The Famous San Diego Chicken, Ted Giannoulas, Speaks

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If you know the Famous San Diego Chicken (and who doesn’t), you know he never speaks when he is performing for an audience, but he did speak in front of our KFMB microphone. In this podcast, The Famous San Diego Chicken tells some of his most memorable stories to Richard and Joe. You don’t have to be from San Diego to know about the well-loved mascot, but we are proud to say that San Diego is where he got his start.

Forty-one years ago in 1974, the chicken was hatched when Ted got a job handing out candy at the San Diego Zoo dressed in a chicken suit for a local rock station KGB. From there he volunteered at Padres baseball games so he could get into the game for free. His talent for slapstick comedy and improvisation made the San Diego Chicken a hit, and the rest is history. But what a history.

20,000 Appearances and Counting

Over the last 41 years, Ted has made 20,000 appearances and has NEVER missed a show (something that would impress even Cal Ripken Jr.). He has performed in 5,100 stadiums in all 50 states and 8 countries. Ted has entertained three Presidents, and he hugged President Ford without getting arrested by the Secret Service. Recognized as the first professional sports mascot, Ted is credited with introducing the mascot to professional sports. BC (before chicken) only one team had a mascot, and now every team in baseball has one. His innovative style introduced the incorporation of music while the player walks up to the plate. Many of the antics we experience at a professional sports league game can be traced back to the entertainment style Ted developed. The San Diego Union-Tribune recently listed the San Diego Chicken among the 52 most influential figures in the history of San Diego sports, and The Sporting News editors named him as one of The Top 100 Most Powerful People in Sports of the 20th Century.

Mr. Giannoulas is a graduate of Hoover High school and San Diego State University.

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