The Noid

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The Noid
The Noid Dominos.png
The Noid near his pizza crusher in a 1980s commercial for Domino's Pizza
First appearance1986
Last appearance2021
Created byGroup 243[1]
Voiced byPons Maar[2] (1986–1995)
In-universe information
GenderMale
OccupationRuining and stealing pizza

The Noid is an advertising character for Domino's Pizza created in the 1980s[3] and revived in 2021. Clad in a red, skin-tight, rabbit-eared body suit with a black N inscribed in a white circle on his chest, the Noid was a physical manifestation of all the challenges inherent in getting a pizza delivered in 30 minutes or less.[4] Though persistent, his efforts were repeatedly thwarted.

History[edit]

The Noid was created in 1986 by Group 243, the advertising agency of record for Domino's Pizza.[citation needed] Group 243 hired Will Vinton Studios to sketch the Noid and animate the commercials.[1][4][5][6] Commercials that featured the character used the slogan "Avoid the Noid". The Noid's vocal effects were provided by Pons Maar.[2] Most of the commercials featuring the Noid were narrated by Andre Stojka.

In 1988, a Saturday morning cartoon series called The Noids was planned by CBS that would have featured the Noid, but the series was scrapped amid complaints that it was merely an advertising ploy and not a show for children.[7]

Cover art for Avoid the Noid (MS-DOS)

As part of the advertising campaign, a computer game was released in 1989 called Avoid the Noid. The object of the game is to deliver a pizza within a half-hour time limit in an apartment building swarming with Noids (some of which are armed with pizza-seeking missiles or water balloons). In 1990, Capcom released a platform game, Yo! Noid, for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Chamblee hostage incident[edit]

On January 30, 1989, Kenneth Lamar Noid, a mentally ill man who believed that the "Avoid the Noid" campaign was personally directed towards him and was antagonizing him, entered a Domino's restaurant in Chamblee, Georgia. Armed with a .357 Magnum, Noid then held two employees hostage for over five hours.[8]

After ranting to the employees that the then-owner of Domino's, Tom Monaghan, was fraudulent and had stolen his name, he first forced them to call the Domino's headquarters to demand $100,000 and a white limousine as getaway transportation for him.[8] After offering to exchange a hostage for a copy of American postmodern author Robert Anton Wilson's 1985 novel The Widow's Son, Noid reneged on his offer when an officer brought him the book.[8] Noid then became hungry and forced the captive employees to make him two pizzas;[8] while Noid ate the pizzas with his gun in his lap, the hostages escaped.[8] Noid surrendered to the police shortly after.[9] Two shots were fired by Noid during the incident, both of them hitting the ceiling.[10]

Noid was charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, extortion, and possession of a firearm during a crime. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity.[11][12] Noid subsequently spent time in a mental institution, but died by suicide on February 23, 1995.[13] This incident was widely believed to have caused Domino's Pizza to discontinue advertising using the Noid as their mascot,[14] but this claim has been rejected by the company and their advertisers.[15]

Recurrences of The Noid[edit]

Domino's brought the Noid back for a limited run of 1,000 T-shirts in December 2009. On May 4, 2011, the Noid was brought back as a promotional figure by Domino's to be used in a campaign on their Facebook page, and made a brief appearance as a stuffed toy at the end of a May 2011 commercial promoting a one-topping pizza deal. The 25th birthday of the Noid mascot was marked with the video game The Noid's Super Pizza Shootout, a tribute to Avoid the Noid.[16]

In June 2016, Spooky Pinball LLC announced the release of their new licensed pinball machine, Domino's Spectacular Pinball Adventure[17] prominently featuring the Noid character.

During 2016, the Noid appeared and was referenced in some Domino's commercials, as part of their USA "Pizza Payback" campaign.

The Noid was seen tattooed on the arm of a winner of shares of Domino's stock, in a commercial aired during the NFL playoffs, January 15, 2017.

In August 2017, a fan-made sequel to Yo! Noid was created for the New Jam City 2017 game jam called Yo! Noid 2: Enter the Void.[18][19]

The Noid can be seen briefly in the background of a 2017 Domino's ad.[20]

The Noid returned to television in April 2021. The character first appeared in a series of brief video ads on social media sites, in which the Noid's face could be seen in a disruptive flash of video glitches over a shot of a meal included in a coupon promotion. Domino's officially confirmed the return of the Noid later in the month, and he was subsequently included in the mobile game Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! as part of a tie-in promotion for the restaurant.[21]

In popular culture[edit]

The Noid has been referred to in popular culture, including two episodes of Family Guy (an altercation with Mayor Adam West in the episode "Deep Throats" and vomiting into a toilet while Bill Cosby holds his ears in the episode "Peter's Sister"), in two episodes of 30 Rock,[22][23] an episode of The Simpsons and in a segment of Michael Jackson: Moonwalker.

The Noid has also been referenced in Pizza Tower, a 2023 platform game created by indie developers Tour De Pizza, in the form of The Noise, one of the minor antagonists and bosses in the game.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b John, Brownlee. "Death And Pizza: How Domino's Lost Its Mascot". Co.Design. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b Higgins, Chris (26 June 2015). "6 Obscure Facts About the Noid". Mental Floss. Retrieved 30 November 2015.
  3. ^ Studio 360 (13 April 2018). "An Oral History of the Noid: A Tale of Pizza, Guns, and Madness". Slate. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "The rise and fall of The Noid". www.pri.org. Retrieved 20 April 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "Death And Pizza: How Domino's Lost Its Mascot". 10 July 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  6. ^ "A Magical World of Clay". Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  7. ^ Boyer, Peter J. (January 25, 1988). "CBS Plans 'Noids' Cartoon Series". The New York Times. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c d e Betzold, Michael (February 1, 1989). "Domino's can't avoid Mr. Noid". Detroit Free Press.
  9. ^ "Business Notes: Advertising Characters". TIME. 1989-02-13. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007. Retrieved 2006-11-13.
  10. ^ "Angry Gunman, Named Noid, Arrested In Botched Domino's Robbery, Say Police". Associated Press. January 30, 1989. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  11. ^ "Paranoid Noid is Not Guilty Due to Insanity". Deseret News. August 23, 1989. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  12. ^ "Noid to get mental treatment". UPI. August 23, 1989. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  13. ^ "Kenneth Lamar Noid". Tallahassee Democrat. February 26, 1995. p. 18. Retrieved January 12, 2019.
  14. ^ "Death And Pizza: How Domino's Lost Its Mascot". Co.Design.
  15. ^ "A Void: The Noid - Studio 360". Studio 360 PRI.
  16. ^ Rebecca Marx (9 August 2011). "Domino's Digs up the Noid for One Week Only". Fork in the Road. Archived from the original on 7 June 2015. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  17. ^ "Spooky Pinball's Dominos Pizza Pinball Pictures Released". Pinball Supernova. 20 June 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
  18. ^ "Yo Noid! Was Way Ahead of its Time". itch.io. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
  19. ^ Devore, Jordan (August 4, 2017). "Someone made a Yo! Noid sequel and it's shockingly good". Destructoid. Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  20. ^ "Domino's Piece of the Pie Rewards TV Commercial". iSpot.tv. Retrieved 28 February 2018.
  21. ^ Zweizen, Zack (April 26, 2021). "The Noid Is Back To [Checks Notes] Fight Crash Bandicoot and Self-Driving Cars". Kotaku. Retrieved April 26, 2021.
  22. ^ "Avoid the Noid!". TV Fanatic. 27 February 2009. Retrieved August 2, 2009.
  23. ^ "Alexis Goodlooking and the Case of the Missing Whisky". Springfield! Springfield!. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  24. ^ "Pizza Tower review: Madcap platforming at 100mph". PC Gamer. 26 January 2023. Retrieved February 2, 2023.