What Legendary TV Theme Song Makes That Frosted Flakes Commercial Grrreat?

Tony the Tiger has been peddling cereal since 1952, when he beat out Katy the Kangaroo for the coveted spot on the Kellogg's Sugar Frosted Flakes box. With his signature catchphrase, "They're grrreat!" (and voiced by Thurl Ravenscroft of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" fame), the animated tiger was the ultimate pitchman.

Fast forward over 70 years, and a modern-day Tony the Tiger is featured in a new ad that is accompanied by a song that TV fans will instantly recognize. The commercial itself is all over the place, featuring a kid getting hit with a ball in the school gym, a woman jogging at night as a terrifying creature chases after her, an animated character getting electrocuted by a mad scientist, and a hockey player getting checked. The one thing the doomed characters all have in common is they don't seem to have a care in the world as they munch on a bowl of Frosted Flakes.

While there's a lot of strange stuff going on in the Leo Burnett-directed cereal commercial that first came out in August 2023, there's one familiar thing: The 30-second spot is accompanied by a cover of the "Cheers" theme song. The NBC sitcom about a Boston bar aired for 11 seasons, from 1982 to 1993, and always kicked off with the tune performed by Gary Portnoy.

The Cheers theme is one of the most recognizable TV theme songs of all time

When "Cheers" made its debut in 1982, there were a lot of names to remember in the large ensemble cast. But everyone seemed to know the theme song, titled "Where Everybody Knows Your Name." The "Cheers" opener was written by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo, and Rolling Stone listed the song at number 13 on its list of 100 best TV themes of all time.

But what does the famous song have to do with Frosted Flakes? On Reddit, some commenters were admittedly confused. "Exactly how is this song related to Frosted Flakes? 'You wanna go where everybody knows your name.' What?" asked u/PurpleDreamer28

"You've got me. It makes sense with a neighborhood bar but not a bowl of corn flakes," added u/BillyBobBarkerJrJr.

Let's just chalk it up to comfort and familiarity. And a lot of other ad men had the idea way before Kellogg's. The "Cheers" theme has been featured in commercials for Applebee's, Domino's, and Dutch banking company Rabobank, per American Songwriter. Portnoy told the outlet that recording the song for "Cheers" turned out to be the grrreatest thing ever because it gave him protection — and has generated a lot of revenue for him over the past 40 years. "I had to join the Screen Actors Guild to sing that song, because it was being used under a SAG contract," Portnoy said. "Just like the actors in the show had to be in SAG, I had to be as well. It's one of the best things that ever happened to me. At the time it cost me $600."