Burnt Toast Podcast

LA's Statue of Liberty is a 22-Foot Man with a Chicken Head

June  1, 2017

If you drive down North Figueroa Street in the Highland Park neighborhood in Los Angeles, you’ll see a giant statue. Right there, up high on a roof—between a Mexican restaurant and a wellness center—is Chicken Boy. You can’t miss him; he presides over the street.

Chicken Boy atop his new home, Future Studios, in Los Angeles.

Our latest episode of Burnt Toast tells the story of this 22-foot tall fried chicken mascot that became the Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles—and one artist’s decades-long quest to find him a new home.

It’s a tale of feeling like an outsider in a new city, of car city Los Angeles, and the dwindling era of Googie architecture. By the end, we bet you might want your own chicken boy T-shirt, too. (Find your own here.)

(We were serious!) Here's our producer, Gabrielle Lewis, donning her Chicken Boy merch.

Download the episode here—or stream it below. And hit "subscribe" to get each new episode downloaded to your phone automatically. Read on for photos of Chicken Boy in his original home, his rescue mission, and Amy, the artist who saved him—all of which are detailed in the episode.

Chicken Boy's original home in the 60s, atop Broadway's Chicken Boy Fried Chicken Restaurant. Photo by Courtesy of Amy Inouye
The Broadway Chicken Boy again—human with camera for scale.
After Chicken Boy was rescued, he began 23 years of being a...nomad. Here's one of his more memorable stops. Photo by Courtesy of Amy Inouye
Mission: Lift Chicken Boy to his new home. (This is taken from the roof of Amy Inouye's studio, Future Studios.) Photo by Courtesy of Amy Inouye
And now comes the head. Photo by Courtesy of Amy Inouye
They call him the Statue of Liberty of LA.
Amy Inouye, artist and "mother of Chicken Boy," posing lovingly with his 8-foot head.

To learn more about our show, head here.

For listeners ready to make use of the promo code in the episode, it's 20% off your first two orders over $35, with a maximum discount of $30. Terms & conditions apply; see jet.com for details.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Emma Currens
    Emma Currens
  • DM Candelaria
    DM Candelaria
  • Bruce Johnson
    Bruce Johnson
  • LauriL
  • Kenzi Wilbur
    Kenzi Wilbur
Kenzi Wilbur

Written by: Kenzi Wilbur

I have a thing for most foods topped with a fried egg, a strange disdain for overly soupy tomato sauce, and I can never make it home without ripping off the end of a newly-bought baguette. I like spoons very much.


Emma C. June 5, 2017
This is hilarious! I'm a typical foodie podcast listener, your being one of my gamut. So when I started listening to this week's episode on Chicken Boy I was like hmmm why is that so familiar. Long story short, it conjured up memories of an old VHS my dad had lying around from a movie he'd worked on... so I texted my dad to ask about his involvement in the movie, and HE IS THE VOICE OF CHICKEN BOY! I got a laugh out of hearing his voice for a moment on the podcast. Anyway, love the podcast, so happy you brought it back! I'll have to buy him some merch :)
Kenzi W. June 5, 2017
OH MY GOSH EMMA!!!!!!!! NO WAY!! We're freaking out over here; you've made our week. (Month?!)
Emma C. June 5, 2017
It definitely made my day! My dad's going to listen to it later today for his shout out :) Such a small world
DM C. June 3, 2017
When we were kids our Mother took us every weekend downtown to eat at Chicken Boys it had some delicious fried Chicken and coleslaw & fries. Never have had Chicken like that nowhere.
Bruce J. June 2, 2017
Chicken Boy sure looks like he started life as Muffler Man http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/5876
Kenzi W. June 2, 2017
You're absolutely right! He did. :)
LauriL June 1, 2017
Soo loved this episode...who wouldn't want to claim Chicken boy as their son?
LauriL June 4, 2017
Nice to have the pics after listening to podcast....my imagination and your audio descriptions synced!!