When someone first sent me this screencap of an ad for “Stallone’s High Protein Pudding,” I assumed it was a Photoshop. That name just sounds like a too on-the-nose sketch. Amazingly, Stallone’s High Protein Pudding was not only a real product, it even caused a lawsuit, and in turn spawned countless “the proof is in the pudding” headlines.
The convoluted story goes something like this: In the salad days, [Inventor William] Brescia hired a marketing executive and food scientist to help develop a bodybuilding pudding.
Then the actor of Rocky fame and a business partner started the nutritional supplement company Instone, and became somehow involved. Trade secret accusations came next. Followed by assertions that the secrets were just common knowledge.
Somewhere in middle of all this a “Sylvester Stallone Pudding” happened. [SCPR]
The last it showed up in the news seems to be 2012, after a $4.9 million verdict for Brescia had been overturned on appeal. At that point the two parties were said to be negotiating a settlement to avoid another trial. The fact that no one has written about the suit since leads me to believe that it has been settled.
More importantly, Stallone even discussed the product in a thoroughly surreal 2005 appearance on Larry King:
KING: OK, now I have in front of me “Stallone High-Protein Pudding,” vanilla creme. Twenty grams of protein, low carbs, sugar- free, 108 calories.
STALLONE: What a misprint. How dare them do that.
KING: One carb. Is this a whole line of products?
STALLONE: You know what? Again, I believe that what nature takes away you’ve got to put back. And regular food is not going to do it, unless you sit there, and you’re raised on a farm, and you have that kind of biotanical grocery store next to you.
I believe supplements are the key for people. It’s really important, for energy, for breaking down, for burning thermogenics, for losing weight. And I thought, you know what? The one thing — I’ve seen a thousand of these protein bars, protein bars. Well, it would take 30 of these cans to equal one protein bar amount of carbohydrates. So I said — and yet I get the same amount of protein.
So I thought, “Why don’t I try something like pudding?” And I go, “Pudding, I mean, kind of kooky, pudding, whatever.” Then I thought, “Yes, pudding. That hasn’t been around for a while.” So a guy started working on it, and we all got together…
KING: So only pudding? It’s the only product so far?
STALLONE: Well, yes — no, no, no…
STALLONE: … I do a thing called lean fire (ph), which is for energy. And I thing for male testosterone, which is forcity (ph), which really — I mean, I’m warning you right now. This could be hazardous to your health.
KING: Put Viagra in…
STALLONE: Yes, it’s like that. You’ll be jousting up and down the street.
KING: Where do you obtain these products? Where do you obtain these products?
STALLONE: Right now, they’re at GNC and other…
KING: Well, let’s try it.
STALLONE: Yes, let’s try it. Yes, I got the easy one.
KING: Some of these things…
STALLONE: I know. Mine is broken. You did get the crappy one. You see, this is where bodybuilding comes in handy.
KING: This is good. STALLONE: It’s not bad.
KING: No, no, no, not bad?
STALLONE: Thank you. This is, again, 20 grams of protein, and it’s in a pudding form. So children eat it, you eat it. You can take it to work. It’s like a meal…
KING: And only 100 calories.
STALLONE: A hundred calories.
KING: Twenty calories from fat, twenty fat calories.
KING: It says 20 fat…
STALLONE: It does say 20 fat calories, right. That’s it.
KING: Two grams of total fat.
STALLONE: Right. And about 1.5 carbohydrates, which is nothing.
KING: A lot of potassium.
STALLONE: It’s fantastic. Potassium is what keeps those muscles firing.
KING: And no sugar? Now, how do they do that?
STALLONE: Isn’t that amazing?
KING: And it comes in chocolate, vanilla, other flavors?
STALLONE: Well, yes. We just developed banana, lemon, whatever. I mean, I’m starting to feel like a traveling salesman. But I’m really proud of this stuff, because…
KING: You can have four of these a day.
STALLONE: … it is, you know, really.
KING: And you get it at GNC?
STALLONE: Exactly right. [via CNN Transcripts]
The entire transcript is like that, by the way. They speak almost entirely in tangential ellipses, improvising, jumping from one thought to the next and back again, seemingly with no regard for linear thought… it’s like jazz. Larry King and Sly Stallone are perfect for each other.
I can’t believe that this happened in 2005 and I missed it. I also can’t believe that the guy talking about “jousting up and down the street” with boners didn’t recognize that it was nearly impossible not to hear “Stallone High Protein Pudding” euphemistically.
Hi, kids. We all know that today’s go-go lifestyles require increased protein intake to keep us punching. If you’re like me, Sylvester Stallone, you’ve probably eaten a protein bar or choked down a protein drink in your time, and you probably thought, “Isn’t there a better way to slake my body’s thirst for concentrated protein? A form that was more viscous?” And that’s how Stallone’s High Protein Pudding came to be. Our hard-working protein scientists have developed a great-tasting protein concentrate that’s neither all chunky and solid like a protein bar nor thin and liquidy like a chalky protein drink. Instead, Stallone’s High Protein pudding comes on robust and gelatinous; no drinking, no chewing. Just spoon it into your mouth and just let it slide right down your throat…