Posted by: Lori Schmidt Lutze | April 16, 2010

If the Ding Dong is good enough for Oprah, it’s good enough for me!

Tongues are a-wagging over Kitty Kelley’s tell-all Oprah bio.  And here’s one of the most delicious biographical facts I’ve uncovered so far:  one of O’s very favorite comfort foods of choice is . . . the Hostess Ding Dong.  Oh, the Ding Dong!  As a girl, I loved them too.   

The trend for birthday parties when I was in fifth grade was not an ordinary frosted cake, but a Ding Dong cake.  I begged Joyce for the Ding Dong cake because that’s what cute and popular Mary Mulenberg served for her birthday party.  So here’s what Joyce did for me:  she said okey-dokey and went to work.  Being Joyce, she was pleased as punch that the Ding Dong cake was so clever, yet easy peasey lemon squeezey.  Joyce diligently unwrapped the foil off of all those chocolate hockey pucks and piled them on top of one another on a pretty cake plate . . . and . . . TA DA . . . the Ding Dong cake emerged in all of its fabulous glory.  Do you suppose Gail does the same for Oprah when O has a splashy birthday affair? 

Because Joyce is a highly intelligent and educated woman, here is some background on the delectable Ding Dong.  It was born in 1967.  Hostess originally marketed the snacks on the East Coast as Big Wheels to avoid confusion with the Ring Ding which was made by Drake’s Cakes.  For a brief window of time the two companies fought and experienced a Ring Ding/Ding Dong conflict.  (Just for fun say that ten times fast!)  Rather than bore you with the messy and sordid details, I will say that Hostess eventually won out.  And for you comfort food buffs, please note that the snack is currently sold in Canada as the King Don.

Well, I’ll be brutally honest and say that my 11 year old friends adored the Ding Dong cake and that party made me as popular as fantastic Mary Mulenberg.  Ding Dongs began flying off the shelves and other mothers sent Joyce jewels, Tabu, and frosted wigs as a thank you for making their lives so clever and easy at birthday party planning time.

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Currently I don’t care for Ding Dongs as comfort food.  But I will admit to a peanut butter and chocolate obsession.  Reese and I go way, way back.

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Sometimes Spike let’s me go for a long ride with Reese’s Big Cup in Mr. Acura RDX.  How do you spell comfort?

As far as comfort food goes, Joyce is partial to pretzels.  Vicky can’t resist Swedish Fish.  You know that Liv can’t live without Slim Jims.  And Sue has a thing for Long Johns.  I once worked for a principal who also loved Long Johns.  She looked a little like Ursula the sea witch from The Little Mermaid . . . 


We’d be in meetings and she’d pull from her purse a three foot long Long John.  She’d start grabbing it out and believe me, it just kept on coming.  The staff always wondered where she bought those super long Long Johns.  Yes, like Oprah, we all find our comfort food comforting.  So, what’s your favorite?



  1. I am a Dolly Madison blueberry & cherry pie girl myself. Tasting the lard with every mouth watering bite!!!!!

  2. KariJoyce admitted to me that when she would visit my house as a child, she would snitch Ding Dongs and Ho Hos from our pantry because her Mom wouldn’t have them in the house.

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