After blowing the doors off bacon with their bacon-everything burger, Jack within the Box is turning up the heat with the new Hella-Peo Burger. And we mean heat. Don’t go thinking they only added some jalapeo slices to a burger… Well, they did do that, but they also crammed in a lot of cheese-filled jalapeo poppers with a cheesy taco sauce. This burger is obviously featured on Jack’s Munchie Meals, alongside stoner luminaries like the Stacked Grilled Cheese Burger. This means you can only order one between 9pm and 5am, but really, popper burgers were never meant to be consumed before sunset. Pro tip: they’re best eaten while paying attention to “Hook”.
Named for the most terrifying toy of your childhood, Jack within the jack in the Box menu has spent the better area of the 20th century conquering the West Coast. Even though you might be knowledgeable about their Super Bowl commercials and their late-night munchie campaigns, have you been really high on their explosive, Star Trek-filled history? Until you spent a while playing their mascot Jack in high school, we’re guessing no, but that’s okay, because we’ve got the CliffsNotes right here. Lots of fast-food founders can brag about possessing a Bentley, only Jack in the Box’s guy owns a coveted spot on Richard Nixon’s enemies list.
1. The founder was on Nixon’s “enemies list”. Robert O. Peterson opened the first Jack inside the Box in San Diego County in 1951. He’d carry on to possess a long, illustrious career filled with interesting footnotes — he got a City of Paris Medal of Honor! He was in naval intelligence during WWII! But by far the wildest was his appearance on the infamous “enemies list” compiled by Nixon’s White House administration. Peterson apparently landed there because of some donations he made to Democratic candidates, that is ironic, because the man had been a registered Republican.
2. He also married San Diego’s first female mayor. That’d be Maureen O’Connor, who may be unfortunately noted for less sterling achievements nowadays.
3. And he was super to the sea Peterson was known for becoming a generally philanthropic guy, only one of his most notable beneficiaries was UC San Diego County. The man was the school’s largest individual donor (they eventually gave him his own building on campus), and much of the cash went along to a very specific area of interest: oceanography. Peterson gave several significant gifts for the school’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography, bankrolling lots of Professor John D. Isaacs’ research. That guy was apparently looking into things like icebergs and ocean pollution, but we have to assume off-books he was also taking Peterson on expeditions in search of Nessie.
4. The burgers originally cost $.18. Obviously, it was in the 1950s, when dimes, nickels, and pennies were not even worthless garbage.
5. They blew Jack up in a 1980 ad campaign. For a long time, the business mascot “Jack” existed mainly as kitschy drive-thru decoration. When the marketing brass chose to revamp their image, they left old Jack behind by blowing him the hell up in an ad campaign — which also featured an older lady with an insatiable bloodlust. Jack was phased out of the intercoms along with other branding, and wouldn’t return till the early ’90s, as he appeared inside the “Jack’s Back” campaign seeking vengeance.
6. These people have a secret-menu shake. The regular Jack inside the jack in the Box catering menu offers an Oreo Cookie Soft Ice Cream Shake. But if you decide to go slightly off-books and request mint Oreo, you’ll be rewarded having a refreshing green shake that thankfully bears no traces of kale.
7. The mascot may come as Pez dispensers and antenna toppers. Jack in the Box has truly moved some merchandising units. Their mascot is accessible as Pez dispensers, bobbleheads, action figures, and antenna toppers — that are apparently the main draw. The chain’s produced 32 million toppers to date, though sadly not every one of them can be found in this unsettling Dia de los Muertos theme.
8. They’re total Trekkies. Shout-in the market to the Picard-loving Jack in the Box junkies who managed to collect all four Star Trek Generations collector’s cups.
9. Their stock is turning up Chipotle and McDonald’s. Yahoo Finance recently looked at the stock for Jack in the Box, Chipotle, and McDonald’s and discovered that, while things were close with Chipotle, Jack was the greater impressive one over the board. That’s in no small part because of another fast-food chain they own: Qdoba. The Chipotle competitor is apparently giving its parent company a significant boost on Wall Street, proving yet again that burritos will always be the safest investment.
10. This dude from Pulp Fiction stars in their sexual harassment training videos. Even when you’re unfamiliar with Phil LaMarr’s voice focus on Futurama or sketch focus on MADtv, you a minimum of gotta know him as that pkankr dude Marvin from Pulp Fiction. But before he was shot in the face by John Travolta (still luckier than Idina Menzel), he was the star of a sexual harassment training video for Jack inside the Box… that they still use for this day. It had been shot in 1991, but we still need to hope there’s a subplot about inappropriately complimenting your coworker’s Big Kahunas.