Where I live, Krispy Kreme is king. Unfortunately for me, I still prefer the doughnuts and coffee I grew up with, from Dunkin Donuts! I think their doughnuts are way better, and I even think their coffee is better (and cheaper) than Starbucks. Whenever I make a trip to Long Island I try to make a stop at a Dunkin Donuts.
The reason I'm reminiscing about that store today is because the former face of Dunkin Donuts, Michael Vale, died today at age 83. In the Dunkin Donuts commercials, he was known as "Fred The Baker," and in the early incarnations of the ads he was perpetually exhausted because it was always "Time To Make The Donuts." The purpose of the ads was to show that Dunkin Donuts' doughnuts were always fresh. The funniest ads were when Fred The Baker would dress up in drag and visit other doughnut stores to interrogate their employees about how fresh their doughnuts were. If I remember right, the competitor's employees looked dumbfounded, especially because Fred didn't bother to shave his dark mustache while posing as a woman.
According to Newsday, Michael Vale worked as an actor on the Broadway stage, in film and on television, and appeared in more than 1,300 TV commercials besides his work as Fred, the Dunkin Donuts Baker.
So the next time you visit Dunkin Donuts for their coffee, pour a bit on the ground outside for your homey, Michael Vale.