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Sunday, January 25, 2009

'¡Yo quiero mi dinero!'

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"I want my money!" Taco Bell owes a certain little dog $42 million:

A federal appeals court Friday ruled that Taco Bell is solely liable for $42 million in breach-of-contract awards to two Michigan men who created the diminutive mascot that starred in the Irvine fast-food giant's hit $500-million advertising campaign in the 1990s.

TV commercials featured the dog decked out as a beret-sporting revolutionary or bandit in sombrero, stirring complaints that they amounted to derogatory depictions of Mexicans. But the spots featuring the Chihuahua and voice-over by actor Carlos Alazraqui were phenomenally successful.

The talking dog's refrain "Yo quiero Taco Bell" became a pop-culture punch line, as well as "Drop the chalupa!" -- an instant favorite with sports commentators -- and "¡Viva Gorditas!" (Long live the little fat ones, the name of the Mexican food chain's stuffed crunchy taco).

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