Mac Tonight

Mac Tonight

Vital Information
Species: Moon Person
Gender: Male
Man with a crescent moon for a head wearing a black suit and sunglasses
Character information
Appeared in: Has appeared in many TV/print ads for McDonald's in the 1980s

Can be seen in high Earth orbit

Mac Tonight was a mascot introduced by McDonald's restaurants in 1986. The only McDonald's advertising character not to appear in McDonaldland commercials, he was intended to advertise McDonald's late night hours to adults. He had a crescent moon for a head, wore a suit and sunglasses, and was depicted as being a jazzy lounge singer. The name was a play on words of the song "Mack the Knife", made popular in America by Bobby Darin. The song that played over the advertisements, called "It's Mac Tonight", was also a variant on that song, but with McDonald's-themed lyrics, such as those featured in the original 1986 commercial:

"When the stars come out to play, babe A twinkling show, ooh -- dinner! -- out of sight Yeah, the night time is golden light time -- big dipper! At McDonald's (showtime), it's Mac Tonight!" Other lyrics include this set from a 1987 commercial

"When the clock strikes half past six, babe Time to head for golden lights It's a good time for the great taste -- dinner! At McDonald's, it's Mac Tonight Come on, make it Mac Tonight!" .

Mac Tonight no longer appears in commercials in the United States, but pictures and statues of him can still be seen in some McDonald's restaurants.

Talk show host (and onetime McDonald's employee) Jay Leno often makes references to his likeness to Mac Tonight and promos for his show during the credits of NBC programming show his face as a moon.

Advertising campaign

The original campaign in the United States included twenty-nine commercials, initially airing from 1986 to 1997. Doug Jones played Mac Tonight in twenty-seven of them. A number of three-inch hard plastic Mac Tonight toys were available in Happy Meals. Mac Tonight also made a cameo in a Big Mac commercial in 1988,

BigMac Tonite.jpg

During the late 1980s through the early 1990s, people in Mac Tonight costumes used to greet McDonald's customers, along with people appearing as Ronald McDonald, Grimace and other characters.


In 2007, Mac Tonight was given a CGI makeover and starred in a new commercial in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and The Philippines. He is no longer seen flying over the earth or a city with a piano, but instead he dances on top of a McDonald's store singing and playing a saxophone.

The lyrics of the advertising jingle are:

"All day and all night, step out for a bite. Oh for treats that delight, --24 Hours a day! Come down to Mac Tonight, hey! [Plays a Short Piece on a Saxophone] Chill out, (name of country), McDonald's is 24 Hours Come down to Mac Tonight, -24 Hours 'round the clock. Come on down to Mac Tonight!"

Recently, Taiwan has begun to run Mac Tonight advertisements with Mac speaking Mandarin Chinese. Similarly, Hong Kong has a new commercial featuring the character, in which Mac Tonight is voiced by singer Eason Chan, in order to promote local branches' new 24-hour operation schedule.


Mac Tonight is used as the basis for YTMND Internet meme character Moon Man, a white supremacist rapper voiced by AT&T's "Mike" text to speech program, with most of his songs being remixes of existing songs, with an extreme racist overtone. It soon garnered controversy shortly after its first remix in 2007. Due to AT&T's text to speech program provided Moon Man's voice, it was soon edited to block any racially derogatory epithets or swear words in an attempt to cull the number of remixes. McDonald's began removing existing Mac Tonight sculptures and animatronics from some of its restaurants in response to the widespread remixes, and YouTube began striking down many Moon Man-related videos from 2007 to the present automatically. Several videos were also DMCA-claimed and taken down by McDonald's from 2007-2008. Multiple petitions were filed demanding YouTube cease removing the videos, the most recent of which from May 2015 having reaching over 1200 signatures. YouTube has since stopped taking Moon Man videos down unless they have been flagged by users

Cultural references

On The Simpsons episode, "Kiss Kiss Bang Bangalore," Homer uses a cardboard cutout of Mac Tonight as a surrogate father for his children when he has to leave go to India.

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