After listening to a bunch of Mac Tonight commercials on YouTube (as one does), it immediately became apparent that some had better audio than others, none were ever being cleaned up, and some of the peculiar variants weren't being noted. Just for fun I've gone ahead to collect, record, denoise and master all of the best audio clippings I could find in both English and other languages for the highest possible quality Mac Tonight audio recordings. This is regarding only the original commercial campaign (86 ~ 90), the later ones had a substantial drop in quality in visuals and orchestration.
Dinnah! Big Dippah! Showtime.
Mac Tonight and all of the audio recordings are property of the McDonald's corporation, I've merely done this for the sake of preservation.
Since most of the audio clips line up with virtually all of the video footages out there (especially variation 1 since the same song was just reused with different video footage), it should be possible to mix and match these high quality audio clips with better footage that's been AI upscaled to 'rebuild' a higher quality version of the commercials. I'm not personally interested in doing that, but if anyone wants to use this audio to stitch together a better version feel free to do so.
I was surprised at how amazing the bassline is on the original "Mac Tonight" jingle which had the spinning burger and clock tower; in fact it's so good it surpasses anything found on the "Mack the Knife" originals that inspired it. There's also a choir that comes through that was otherwise harder to hear as well (for some reason the choir is best heard on the Spanish version, which is also included down below).
The cassette version probably has the best frequency response out of all of them, but it has a bad noise ratio and the pitch is off slightly. It's also missing the "heh!" at 11 seconds that the commercial has for the famous jazz 'shrug' Doug Jones performs.
Doug Jones mentioned in the now infamous grainy YouTube video, that there existed a 60 second theme song airing on radio. As far as anyone knows the sample has long been lost to the sands of time, however I thought I'd transcribe it here anyways:
With how amazing the Mac Tonight bassline is with the high quality audio version, it would be nice to either create an extended version of the Mac Tonight song (maybe even longer than 60 seconds), or do some improv around it. Or, taking it even creating extended variations around it such as on "Breakfast Tomorrow: In the Clouds" (which happens to be my favourite and also has some good bass).
It seems like a lot of Mac Tonight merchandise and products were available right when 1988 hit, I'm going to assume that's when the peak of the popularity with the character happened; when it became more global rather than just regional.
Doug Jones was able to purchase his first house with 'Mac Tonight money', after how successful the character became.
Seth Meyers was/is apparently terrified of the mascot, fans often send him Mac Tonight swag and merchandise as a result. Hilariously some of the things he gets sent are quite valuable due to how the character now has a cult following.
After Dodd Darin sued McDonald's for a quick cash grab, McDonald's settled even though they would have won the case just so it wouldn't end up costing more money for it to drag on. It would have been hard to prove since Mack the Knife was done by plenty of artists before and after Bobby Darin (and as mentioned above, I think Mac Tonight is actually superior over Bobby Darin's version).
Unfortunately after Mac Tonight started being used as a hate symbol by third parties, McDonald's proactively tore down and destroyed all of the remaining Mac Tonight animatronics and statues (with the exception of only two animatronics surviving, a first generation model now privately owned and the now-broken second generation unit in Orlando which suffered water damage -- it will be unlikely that the franchise owner will ever contact Mannetron to repair it, and the only reason why it probably hasn't been tore down yet is the fact it's mounted high up near the ceiling).
The company "Button-Up" made Mac Tonight merchandise for purchase available outside of McDonald's restaurants, including little Mac Tonight figurines which were NOT part of Happy Meals.
In Australia, businesses (at the time) were forbidden to broadcast foreign commercials which is why McDonald's had an Australian team rebuild the infamous Mac Tonight spinng burger scene. Due to the differences in set design and costume many fans view them as inferior, but that's often what happens when you have a different team try to mimic niche talent: it would be very difficult to replicate the combined talents of Steve Neill and Doug Jones.
Indiana Glass Co. (A Lancaster Colony Co.), were the ones who were responsible for creating the Mac Tonight glass tumblers/jars: the glass is on the higher quality spectrum and is not soda-lime, so it should be more tolerant to thermal shock. I've attempted to rebuild the list of the ones offered to the best of my knowledge, but some of the item #s are unknown to me as I couldn't find the tag details. The stickers are so old that if any surviving glasses still have them, they basically flake off just by you looking at them.
The 8 oz Mac Tonight glass tumblers had a printing error where someone misaligned the silkscreen machine and had some of them make it to the stores.
In early 2023 Steve Neill started working on a Mac Tonight head model around half the size of the original (using clay as the base instead), but due to lack of interest it was never completed, at least as far as I know. It's possible people had sticker shock for how expensive it is to manually cast bespoke items like that rather than something mass-manufactured (which only becomes cheap enough when there's enough volume, anyways).
After the first 'spinning burger' commercial became popular, the New York Times had a photo with Peter Coutroulis (creator of Mac Tonight) and the original mask without the sunglasses and it revealed a version of the head that looked really nice underneath: all subsequent masks were changed to look a lot different in an inferior way in my opinion, I'm not certain if that was because Steve Neill modelled them differently every time or if this was deliberate. This was the only commercial this version of the head was used in, later commercials used completely redesigned ones and would continue to alter the design slightly. I've attempted to redraw using the original photo what the original mask looked like underneath:
Peter Coutroulis was only involved with the first four commercials, all of the rest were outsourced to other advertisement agencies to complete (and the quality declined ever so slightly afterwards, until it completely dropped off after the 1990's).