If anyone embodies the rewards capitalism can bestow on eccentric or ridiculous behavior, it might just be Ted Giannoulas, famous to our nation’s sports fans as “The San Diego Chicken.” The Chicken started out as a mascot for the San Diego radio station with the curious call letters of KGB-FM—a student at San Diego State University, Giannoulas landed his first gig as the Chicken when he wore the outfit for a promotion to distribute Easter eggs to children at the San Diego Zoo.
By dint of being unusually enterprising and entertaining (he really is very good), the San Diego Chicken became something like a mascot for sports at large. He was never affiliated with the San Diego Padres or any other San Diego team as such—what relevance would a chicken have for a team named after monks?—but he did appear at 520 consecutive Padres games at one point. In the early 1980s, the Chicken was also a regular on the Johnny Bench-hosted children’s show The Baseball Bunch, which also featured manager Tommy Lasorda as a Merlin-esque character named “The Wizard.”
With all the devil-may-care verve of Ben Stein’s character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or any number of middle school film strips, narrator Rex Allen intones in “Chickenomics: A Fowl Approach To Economics” (groan) points out that the Chicken enjoyed “a unique career ... that can only happen in a market economy.” Allen explains that the Chicken shows us five key facets of a market economy: “Private ownership of resources, self interest motives, consumer sovereignty, markets, and competition.” Zzzzzz. Later on: “Now you know why, from millions of chickens, this one humorous bird can be successful in our economy—that is, until it lays an egg! Any chicken can do that!”
I’m telling you, not even the magical Chicken can make this stuff entertaining to high school kids.
However, the movie’s closing credits are scored to an unforgettable “boc boc” rendition of Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood.” This preposterous and pun-laden educational movie demands to be seen.
via A/V Geeks