In 1976 Ralston, the company that brought us Freakies cereal, came up with the odd named Grins & Smiles & Giggles & Laughs. Just like the Freakies there were characters with a backstory involved in selling this unique cereal. In the case of Grins & Smiles & Giggles & Laughs they came up with a large machine, or robot, that would make the cereal but only if you made it laugh. The machine’s name was Cecil and the crew charged with making it laugh to produce the cereal each had a name that made up the cereal.
Grins was the the boss and Giggles was his secretary. Smiles and Laughs were the other employees who tried to come up with ways of making Cecil laugh.
One of its tag lines was “It takes funny people to make funny cereal.” Of course the robot, Cecil, was a grumpy character who found very little humor in the attempts of the other characters to make him laugh. Cecil even referred to them as bozos. When they would inevitably fail, their attempt would backfire in some way that Cecil would find humorous, thus causing him to spit out dozens of boxes of cereal.
This was a corn based cereal. It’s said to have tasted somewhat like Cap’n Crunch. The cereal itself was made into little smiley faces, thus the second tag line, “The crunchy cereal that smiles back at you.”
The premiums they had of course revolved around the characters. There was one of those paint books where you wet the colors and use them to paint the pictures. They had magnets of the characters as well as little plastic walking toys. Mostly it seemed they had joke books with the kind of kid friendly jokes you’d expect. It certainly could be that it did make some kids laugh.
I vaguely remember this one and it seems like I did try it. Maybe I liked the idea of the robot, but the smiley faces didn’t do much for me. Despite the smiley face being so popular at the time I guess it didn’t help the cereal much either as it was only around a very short time.