Well, guess I'll just mention that the Jack in the Box restaurant got its name (and CEO) from the toy of the same name. Can't think of anybody who hasn't owned one, but just in case, here's the description: A Jack in the Box is a little colorful box with a spring loaded lid (closed) and a little crank on the side. Twisting the crank will play a song (usually, "Pop Goes the Weasel"), and at a certain point (usually at "pop"), the lid opens and a little person named Jack (usually a clown) pops out. Push Jack back in, close the lid and repeat.

Whenever I think of the toy, I think of The Neverhood (get the demo so you can see this bit, it's pretty funny).

In 1951, Robert O. Peterson, the owner of a chain of successful local restaurants, developed a drive-through restaurant called Jack in the Box. Located primarily in California, Texas and Arizona, Jack in the Box restaurants featured a smiling clown named (What else?) Jack, who greeted motorists ordering through a two-way speaker device encased inside Jack's head.

During the early years, Jack in the Box business operations were conducted under various names and structures, including Foodmaker, Inc. In 1968, Jack in the Box was bought by the Ralston Purina Company as a wholly-owned subsidiary. Jack in the Box's management performed a leveraged buyout in 1985, and the company went public two years later. They changed their offical name in October 1999 from Foodmaker Inc. the Jack in the Box Inc.

* This is pretty much an edited version of the Jack in the Box website's own history.




Worth mentioning here is Jack himself. Featured in every one of their TV and radio commercial's, Jack is the business suited CEO. His most distinguishing feature is his outlandishly large, perfectly-spherical head which looks like a large ping pong ball.

You can purchase a small antenna ball "Jack" head at any Jack in the Box restaurant which you can stick on the end of your car's radio aerial. Particularly sought after, the Millenium Jack special edition antenna ball, (complete with party hat and noise maker), was released last winter to celebrate the new millenium. This winter's oferring was rosy-cheeked Holiday Jack, wearing a scarf and earmuffs.

That's enough about Jack...

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