Fall Premier Auction 2017


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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/4/2017

The San Diego Chicken was an institution in itself as the celebrated cheerleader of the San Diego Padres. Largely doing his antics at Jack Murphy Stadium, which morphed into Qualcomm Stadium, the character originated as an animated TV commercial for KGB-FM Radio in San Diego. Writer, cartoonist, and actor Brian Narelle was working for Odyssey Productions and offered to animate an acrobatic chicken as part of a commercial contract bid. Narelle went on to direct and animate the commercial as well as create cartoon art for the campaign.

In March 1974, Ted Giannoulas was hired to wear the first chicken suit. At the time he was a 20-year-old journalism major at San Diego State University. He was originally from Canada but had attended Hoover High School in San Diego. The Chicken's first appearance was a KGB promotion to distribute Easter eggs to children at the San Diego Zoo. Later the Chicken would wander throughout the stands at San Diego Padres baseball games, and if someone said "Lay One on Me," the Chicken would "lay" an egg via his leggings containing a prize. A redesigned suit followed that more closely resembled The Famous Chicken today. The Chicken, whose antics entertained steadily larger crowds, moved on to features at concerts and sporting events – appearing at more than 520 San Diego Padres games in a row. The Chicken also appeared at many San Diego Clippers basketball games before the team moved to Los Angeles. The late San Diego sports reporter Jack Murphy once described him as an "embryonic Charlie Chaplin in chicken feathers.”

The success of the Famous Chicken helped lead to mascots becoming widespread throughout professional sports, particularly Major League Baseball. The Chicken was named one of the 100 most powerful people in sports for the 20th century by The Sporting News. This lot features a version of the San Diego Chicken mascot’s outfit, albeit a much smaller edition from the one worn by Giannoulas. This two-piece outfit, which was on display at the San Diego Hall of Champions, includes the Chicken’s famous beak as well as the orange body suit.

Includes Letter of Provenance from the San Diego Hall of Champions.

Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $200
Final prices include buyers premium.: $2,362
Number Bids:26
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