Dunkin’s Fred the baker dead at 83

Michael Vale, aka Fred the baker from the old Dunkin’ Donuts
commercials, has died at 83
. Vale first uttered his sleepy refrain, "Time
to make the doughnuts," in ads from Ally & Gargano in 1982, led by creative
director Ron Berger. The chain figured that Vale played Fred in some
200 spots before switching to a PR role in 1997 as the “Dunkin’
Diplomat.” “The first time he said, ‘Time to make the doughnuts,’ we were
hysterical,” Berger told the Boston Herald in 1997. “We knew the importance of
the role. It was such that you want someone that people are going to like and
definitely relate to. Michael was it.” A Dunkin’ rep told the Boston Globe
around the same time: “Fred reflects that Dunkin’ Donuts is for everybody. That’s
why you can look in one of our parking lots and see a Mercedes parked next to a
Ford pickup truck. 

—Posted by Tim Nudd