Chickenman: He's Everywhere, He's Everywhere...Except On the Big Screen

Yahoo Contributor Network

If you were around during the 1960s and 1970s and you spent any time listening to the radio, the decades that have passed may have fogged your memory to a certain degree, but if you dig down deep enough, I will wager that the following makes sense to you.

"Chicken-mannnnnn, he's everywhere, he's everywhere!"

Funny how some pop culture moments in time that seem sure to remain with you transform into frozen images left behind as part of the evolution of maturing consciousness. Chickenman may well have been the last of a dying breed: the radio series that spoke to a generation yet never managed to achieve transmission beyond the subject of audio reception. You would think that the popularity of Chickenman as one of the first icons of the move toward irony as defining emotional tone of entertainment in America would have expanded to embrace TV, movies, comic books and the rest.

And yet its legacy still remains committed, almost quaintly, to the radio. And to a nostalgic memory that varies depending upon individual recall. I personally had forgotten all about Chickenman until I chanced across it while doing research. One I heard that familiar opening theme song, however, childhood memories flooded back. Little did I know that Chickenman is not dependent upon nostalgia at all.

The Paley Center for Media, which is what the formerly perfectly straightforward and unconfusingly named Museum of Television and Radio has in explicably been changed to, found Chickenman worthy enough to acquire all its recordings as part of their permanent archive. Chickenman is like the "Gilligan's Island" of radio shows of its time: syndication has ensured that it endures to such an extent that it has rarely ever been off the air.

Which still doesn't explain the gaping hole of a lack of a Chickenman. The retrofitting of pop cultural institutions on the big screen is proof enough that everything old is new again. Studio executives who fed their brains with the pop culture mythology of TV shows, comic books and movies of the 1960s and 1970s have dug deep into their own nostalgic memories to live the dream of us all: bringing back from the dead that which shaped our identity.

Chickenman the movie is just sitting there waiting. His presence as an living artifact of his time is an accurate reflection of his theme song: He's everywhere, he's everywhere. Except in the multiplex.

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