Fast-food history comes to the big screen this Friday with the opening of “The Founder,” in which Michael Keaton plays McDonald’s innovator Ray Kroc, who transformed a small local business into the colossus it is today.
Of course, you can find a McDonald’s pretty much anywhere.
The same isn’t true of the greatest fictional fast-food chains of movie and TV past, though at least one has a real-life iteration.
These are amNY’s picks for the greatest franchises invented by Hollywood, in no particular order:
Los Pollos Hermanos
The chicken chain is the domain of Gus Fring, Giancarlo Esposito’s terrifying drug kingpin. Fring will be appearing in the upcoming third season of “Better Call Saul,” so we’ll see how he got into the drug business.
“Parks and Recreation”
This fast-food eatery in Pawnee, Indiana, was known for its incredible gluttony, with giant burgers and monster-sized sodas, including its 512-ounce “child size” drink. (“It’s roughly the size of a 2-year-old child, if the child were liquefied.”) A perfect restaurant for the salad-hating city.
“Coming to America”
The Eddie Murphy movie’s McDonald’s rip-off was filmed at a Wendy’s in Queens that closed a few years ago. We’d love to sample a Big Mick, which John Amos’ Cleo McDowell famously described as, essentially, a Big Mac with seedless buns.
“Dogma, “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back,” “Clerks II”
Kevin Smith’s interconnected film universe — the View Askewniverse — featured this burger joint in a bunch of his films. It’s best known for its mascot, a golden calf.
Krusty the Clown’s branded fast-food chain is a mainstay in the animated series, clogging Homer Simpson’s arteries for 28 seasons. Visit a real Krusty Burger at Universal Studios Hollywood.