Jimmy Dean, the musician and founder of the Jimmy Dean line of breakfast products, died on Sunday at age 81. To commemorate the entrepreneur's passing, let's look back on his company's wondrous inventions. Like "Pancakes & Sausage on a Stick."
Jimmy Dean was one hell of an American. Born in Texas in 1928, Dean made his name as a country singer, but dabbled in acting (starring as an ersatz Howard Hughes in the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever) before founding his own sausage company in 1969. The Jimmy Dean Meat Co. was a successful endeavor, and he sold it to Sara Lee in 1984, staying on as a spokesman until 2003, when the company dropped him—pissing him off to no end. "The company told me that they were trying to attract the younger housewife, and they didn't think I was the one to do that," Dean said at the time. "I think it's the dumbest thing. But you know, what do I know?"
But the things we will always remember Jimmy Dean for are the super gross meals his sausage company produced. It's unlikely that Dean himself was involved in the creation of products like the "Bacon Breakfast Skillet" (a bag of "precooked bacon chips" and various chemicals intended to be thrown in a skillet with six eggs), especially since most of these were introduced after his acrimonious departure from Sara Lee. But for better or worse, this is how JImmy Dean will be remembered:
Pancakes and Sausage on a Stick (Chocolate Chip)
This is a next-level offering: Something vaguely gross (pancake wrapped around sausage), presented in a way that makes it grosser (on a stick), with the addition of a single element that increases the grossness exponentially (chocolate chips). Sadly, Jimmy Dean no longer offers the chocolate chip variety—blueberry, however, is still alive and kicking. One pancake and sausage is 20% your recommended daily allowance for fat.
Breakfast Bowls: Pancakes and Syrup & Sausage Links
It's pretty hard to choose which "breakfast bowl" is the grossest, but at least the other bowls seem like meals that could be bowl-based meals in some alternate universe ("Ham, Eggs, Potatoes and Cheddar Cheese," say). I cannot imagine a universe where pancakes and sausage makes sense as a meal to be served in a bowl. And yet: Here it is. One bowl is 52% of your RDA for fat.
Bacon Breakfast Skillets
As I said above, this is just a sack, of, like, chemicals, and potatoes, and "bacon chips," that you cook with six eggs and, presumably, a whole bottle of Pepto-Bismol. According to the ingredients list, there are peppers and onions somewhere inside the skillet sack, but on the other hand, "MAY ALSO CONTAIN SMOKE FLAVORING," so, take your chances. One bag (four servings) is 80% of your RDA for fat.
Sausage, Egg and Cheese on a Croissant with Diced Apples & Seasoned Hash Browns
Which are the diced apples, and which are the seasoned hash browns? It's very hard to tell by the picture, but I think the ones in the goop are the apples, and the other ones are the hash browns. That is definitely a croissant, though it's from the school of thought where a croissant is just a funny-shaped bagel. One entree is 46% of your RDA for fat.
D-Lights Turkey Sausage Whole Grain Bagel
Ugh. I mean: Turkey sausage? On whole grain? Give me battered meat on a stick any day of the week.
Finally, in the hopes that we might remember Dean for his terrific songs, quick wit, and entrepreneurial spirit as much as for the products that bear his name, here's his Grammy-winning "Big Bad John":