The adorable child actor who had a problem biting into an over-sized cheeseburger in a popular 1970s television commercial now wants to sink his teeth into a political feast.
Rodney Allen Rippy, age 44, is running for mayor of Compton, one of the oldest cities in Los Angeles County.
Rippy, who appeared in a series of TV commercials for the fast-food chain Jack in the Box, says if he becomes the town’s highest ranking officer, he will work to bring new jobs and prosperity to the community of more than 96,000.
At the age of five, Rippy became the youngest person to ever make it onto a Billboard music chart when his single, “Take Life a Little Easier,” became an infectious sing-a-long in 1973.
Rippy later landed guest-starring roles in a number of TV shows, including “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.” and “The Odd Couple.”
The 1995 California State University, Dominguez Hills graduate is also best remembered for sharing un-credited screen time with the late stage and screen actor Cleavon Little and film director and actor Mel Brooks in “Blazing Saddles,” a comedy classic.
Since the 1980s, the city of Compton has carried a turbulent reputation due to gang warfare, gun violence, homicides and property crime. In effect, many of the city’s wealthy residents fled to safer areas of the county.
According to latest data, Compton has seen a decrease in the number of annual homicides due in part to an option for residents to hand over their guns to police in exchange for a $50-$100 gift certificate. In the wake of the “Gifts for Guns” initiative, residents have traded in about 7,000 guns over the last few years.
“I am not here for politics, I am here for the people of Compton,” Rippy states on his website. “And together we will create a brighter tomorrow, starting today.”
Rippy, who appeared on the CBS Saturday morning children’s variety show “The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine,” is currently a partner in a film production company.
A total of 12 local citizens have filed to run against Mayor Eric J. Perrodin.
In addition to Rippy, some other hopefuls include controversial civil rights attorney and Black Panther B. Kwaku Duren; ex-city clerk Charles Davis; and former Compton Mayor Omar Bradley, whose conviction on corruption charges was reversed by an appeals court in 2012. (L.A. Times)
Compton’s mayoral election day will take place on April 16.