Twinkies: Crime Fighter Nonpareil
For five years, Hostess employed the services of our greatest superheroes to promote truth, justice, the American way—and its snacks.

For those who may not have been reading comic books between 1977 and 1982—and for those who were reading the wrong comic books back then—be advised that Hostess used those years to promote its products by way of ads depicting various superheroes deploying Hostess snacks as part of their crime fighting arsenal. The website ( has an entire section devoted to this cultural phenomenon, including every known ad Hostess ever ran, and an exclusive interview with Bob Rozakis, a veteran comic book writer and executive director of production at DC Comics. Rozakis scripted six of the Hostess ads. An excerpt of seanbaby’s conversation with Rozakis.

Seanbaby: Your ads covered so many types of enemies...robot clones, pirates, movie directors, people at a concert, man in dog suit. What are some of the types of villains you would use today if you were still writing these? And, of course, if you weren't allowed to use man in dog suit again.

Bob Rozakis: I suspect the villains would still be pretty much the same, basically goofy, lame characters who could be stopped with the enticement of a sweet dessert food.

SB: I don't think you're being fair to the non-lame, non-goofy characters who could be stopped with delicious snacks, like any villain from Ethiopia. And speaking of places God rejected, do you remember any ideas for Hostess ads that were rejected? And if so, what in the holy shit could they have been?

‘We were instructed that the heroes could never eat the cupcakes, Twinkies or fruit pies, because that could be interpreted as an endorsement of the product.’

Rozakis: I don't recall any that were rejected, though my file contains only a rewritten versions of "The K-9 Caper" and "Fruit Pies for Magpies" so I guess there was something in them that they didn't like. The heroes were chosen in advance, usually to fit a schedule that somebody (probably Sol Harrison and the agency) had set up. We were instructed that the heroes could never eat the cupcakes, Twinkies or fruit pies, because that could be interpreted as an endorsement of the product. So, we were always pressed to come up with some interesting way to stop a crime or a riot or something else using a dessert.

SB: Behind the closed doors of insane asylums, past the hallways of feces jars, then past the room where patients carefully catalog those jars of feces, then still past the underground pit where the restless bodies of the insane rise to kill, I like to think there's a breakroom where orderlies vote on who their favorite mental crazies are. I also like to think that even further past that, there's a room filled only with crazy people dressed like Napolean. What I'm trying to ask is, did you have any favorite Hostess ads?

Rozakis: I liked the ones that used some tongue-in-cheek humor. Of the ones I wrote, I'd say "Lights, Camera, Crime" was my favorite, especially the last line in which the Crime Director sets up the slogan and package picture as he's being taken away by Batman.

SB: Everyone knows about how Disney's panty-sniffing animators have been sneaking pictures of penises into their movies for years. In The Lion King, the word "SEX" is spelled out in the sky, the Little Mermaid grew a hard on during the scene where she married the lobster or whatever, and I'm sure we've all heard how Robin "Fuck you" Williams recorded all the voices for Aladdin from inside a prostitute's asshole. It's the classic countercultural technique of shaking society up by subtly implying that it might have genitals. The Hostess titles “That Dirty Beach,” “Spider-Man Spoils a Snatch!” and “Big Black Ball Banging!” are pretty suspicious of subliminal vulgarity. Was it intentional?

Rozakis: I can't speak for what the guys writing the Marvel ones were trying to do. My approach to these was to try to use the characters in a way that was as close to the way they appeared in the books without turning them into pitchmen. It's probably debatable whether I was successful in that.


To quote the website (which makes no apologies for its colorful language, so readers beware—we do not censor): “Each hero has his or her own unique approach to fighting crime with snacks. Aquaman likes to fail or suck and then share in cupcakes. Captain America prefers to kick the fuck out you maybe hand you a pie, and then kick out whatever fuck you have left. But Thor and Wonder Woman... those two use Hostess treats as a portal to an impossible underverse of dislogic and nonsense. The Hostess Page examines the phenomenon of heroes fighting crime with snacks, a cosmic impossibility localized to your dimension and no others. Even the 2,892,127 dimensions where dinosaurs win World War II.”

Here’s what it’s all about:

BATMAN, in “Lights…Camera…Crime,” by Bob Rozakis, who cites it as his favorite of the six Hostess ads he scripted, “especially the last line in which the Crime Director sets up the slogan and package picture as he's being taken away by Batman.” In this one, a gang of bad guys posing as a camera crew break into the Gotham National Bank, only to be foiled by Batman’s aerial entrance, after which the Caped Crusader brings the villains to justice after distracting them with Hostess Cup Cakes. As the leader of the gang is being taken away, Batman assures him: “Cheer up, crime director! Now you can show your films in prison…to a captive audience!”


hostessBATMAN, in “The K-9 Caper,” another Bob Rozakis script.In this mini-drama, Batman foils a bad guy who dresses up in a dog costume and lures show dogs away from the Kennel Club Dog Show with his ultrasonic dog whistle. Batman stops K-9, as the crook is known, in his tracks by offering him Twinkies. “I can’t resist that light, golden sponge cake and the luscious creamed filling!” K-9 exclaims, as he’s being hustled off to repay his debt to society.


hostessFrom Marvel Comics came “Captain America and The Red Skull.” In this mini-adventure on behalf of Hostess, CAPTAIN AMERICA’s dream of his participation in the U.S. Bicentennial celebration being “the most patriotic, most fantastic ever” is thwarted by the Red Skull, whose Cosmic Cube zaps the Captain and begins to appropriate his powers for itself, part of the Skull’s plan to take over our country. Ever enterprising, the Cap figures the Cube is “supersensitive” to Hostess Twinkies; and so, happening to have a pack on his person—and we note that the Twinkies were unharmed by the Cosmic Cube’s rays—Captain America promptly feeds one to the Cube, which, smitten by “delicious golden sponge cake” and “mmmm, smooth cream filling, too,” then turns on the Skull, dashing his hopes for dominance in the Republic. “And now back to the important work of the glorious Bicentennial celebration,” the Captain says as he returns to the business at hand. “I’d better stop off for another package of Hostess Twinkies on my way back to the Washington Monument.” The Red Skull? “By George Washington,” he laments. “My Cube has gone square.”


hostessSUPERMAN does his part to shill for Twinkies when he takes on Big Dome in “An Unbeatable Power.” As seanbaby summarizes this episode: “It seems like if you're building a ray to immobilize Superman, you should make it so it stays switched ‘on’ even when you're not holding the handle. Did Big Dome make the thing out of a push lawnmower? I know he's probably an unstoppable genius with a head so huge and purple, but it's going to be a pain in the ass conquering the world, while keeping one hand on his overhead projector the entire time. Actually, fuck taking over the world. Big Dome isn't even going to be able to feed his cats. A ten-year-old could stand out of his other arm's reach and declare the he now owns that half of Big Dome's living room. You could get into his refrigerator and lick his groceries right in front of him.”


hostessWONDER WOMAN is barely challenged in “The Borrower,” one of her nine episodes promoting Hostess products. The Borrower is a simple purse thief who is collared when he snatches a purse packed with “the same Twinkies I borrowed as a boy.” As Wonder Woman literally ropes him in for the cops to apprehend, The Borrower asks: “Ah, Wonder Woman, perhaps you could help arrange for me to borrow the Hostess cake bakery?” Seanbaby takes a dim view of this installment: “He borrows things? That's not a power. That's barely even rude. It's like my ability to pull people's noses off or have sex with women who think I'm Ashton Kutcher— it only works on people so stupid you probably don't need to rely on fantastic super powers.”


hostessSPIDER-MAN makes mincemeant—or golden sponge cake, if you will—of The Fly, who has taken him prisoner for unspecified reasons. After struggling against The Fly’s “electronic field trap,” Spider-Man gives up—but only after making a last request to eat the Twinkies he keeps in his utility belt (we always wondered what was in those things). Turns out The Fly is a Twinkies fanatic, and falls for it. As he’s being led away by his super-foe, The Fly makes a last request of his own: “Do what you want..clip my wings, anything. But at least have the decency to let me finish my wonderful Hostess Twinkies!” Seanbaby’s acerbic appraisal: “The Fly might even be worse than the normal idiots that decide a face mask and an electronics kit make them a super criminal. He made that huge Spider-Man restraint table, but forgot to make it even the tiniest bit Spider-Man proof. Then he made an ‘electronic field trap,’ which as far as I can tell doesn't do anything except make Spider-Man mention electronic field traps before he hits you. The Fly kept hinting that he had even more terrifying doom planned for Spider-Man, but couldn't seem to get past his own terrible plays on words to get to it.”


There are more, many more, where these came from. Check them all at Eat it up, in fact! The Twinkies road goes on forever…


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