The late ‘80s were a strange time: Teased hair and shoulder pads were the height of fashion, and McDonald’s thought it was a good idea to start making pizza. But even though it’s been a long time since most of us have sampled a McPizza, one enterprising fast-food journalist decided to hunt down the last two remaining McDonald’s locations in the United States that still sell the coveted item. His reward was a floppy, oven-fired personal pie, and our reward was 35 oddly entertaining podcast episodes in which Brian Thompson attempts to answer the all-important question: “Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald’s?”
Thompson’s broadcast style is deadpan and satirizes the ever-popular “true crime” podcasts out there, like Sarah Koenig’s Serial. But instead of looking for a missing person or digging up a cold case file, Thompson spends 35 episodes digging into the mystery of the abandoned (and often ridiculed) fast-food pizza. He finds his Holy Grail in episode 34, in Pomeroy, Ohio, one of only two McDonald’s locations that still serve the cheesy stuff (the other being in West Virginia).
McDonald’s pizza was introduced in the late 1980s and continued to show moderate success through the mid-1990s when it slowly but surely disappeared from all McMenus. The pizza has achieved a cult status amongst fast-food aficionados. Just last week, three random guys in London decided to embark on a 1,000-mile journey to try the pizza. They called it “mundane and mediocre.”
Could all of this buzz be enough to bring back the beloved McPizza? We can only dream. The world’s largest McDonald’s, which recently opened in Orlando, actually serves pizza and waffles, but it’s a newer recipe than the McPizza that Thompson so steadfastly sought.