April 18, 2005 by

George Molchan

6 comments

Categories: Misc.

George A. Molchan, a popular spokesman for Oscar Mayer, died on April 12 of congestive heart failure. He was 82.

The Pennsylvania native attended Columbia College in Chicago and Gary College in Gary., Ind. Molchan was working as a bookkeeper at Pepsi Cola in 1951 when his friend, “Wizard of Oz” munchkin actor Meinhardt Raabe, persuaded him to audition for the role of Little Oscar the Chef. The character was created in the 1930s by Oscar Mayer to help market the company’s products.

Molchan landed the part and played the meat processor’s spokesman for 36 years. His duties included traveling around the country in the company’s 27-foot-long Wienermobile and appearing in parades. He played Little Oscar in the Town Square Café at Disney World in Orlando, Fla., for a decade before retiring in 1987.

Friends and family commemorated Molchan’s life by playing music on small, hotdog-shaped Wienerwhistles and singing a chorus of the jingle “Oh, I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Wiener” during his funeral service. The Wienermobile, which was parked near his grave in Merrillville, Ind., also drew smiles from mourners.

Listen to the “Oscar Mayer Wiener” jingle

6 Responses to George Molchan

  1. Frederic Martin

    I met Little Oscar (George Molchan) when I was 4 or 5 years old (1949-1950).
    It was a chance encounter in the elevator of Wieboldt’s Department Store near 63rd & Halstead in Chicago. My mother took me along while she shopped.
    Oscar was in his uniform.
    This is my first memory of an adult who treated me with genuine kindness. Little Oscar was a thoroughly sweet man. I will always remember his smile and gentle touch.
    He enjoyed his job. Oscar Meyer will never have a better spokesman.

  2. Larry Cisewski

    I met George when I was 10 years old in 1957. He gave me a little oscar picture card and we talked , about what I dont remember. Then many years later, I was performing in Las Vegas about 10 years ago, and he joined the show. I still had the little card he gave me, he was thrilled.. We worked together that year in 1990 and became good friends.. I wish all his friends and family the very best, he was one of the most wonderful people I have ever known. Many thanks, LARRY CISEWSKI

  3. David Molchan

    I met George when I was about 4 (1971) at Garden City grocery store in Lowell, Indiana. The story my Dad always tells is that we are cousins of some sort and that Little Oscar always looked in the phone book of the town he was in, for any Molchans’ and would call them up. I remember him talking to my Mom (they had met before at some relatives’ house) and he gave me a whistle and a Mr. Green Jeans puppet. I always feel a connection when I see Oscar Mayer products.

  4. Jim Molchan

    I never met George personally. But remember how excited I got as well as all the other kids got when the Wiener Mobile drove by my Elementary school in N.Hollywood,Ca. and park across the street at Dales Supermarket and talk to all the kids. It was very special memory for me and never thought he could have been my relative.

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