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NBA – 1984 – Special – San Diego Chicken Does Timeout Dance With A Young Michael Jackson To Thriller


The San Diego Chicken….also known as The Famous Chicken…..the KGB Chicken….or just The Chicken….is a sports mascot played by Ted Giannoulas….who was hired in 1974 to wear the first chicken suit…..when at the time he was a 20-year-old journalism major at San Diego State University.  The Chicken’s first appearance was a KGB promotion to distribute Easter eggs to children at the San Diego Zoo.  After his first appearance, Giannoulas, a lifetime baseball fan, approached the San Diego Padres front office….“I’ll bet I could get into games free in this get up” he thought….and was allowed to wander throughout the stands at Padres games….when if someone said “lay one on me”….The Chicken would “lay” an egg containing a prize via his leggings. He soon took to the field and, he recalled, “discovered a side of my personality I did not know existed, almost a Jekyll and Hyde thing.”….cuz once on the field, he demonstrated a remarkable ability to mime….joke with players and umpires….and connect with fans. Padres’ attendance, which had been the lowest in the league, doubled that summer.  

The Chicken, whose antics entertained steadily larger crowds….began to add appearances at concerts and sporting events…. while continuing to perform at more than 520 San Diego Padres games in a row. The Chicken also appeared at many San Diego Clippers basketball games before the team moved to Los Angeles…..as seen in this video herewith.  San Diego sports reporter Jack Murphy described him as an “embryonic Charlie Chaplin in chicken feathers”.

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