1981: Dunkin' Donuts Launches "Time to Make the Donuts" Campaign

MIchael Vale as Fred the Baker
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(Dunkin Donuts)

That's right, America. It's time to celebrate one of the greatest inventions in the history of food, the donut. With the first Friday in June being designated as National Donut Day, we're celebrating by looking back at the legendary and Totally '80s "Time to Make the Donuts" ad campaign.

Launched by Dunkin' Donuts back in 1981, the spots featured "Fred the Baker," played by actor Michael Vale. The campaign was so popular that it ran for 15 years, with an ongoing series of ads starring Vale as Fred.

Fred was there as Dunkin' Donuts evolved over the years, like this ad touting the launch of Dunkin' bagels.

When Dunkin' Donuts finally decided to end the campaign in 1997 while rebranding, the company gave Fred the Baker an official "retirement," giving away free donuts across the country in his honor.

Sadly, actor Michael Vale died in 2005 at the age of 83.

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(Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
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