Are You Lovin’ Chemicals? Here’s What a McDonald’s Ad Should Really Look Like

When the comedians from ‘Redacted Tonight’ make an advertisement for McNuggets, things go horribly right.
Jul 2, 2014·
Culture and education editor Liz Dwyer has written about race, parenting, and social justice for several national publications. She was previously education editor at Good.

Fast-food companies pay advertising agencies big bucks to make us want to chow down on menu items that we know aren’t all that healthy. Finding out what goes into those processed munchies usually requires digging around in the nether regions of a corporate website—or, if you’re Taco Bell, you make a video in which you come clean about injecting potassium chloride and torula yeast into ground beef. But what if instead of helping the food look as delicious as possible, television advertisements had to spell out the ingredients?

That’s the idea behind an amazing spoof from the good folks at the YouTube comedy show Redacted Tonight. They created an advertisement that spells out all the components of McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets—in hilarious yet horrifying detail.

In the parody, comedian John F. O’Donnell has been hired to star in a commercial for the nuggets. But before they begin filming, some legal red tape needs to be handled. Namely, listing all the totally gross ingredients in those bite-size pieces of meat.

Lee Camp, who is off camera and playing the role of the commercial director, instructs O’Donnell to spell out the gruesome elements.

“Mmm, yum. It’s McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets. All white meat, boneless, factory-farmed chicken treated with vaccines and hormones...” says O’Donnell in a singsong voice.

Camp cuts him off. “Just read the ingredients,” he says. “Don’t tell them about the factory-farmed stuff.”

You can watch the incredible results of all the subsequent takes in the above video. The listing of the chemicals and preservatives that go into the nuggets is enough to put even the most hard-core fast-food fan off eating the fried bits of poultry forever.

The brilliant moment of truth comes when O’Donnell confusedly asks, “Why don’t we just make it out of chicken?”