February: Tommy & Rubber Chickens

Tommy’s reports always begin with his backpack of mystery, set between two brightly colored converse-clad feet.  Before unveiling the tell-all visual within, however, he painted some historical imagery that ended with a court jester taunting the crowd with the ol’ “pig-bladder-on-a-stick” gag. (That one never gets old.)  It was this historical gag that led to what we now know as the rubber chicken.  (And this is when the rubber chickens made their appearance from the backpack of mystery.)  A longer history than any of us expected, the rubber chicken was a staple of entertainment for the founding father of modern clowns, Joseph Grimaldi, and well as for Negro Baseball League pitcher, Satchel Paige.  The great pitcher was known to do a ridiculously long wind-up pitch which would end with the “ball” being a balled-up rubber chicken.  (Much to our delight, Tommy did his best Satchel Paige impression of this.) Today Loftus Novelty in Salt Lake City holds the rights to the rubber chicken mold we know today:

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Filed under Cult following, Culture, History, Pop-culture

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