The inspiration for the Sugar Puffs Honey Monster was a TV series called The Andy Williams Show, which featured a character called the Cookie Monster who would bash on Andy’s desk shouting “Cookies! I want cookies!”.
Advertising man John Webster borrowed the idea and created a yellow furry monster who craved honey. Veteran comedy actor and Benny Hill sidekick Henry McGee somehow became the monster’s “mummy” – despite his constant protestations that “I’m not his mummy”.
Early ads showed the pyjama-clad McGee explaining to young viewers the exciting benefits of Sugar Puffs when suddenly the Honey Monster burst onto the scene – usually by falling through the ceiling or crashing through a wall. “Tell ’em about the honey, mummy!” he would growl.
On one public appearance, an over-enthusiastic youngster stuck a knife into the Honey Monster. Fortunately, the man inside wasn’t hurt.
The makers of Sugar Puffs changed the monster’s image in the 1980s. In the space of three years, it managed to score a winning goal for Newcastle United at Wembley, save a crucial penalty in a European Cup final for Manchester United and sing with the Irish band Boyzone.
In 2014 the product was re-branded to “Honey Monster Puffs”, and its recipe changed to have 8% less sugar and 20% more honey.