Let There be Pop Culture Statues


So, you’ve probably seen it already, but a Kickstarter did it: they made a Robocop statue for Detroit. Not New Detroit, not movie Detroit, but real Detroit. On one hand, I love this. On the other hand, this is unbelievably stupid. But I guess these aren’t mutually exclusive ideas. A Robocop statue can be stupid and awesome.

While Robocop may be the weirdest pop culture statue ever commissioned (and I’m going to lean very heavy on the may… let the posting of weirder statues begin!), it’s hardly the first. There’s a Rocky Balboa statue in Philadelphia. There’s a Fonzie statue in Milwaukee. There’s the Superman statue in Metropolis, IL. There’s the Ralph Kramden statue in New York. There’s the giant Marilyn Monroe statue (weirder) now in Palm Springs, was in Chicago, and makes sense in neither. There’s even the life-size Gundam in Japan (definitely weirder than Robocop). All strange and all wonderful. How are these statues really any different from the Classics or the Bible?

Robocop is just the first though. This has changed everything, and I think we can do better? If we dream hard enough, and enough of our weird little friends are willing to cough up enough bucks, we can make any stupid statue happen. Let's see how deep this rabbit hole goes.

Pop Cultural Statues We Need

Bill & Ted Statues - San Dimas, CA

bill and ted

How is there not a Bill and Ted statue in San Dimas already? Who is there possibly better to honor in San Dimas? Ranchers Ygnacio Palomares and Ricardo Vejar (somewhere two San Dimas historians are high fiving right now)? Screw them. The San Dimas Wikipedia page mentions Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure twice, they got nothing else going on.

Follow up:

Phil Connors Statue (Groundhog Day) - Punxsutawney, PA

Yep, you had to know I was going to go there. Bill Murray has become bigger than the groundhog in Punxsutawney. Interesting fact: a lot of people who visit the actual Gobbler’s Knob on Groundhog Day are always disappointed because it looks nothing like the movie because the movie was shot in Woodstock, IL (which I visited). Woodstock, IL, also, does not have a Bill Murray statue, but they do have a plaque of where he stepped in the puddle. It’s a start.

Matt Wilson Statue (Encino Man) - Encino, CA

encino man

Encino needs an Encino Man statue, that’s a given. The natural impulse is to do a Brendan Fraser statue, but then you have a Brendan Fraser statue. And you might have to include a Pauly Shore statue with that. And as “tasty” as that statue might be, it may cross the line of good taste.

Instead, I purpose installing 5000 statues of Matt Wilson, “jock” and boyfriend of Robyn Sweeney. This way there’s one Matt Wilson bust for every 10 people in Encino. The statues will then be strategically placed all around the city so he’s always partially obstructing your view no matter where you are. This way you know that Encino is Matt Wilson’s property.

Axel Foley Statue (Beverly Hills Cops) & Phyllis Nefler Statue (Troop Beverly Hills) - Beverly Hills, CA

beverly hills

Combining these two characters creates a landmark in California that has something for everyone. When I think of Beverly Hills, I think of sticking bananas in tailpipes and keyboard synthesizer music. But that’s me. Mrs. Gnards thinks about Shelley Long and rich girls camping and dressing totally 80’s. I don't think there's a female I know who doesn’t light up when you mention the film Troop Beverly Hills. I don’t know why really, but I am partial to Jenny Lewis myself.

Cousin Larry & Balki Bartokomous Statues (Perfect Strangers) - Chicago, IL

Perfect Strangers

Chicago has a Blues Brothers statue on every street corner. As someone who lives in Chicago, the time has come to make a Perfect Strangers statue. Perfect Strangers got me through a lot of rough Friday nights. And because of this show I came to Chicago with nothing but a box that said “America or - Burst” and a dream of making it big in the city. And look at me now! I have a job that pays a moderate amount of money, and I have a blog that gets a moderate of pageviews. I’m living the dream, Balki!

Other notable statues:

Crocodile Dundee Statue in Los Angeles - Statues in New York or Australia make more sense, but there was an actual movie called Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles.

Walter White Statue in Albuquerque - What better why to celebrate Albuquerque’s actual crippling meth problem than a Breaking Bad statue? I came very close to making this image, but I couldn’t find a single Albuquerque landmark to put a fake statue in front of. To which one of you might say, “What about the Albuquerque Space Needle or the Albuquerque Dome or the Birth Place of Albert Querque?” To which I say, “No.”

Michael Scott Statue in Scranton - The reason I didn’t make this one is because I have a feeling this statue actually might happen. If it’s not in the works now, it soon will be.

To the Kickstarter!

  • tem2
    Comment from: tem2
    05/22/13 @ 09:21:52 am

    There's a fairly recently installed "Elizabeth Montgomery from Bewitched" statue in Salem, MA - where they filmed on location for a month or so. The rest of the series took place in Santa Monica, when the Dick York and Dick Sargent statues will have to go.

  • Bethaney
    Comment from: Bethaney
    05/22/13 @ 10:24:57 am

    I'm impressed this went through Kickstarter when some projects don't meet funding. Give the people what they want, I guess!

  • neverAcquiesce
    Comment from: neverAcquiesce
    05/22/13 @ 02:55:08 pm

    My parents live near a small town that the creator of Popeye was from and there are statues EVERYWHERE of EVERY CHARACTER from that strip, and they add a new one every year.

  • Smatsy
    Comment from: Smatsy
    05/22/13 @ 04:27:55 pm


  • timothyemerson
    Comment from: timothyemerson
    05/22/13 @ 09:22:54 pm

    Chicago should get a John Hughes statue.

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