To those who worship buckets of tasty, deep-fried drumsticks, KFC's Colonel Harland Sanders is their patron saint. The iconic Colonel, through his good works, brought crispy, greasy joy to the masses. He delivered the weak and the needy from the wicked temptation of hamburgers and grilled alternatives. And he always looked the part, what with his saintly shock of white hair and perennial white garb, not to mention his humble demeanor.
Today, though, the Colonel's sainthood seems more official than ever. KFC is proud to present ColonelSanders.com, a website that canonizes the Colonel by collecting his stories, his life, and his deeds and organizing them in a sprawling multimedia extravaganza. The voiceover on the introductory video—fawning, stilted, and armed to the teeth with clichés—almost feels like it's making fun of itself. Only it's not. "A man. A man from a small town. A man who failed. A man who was no longer young. A man who wasn't ready to give up." A man, you say? Not a woman, but a man? Not a dog, nor a rooster, but a man? "This man is Harland Sanders . . . He had a passion. A dream. A recipe for fried chicken."
Once you get past the awkward opening, a number of the vignettes paint a portrait of the man—yes, man—that's actually heartfelt and appealing. But humorously, in one clip, he demurs to his lionization: "Some say that I'm a legend. I'm active at age 75 and expect to continue to be so, just as long as God gives me health and life. And a legend is for one who has spent themselves, or is nonexistent. And that's not me. I'm not a legend."
He died in 1980. Clearly, his objections no longer apply.
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