Big Boy to Replace 84-Year-Old Mascot With Girl

Big Boy, the checkered overall wearing, hamburger-holding mascot who has been an iconic element of the Big Boy Restaurant chain since its opening nearly 84 years ago is being replaced, at least for now The restaurant chain announced recently that a female character named Dolly will be taking over mascot duties for the chain as part of the promotion of a new menu item.

Late last month, Big Boy teased the Dolly taking over mascot duties with a post on Instagram featuring the blonde-haired character wearing a navy dress and red shirt and holding up her own sandwich -- though hers isn't a burger. Instead, Dolly is holding up Big Boy's new menu item: a chicken sandwich fittingly named "The Dolly Chicken Sandwich".

Now, before you think that Big Boy is being replaced by a brand-new character, it is important to note that Dolly has actually been part of the Big Boy story for a long time. Dolly first appeared in the Adventures of the Big Boy comic books in the 1950s and has been featured on Big Boy kids’ menus and coloring pages as well. The chain's website notes that Dolly has "always been Big Boy's side-kick" and that "now it's Dolly's time to shine."

"Big Boy has always had his own burger," Big Boy's director of training Frank Alessandrini told Today. "We're excited that Dolly, after so long, got her own sandwich."

As for that sandwich, The Dolly Chicken Sandwich was officially launched on July 6th and appears to be Big Boy's entry into the enduring chicken sandwich wars. The Dolly Chicken Sandwich features a crispy chicken fillet on brioche bun with pickles and signature Big Boy tartar sauce. It's set to be the first in a series of new menu items, though Alessandrini didn't reveal any details on what those items may be.

What is clear, however, is that Dolly isn't permanently replacing Big Boy. At this time there are no plans for actual statues of Dolly to stand outside of Big Boy restaurants. Alessandrini made it clear that Big Boy isn't gone, and that Dolly's moment has been in the works for some time.

"It's not political," he said. "We're just promoting a new chicken sandwich with a character we've always had. But Big Boy has not gone anywhere, his statue is still in front of all our restaurants and will remain there."

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Photo: Patricia Marroquin / Getty Images

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