Like an elderly Jewish grandmother with boundary issues and a lot of time on her hands, KFC really wants to make it happen between you and Hot Colonel Sanders. So much so, in fact, that the national chicken chain has created a dating simulator to give the two of you a chance to get to know each other better.
On Tuesday, KFC quietly dropped its new I Love You, Colonel Sanders! video game on Steam, a platform popular with indie gaming creators. While the restaurant is far from indie, its Hot Colonel Sanders certainly has the look of that cool college drummer you always hoped would finally notice you: horn-rimmed glasses, a hipster goatee, and swoopy hair you could run your fingers through at a Neon Indian show. All he’s missing is a sleeve tattoo and a lack of any real ambition and he’s every guy I dated in my early 20s.
The actual plot of the dating simulator is more or less the storyline of Sabrina (the Audrey Hepburn one, tweens!), but if Audrey had stayed in Paris and forked a hot chicken man. As someone who has never understood the sexual appeal of Humphrey Bogart*, we call this a glow-up, ladies.
“I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator follows you, a promising culinary student, as you try to date your classmate, Colonel Sanders,” its description explains. “Throughout your journey, you’ll be faced with life-changing decisions that will affect your chances of friendship and love. But be careful! Your choices have real consequences with real animated characters’ feelings at stake.”
The simulator also promises “nine lovable characters,” “a secret ending! Shh!”, “Secret recipes! Double Shh!”, “cooking battles,” “battle battles,” and “Dateable Colonel Sanders,” just in case you were so horny you missed that part of the memo before.
It also boasts the opportunity to earn a degree from a “fictional culinary school,” which is funny because I didn’t know Trump University taught culinary arts.
While the dating simulator does not promise definitively that you can have sex with Hot Colonel Sanders, it promises to lock you crazy kids in a room and let you figure it out. “Will Colonel Sanders choose you to be his business partner?” the game teases. “Or maybe even so much more?”
This is, of course, just KFC’s latest attempt to invite Hot Colonel Sanders to family dinner in hopes that there might be a spark as you accidentally touch hands while reaching for another potato latke. In April, the company posted an Instagram photo in which its iconic (and maybe racist?) character is depicted as a brooding chef who is basically Justin Theroux in The Leftovers. In addition to having an ostentatious tattoo, the ripped Insta model is likewise haunted by the ghost of Ann Dowd.
Before that, KFC tried to tap that mommy porn market by reimagining Colonel Sanders as a romance cover model. The musclebound beau accompanied Tender Wings of Desire, a 96-page novella reportedly set in Victorian England.
But while the enthusiasm is appreciated, maybe it’s best for KFC to let romance blossom with Hot Colonel Sanders the old-fashioned way: by matching with you on Tinder, ghosting you after a series of pretty good dates, and then texting “U up?” with a bunch of eggplant emoji at 2 a.m. three months later. You can decide for yourself on Sept. 24, when I Love You, Colonel Sanders! is officially available for purchase in the Steam store.
* If you disagree with this, watch In a Lonely Place and get back to me.
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