random find on Friday the 13th in the PIX vault: The WPIX newscast from exactly 28 years ago: Friday, Sept. 13, 1985. #fridaythe13th #archives #classictv #tvnews #nyc #1980s @pix11news #pixdayinhistory #superstition

A superstitious, random find on Friday the 13th in the PIX vault: The WPIX newscast from exactly 28 years ago: Friday, Sept. 13, 1985. #fridaythe13th #archives #classictv #tvnews #nyc #1980s @pix11news #pixdayinhistory #superstition

Keith Haring’s Crack Is Wack mural, snapped from the FDR Drive. The mural, from 1986, was restored several years ago. He painted it at the height of the crack epidemic. Haring died in 1990. #art #publicart #1980s #oldschool #nyc

Keith Haring’s Crack Is Wack mural, snapped from the FDR Drive. The mural, from 1986, was restored several years ago. He painted it at the height of the crack epidemic. Haring died in 1990. #art #publicart #1980s #oldschool #nyc

The 1980s #pacman signage on the old Shoot Em Win in #coneyisland needs to be saved. Just a terrific time capsule. #1980s #ilovethe80s #throwback #videogames #atari #retrologist

The 1980s #pacman signage on the old Shoot Em Win in #coneyisland needs to be saved. Just a terrific time capsule. #1980s #ilovethe80s #throwback #videogames #atari #retrologist

Um, that’s a rather large Rubik’s Cube. Spotted in a window along 23rd Street. #games #ilovethe80s #flashback #1980s #nyc

Um, that’s a rather large Rubik’s Cube. Spotted in a window along 23rd Street. #games #ilovethe80s #flashback #1980s #nyc

Watch out! This is the largest Swatch I’ve ever seen. And it works. For those with a bad case of 1980s nostalgia. (At J&P Timepieces in Manhattan.) #watch #swatch #1980s #retro #nostalgia #vintage

Watch out! This is the largest Swatch I’ve ever seen. And it works. For those with a bad case of 1980s nostalgia. (At J&P Timepieces in Manhattan.) #watch #swatch #1980s #retro #nostalgia #vintage

Here’s one thing The Retrologist is lovin’ at McDonald’s: The old-school salt-and-pepper packets. The design still features the classic McDonald’s logo encased in the yellow border. And the copyright date on the packets? 1986, from the era of the memorable “It’s a Good Time for the Great Taste” campaign. I’m lovin’ it! #mcdonalds #hamburgers #burgers #fastfood #restaurants #logos #1986 #1980s #design  (Taken with Instagram)

Here’s one thing The Retrologist is lovin’ at McDonald’s: The old-school salt-and-pepper packets. The design still features the classic McDonald’s logo encased in the yellow border. And the copyright date on the packets? 1986, from the era of the memorable “It’s a Good Time for the Great Taste” campaign. I’m lovin’ it! #mcdonalds #hamburgers #burgers #fastfood #restaurants #logos #1986 #1980s #design (Taken with Instagram)

Throwback Thursday: A drive-thru in Anaheim and other places where McDonald’s Mac Tonight is still creepily crooning

He’s part of any decent 1980s nostalgia session: The creepy McDonald’s singing crescent moon who plays a mean piano and goes by the name Mac Tonight, a play on Bobby Darin’s “Mack the Knife,” the song which Mac also riffed on in the service of selling Big Macs to adults.

The campaign, which began on the West Coast in 1986 and went national the next year, featured memorable commercials featuring that ear worm of a jingle. Mac was brought on as a way to draw an older crowd to the restaurants for dinner, an antidote to Ronald McDonald, the Fry Guys, Grimace and the rest of the McDonaldland characters who hawked for Ray Kroc’s chain earlier in the day.

Mac is retired these days, but if you keep your eyes peeled at older McDonald’s restaurants, you’ll find him still singing away. The photo above was taken at a McDonald’s in Anaheim, California in January 2011, and I will presume this Mac Tonight drive-thru signage is still in place. The oldest operating McDonald’s, in Downey, California, features a range of McDonald’s collectibles at a small on-site museum, including this Mac Tonight plate, below. And of course, you can always troll eBay for Mac memorabilia. 

Well, let’s get to the truly fun part: the vintage commercials. Below is a compilation.

You’re welcome. 

Text and photos: Rolando Pujol