In Search Of: A Wendy’s Jazz Cap

Friend of Extraface Melanie has asked me to put the call out to all of you to see if anyone has information on a forgotten artifact from the fast food past. It was apparently called a “Jazz Cap,” and it was either sold or given away at Wendy’s restaurants. I have no recollection of it, and the Internet’s memories are hazy as well based on the searches I’ve done on Melanie’s behalf. Apparently it was some sort of painter’s cap with a crazy eighties color scheme. I have no idea what she’s talking about.

Wikipedia was not much help, but it did momentarily sidetrack me in this mesmerizing list of all of the advertising slogans Wendy’s has used in the US and Canada since 1970:

1970 – Present: Quality Is Our Recipe
1978: Juicy hamburgers and lots of napkins
1979: Hot-N-Juicy
1980: Wendy’s Has the Taste
1981: Ain’t No Reason to Go Anyplace Else
1982: You’re Wendy’s Kind of People
1983: Parts is parts
1984: Where’s the beef?
1986: Choose Fresh, choose Wendy’s
1987: Give a little nibble
Circa 1990: The best burgers and a whole lot more (also was printed inside the hamburger wrappers during the 1990s)
1997 – Present: Eat great, even late
2002: It’s hamburger bliss.
2004: It’s better here
2004: Always Great, Even Late.2005 – 2007: Do what tastes right. (primary slogan)
2005 – Present: It takes flair to be square.
2007: That’s right.
2007: Uh Huh.
2007: Hot Juicy Burgers
2008: It’s waaaay better than fast food. It’s Wendy’s.

I’m offering a valuable prize to every commenter who submits a true or nearly true memory that involves a Wendy’s Jazz Cap, and an even more valuable prize to anyone who can furnish a photo or accurate hand-drawn illustration. Submit any recollections in the comments below. We thank you.


  1. Hah! Awesome photo. The Wikipedia entry said they fired Clara Peller after she starred in a spaghetti sauce ad and declared on camera that she’d found the beef.

    As I just barely recall, that 1983 campaign had them making fun of other fast food chains with the ‘parts is parts’ thing.

  2. Nice detective work, Jonathan. On first reading, I thought you might be on to something. On second reading, I wondered if it was just a snarky reference. Could go either way. I’ve emailed Architecture In Helsinki both on their site and via one of their personal emails for comment.

  3. yeah, that was my tabloid reporting skills. However, I did speak to a Wendy’s Customer Rep, Phone: (614) 764-3100, ext. 2032, who advised me to “check Ebay”…

    slowly has built up to a chupacabra hunt. My Indian mates at work think I’m really into Wendy’s memorabilia. That’s when I asked them about these Indian Saftety signs:

  4. Good find on the signs, also probably a good out when they started asking too many questions.

    If we could narrow this down to a year, maybe we could look for advertising. It does feel like a bit of a Chupacabra/Snipe hunt at the moment.

  5. I have an Orange and white painters cap – Wendy’s – 1984 — WHERE”S THE BEEF? is Orange lettering.

  6. Dude so funny, I am 38 yrs. old and sittin up drinkin with an old friend from high school and yes the Jazz Cap is 100 % true fuckin ridiculous. we laughed hard at the people that would actually wear them. I have no evidence of the artifacts but fuck dude, hilarious. we just searched to see if we could find them.

  7. omg. I dont even know what reminded of these damn things. I had the red one (same one as Gegen) that I wore EVERYDAY for like 2 years when I was a teen. God…what the hell was wrong with me?

    By today’s standards they look a little…shall we say… flamboyant. Still, it would be something to own for nostalgic purposes.

    Nice find on the commercial too Gegen.

  8. I am 52 and I still have my Jazz cap and just started to wear it again it si still in great shape and goes great with my Hawaiian shirts


  9. I have one of those hats probably frim 1984. Its either the Hawaiin print or the jungle print. I’d have to get it out to look. But I’ll never give it up. Its a keeper.

  10. It was the summer of 1987 that Wendy’s offered the jaz caps. I bought 25 sent 15 to friends. I have one left and still wear ot from time to time. It’s the surfer one and my wife hates it. I love I wish I had bought more.

  11. I remember these. I am actually looking for one. My sister picked one up when we were kids at a Wendy’s on the way home from Cedar Point. She pretty much wore it everyday for the rest of the summer.

  12. I still have all of mine! As a matter of fact I have one on right now I wear it all the time when I’m teaching my swim lessons.

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