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Home Culture & Arts Getting To Know Mr. Owl

Getting To Know Mr. Owl

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Tootsie-Pop-Header

Photo Credit: Tootsie Pops

How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? The question remains a mystery even the wise old Mr. Owl can't completely answer. But that hasn't stopped us from pondering this head-scratching question since it was first posed in the original 1970's commercial.

The video featured a little boy asking a cow, a turtle, a fox, and then an owl for the answer to his probing Tootsie conundrum. No one can answer the question because, like us, no one can resist cracking open the Tootsie Pop. 

As a result of the commercial, Mr. Owl became the product's official mascot and started to appear on packaging.

Tootsie-Pop-Owl-2Photo Credit: Tootsie Roll/Joann.com

Tootsie Pops originated in a pretty sweet way. In 1939, an employee, Luke Weisgram saw his daughter licking a lollipop while he was eating a Tootsie Roll. Just like that, a timeless tradition was born.

"If there's anything I can't stand, it's a smart owl."

~ From the original full-length Tootsie Pops commercial

In the first commercial the boy reacts with only a "look" as the owl hands him back an empty stick, but in the original full-length version the boy replies "If there's anything I can't stand, it's a smart owl." All of the commercials end with phrase "The world may never know", said by an unseen narrator.

However, the world is getting closer to knowing thanks to several scientists.

"How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?"

~ Boy, Tootsie Pop Commercial

What began as a cute tagline in a commercial has actually led to studies and experiments to answer the question. Tootsie's website shares some experiments and the results, noting though that "based on the wide range of results from these scientific studies, it is clear that the world may never know how many licks it really takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop."

Feeling nostalgic? Check out the original commercial below:

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