Most people in California already know who Rodney Allen Rippy, the kid who starred in the Jack in the Box commercial “Too bigga eat!” TV ads, but now he’s running for Compton mayor.
The child actor was just 3 in 1972, when he became the toast of a generation as the pint-sized TV pitchman for the ast-food chain.
Soon the cute, chubby-cheeked youngster with the Afro as big as his head was hanging out in Hollywood with Michael Jackson. He made movie cameos and recorded a hit album called “Take Life a Little Easier.”
Then the 1970s ended, and so did Rippy’s career.
More than 30 years later, he resurfaced as a candidate for mayor in a city known variously over the years as the birthplace of gangsta rap, the murder capital of the country and the home of the drive-by shooting.
Although he got only 75 votes, finishing 10th among 12 candidates. The final results in the primary election, released Thursday, show that Aja Brown beat long-time Mayor Eric Perrodin, and will now compete in a run off with former Mayor Omar Bradley, who is currently facing corruption charges.
When his Jack In The Box career ended about the time he was finishing high school, he went to college and earned a marketing degree.
“I wanted to continue to act, but at the time acting was a thing that unless you were really burning hot, you better have something on the back burner,” he said recently over lunch at a Compton restaurant down the street from City Hall.
Seeing how the adults around him had turned a cute little kid from Long Beach into a national star, Rippy decided marketing was the way to go.