Interviews

Patrick McDonald: Child Actor & Star of Two Bad Commercial

Patrick McDonald with Two Bad

Adam: So you appeared in the original commercial for Two Bad – how cool is that? How did you end up in that commercial?

Patrick: First I want to take a moment to thank you for the questions. It’s a humbling experience to see the reaction from the communities for revealing my connection to this commercial, particularly this figure. I started acting when I was 8 years old and it was 1981.

I remember going on the audition for this particular commercial 4 years later and was excited! I had to return several times for follow up interviews before I was chosen among the other children to participate. At that time toy commercials were very common. To see a toy commercial like this was a daily occurrence for a child like me. They were especially common in the afternoons during cartoons. Being 12 years old at the time I was extremely excited and couldn’t wait to be a part of this specific commercial.

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Adam: It looks like there are four kids in the commercial – which one were you?

Patrick: You can see in the four shot I am the moppy haired blonde boy on the far right holding He-Man. You can furthermore see close-ups of my face as I deliver my line as He-Man, “Well, well, an evil warrior!”

Young Patrick McDonald, holding He-Man
Far right: Patrick McDonald

Adam: What can you tell me about the process of shooting the commercial? How long did it take? Did you have a formal script you were following?

Patrick: When you’re an actor, even a child actor you get used to the process of showing up on set, getting into wardrobe, being placed in the makeup chair, the lights, the cameras, and all the action that follows. This was just another day in the park for this young boy. I remember it took two days to shoot. I remember there being several of the figures on set of both He-Man and Two-Bad. They looked fantastic, brand new, and unplayed with. They had several on set just in case one got a scratch or was damaged during shooting. After the shoot was over I remember them telling me I could take one with me. You can imagine how exciting it was for that 12-year-old boy to be holding a Masters of the Universe figure that no one else had seen.

Adam: I assume you were probably one of the first kids to play with Two Bad, before he was actually available – were you allowed to talk about that with your friends, or did you have to kind of keep it confidential until it was released?

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Patrick: I don’t remember ever being told that I could not discuss Two-Bad with anyone. However, within a very short period of turnaround time I started seeing myself in the afternoon between commercial breaks of the cartoons I was still watching.

Adam: Do you know exactly when you filmed the commercial?

Patrick: I’m certain it was 1985, as far as the month I’m not exactly sure. What I can tell you is 38 years later having revealed to the community that I participated in this commercial the response I received was much more positive, loving, and humbling than any 12-year-old boy would have ever expected. It is an honor to have played a very small role in a particular character figure for such a wonderful, giving, and entertaining phenomenon as Two-Bad was for the Masters of the universe. With the re-release of this figure I have come full circle. That 12-year-old boy never would have imagined how big and popular Two Bad would be for generations to come.

Adam: You mentioned starting acting at 8 years old. Can you tell me more about that and what roles you pursued?

Patrick: Most of the things I acted in were commercials. There are still several of my McDonald’s commercials on YouTube. And I officially stopped acting when I was 18 years old. By that time I had appeared in over 23 commercials nationally. I got to play in a few episodes of a soap opera called Santa Barbara and a few episodes in a television show called The Hogan Family with Jason Bateman and Sandy Duncan.

Patrick is the boy who drops his ice cream in the sand
Patrick is seen on the steps, sliding closer to the girl.

Adam: Growing up, what was your introduction to Masters of the Universe? What were some of your favorite MOTU toys?

Patrick: Like most boys my age I was introduced to He-Man through the cartoon series that started in 1983. I remember having a He-Man birthday cake at one of my parties. I also remember using Christmas wrapping paper tubes as swords running around the house shouting, “By the power of Gray Skull, I HAVE THE POWER.” By the time I had done the commercial, Two Bad was part of wave 4. So up until that point I had figures like He-Man and Skeletor like most of you, Whiplash and Fisto as well.

I was a mud kid when I was little. I think a lot of us created scenes and scenarios in the backyard using whatever we had at our disposal. The great thing about He-Man was he was magical. He could be placed into almost any scenario and still come out the hero.

Adam: Are you involved in collecting MOTU figures today, or is this more something you remember fondly from childhood?

Patrick: I wish I could say I became a huge Masters of the Universe collector. However, the same year I did the commercial for Two Bad a movie called Back to the Future was released. That became my new obsession. I have since become a huge Back to the Future collector.

Adam: Aside from your role in the Two Bad commercial, what is one of your fondest childhood memories related to Masters of the Universe?

Patrick: Although I was a He-Man fan it was truly Skeletor that I was more of a fan of. In retrospect now that I’m older I realize that this character reminded me of my father. Skeletor was tough but also extremely funny and very likable. Creating my own Skeletor castle out of mud, grass, and weeds in the backyard was one of my biggest accomplishments as a 10-year-old.

Thank you for taking the time to ask me these questions It’s been an honor. If there’s ever anything I can additionally do to contribute to what you do for our community it would be an honor.

Many thanks to Patrick for taking the time to answer my questions!

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