Screengrab via Blendtec/YouTube

‘Will It Blend?’ debuted 10 years ago—and Tom Dickson is still blending strong

Happy blendiversary!

Feb 28, 2020, 9:29 pm*

Internet Culture


Chris Tognotti

How’s your blender doing? Is your blending game on-point, so-so, or sub-par? It’s an important question if you’re eager to live that juicing life, but it can also be relevant when it comes to some good old-fashioned entertainment.

It’s been a full decade since “Will It Blend” exploded onto the internet, bringing millions upon millions of people around the world answers to such vital questions as: can you blend an iPad? A bunch of credit cards? A Nike shoe? A Nintendo Wii wheel remote? A pool cue?

The very first edition of the viral blender marketing campaign, “Will It Blend? Marbles,” was released on October 30th, 2006. It’s a little hard to believe that Blendtec founder Tom Dickson has actually been pumping out these videos for a full decade now, but it’s true, and it’s as good a time as any to celebrate his unique mixture of entrepreneurship, viral marketing savvy, and of course, his considerable normcore appeal.

If you’ve never seen a Will It Blend video before, the concept is pretty straightforward. Dickson―who looks a bit like an alternate-timeline Jeb Bush―begins each video with the same simple statement: “Will it blend? That is the question.”

Then, he attempts to blend any number of typically un-blendable objects, to varying levels of fun and delight. Sometimes the item (or items) in question are plainly safe and reasonable to blend, even if it’s incredibly gross: for instance, this entry from Halloween of 2006, Coke + Chicken = Cochicken.

It’s no surprise that you can stuff some chicken and a can of Coke into a blender and hit liquify. The only shock is just how gross the resulting slurry looks, and in all likelihood, tastes. But some of the items Dickson tosses into his Blendtec brand blender aren’t so obvious, and indeed, so safe. 

Some of the videos come with attached warnings to not try to recreate the stunt at home, due to safety concerns. For example, here’s Dickson trying to blend his iPad. Spoiler alert: he successfully does, but with a warning not to destroy your own tablet in such a fashion, nor to inhale the resulting fumes. In fact, whenever he blends up something that gives off potentially hazardous smoke or particles, he uses the same line: “[insert word here] smoke, don’t breathe this!”

Here’s Dickson running the same experiment with a model skeleton, a good theme with Halloween just a day away. He manages to keep up with all the trends the kids are into, too. Just months ago, he decided to blend up a couple of Pokémon figurines. Pikachu and Blaziken, no! Of course, Poké smoke, don’t breath this.

Not all of Dickson’s experiments have been rousing successes and in at least one instance, he seemingly chickened out. His much-requested Crowbar blend was never even attempted, swapped out at the last minute for a handful of cellphones.

The occasional failure notwithstanding, you have to hand it to him for creativity, guile, and being willing to grind up some items that most people would probably rather keep for themselves. If you’ve got some free time and you’d like to revisit any of the videos from Will It Blend’s illustrious ten-year run, they’re all available on the company’s official YouTube channel.

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*First Published: Oct 30, 2016, 4:18 pm