The Origins of Bob’s big Boy

The first time I went to eat breakfast at Bob’s Big Boy I was six. While my family and I were waiting to be seated I saw a statue of a cartoon boy:

I thought he was the cutest cartoon evert! But had no idea why he was wearing a bright red and white checker overall. Here is the small history of Bob’s Big Boy Mascot:

The restaurant started in California 1936 by a guy named Bob Wigan. He originally named his restaurant Bob’s Pantry but patrons of the restaurant at the time was referring the eatery as Bob’s or Bob’s Drive In’s, and then Bob’s Big Boy. The phrase was more commonly used due to the menu item the Big Boy Hamburger:

Two pieces of meat with cheese on a sesame seed bun

This burger is where the mascot came alive. At the time a little boy named Richard Woodruff (1932-1986):

Richard Woodruff as a young man

Was entering the main Bob’s Big boy Restaurant while Bob Wian was struggling to name his new burger he made. He saw Richard and greeted him with “Hello Big Boy.” And Bob liked the phrase so much that he decided to use it. He then went to an artist called Ben Washam. Who worked on the Warner Bro’s animation. He animated a lot of Bugs Bunny:

And made the cartoon version of Richard Woodruff and this was the end result:

Ben Washam version Bob’s Big Boy (source: animation resources.org)

In 1951 Bob Wain decided that that mascot needed a refreshed look so he hired Manfred Bernhard. Manfred did not like Ben Washam depiction of Bob’s Big Boy. Saying that this version looked dump and unkept. So Manfred Bernhard came up with the “West Coast Big Boy”:

In 1951 one of the east coast’s franchisee Dave Frisch made some alterations to the West coast version. He made the mascot trimmer, wear a hat, had a mixture of brown and red hair and wear saddle shoes. Also he made the permanent stance of the mascot be in a running position. Dave Frisch then copyrighted his version of the Bob’s big Boy mascot so he can made items from the image. Such as statues, and comic books:

Although the west coast and east coast versions have both been used through the legacy of the restaurant. It really depends on the location of the restaurant which mascot is used. For example maybe the west coast location won’t have the mascot holding the burger. And so on and so on.

Personally I like all of the versions of the Bob’s Big Boy mascot. Do you have a favorite version? Comment below to share:

Until next time!!

Source: Wikipedia

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