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This Beloved U.S. Restaurant Chain Just Replaced Its Famous Mascot

The smiley boy is taking a step down.

Big Boy is saying goodbye to its longstanding and iconic mascot—the peppy boy with checkered overalls and hair that's exaggeratedly quaffed—and hello to Dolly.

The restaurant chain, which has over 70 U.S. locations with most residing in Michigan, has had the same mascot since its debut in the 1930s. Although the name of the American comfort food chain, Big Boy, will remain the same, the mascot will change to a little girl named Dolly. It's not that the original male mascot was criticized or canceled by society; instead, the change is spearheaded by the release of a brand new menu item.

"We are rolling out a brand-new chicken sandwich. We're calling it the best cluckin' chicken sandwich around and Dolly, who has been with Big Boy since the 1950[s] as far as we can go back with our comic books," Big Boy Director of Training Frank Alessandrini said to Michigan's WOOD-TV. "We decided that she's going to be the star of this sandwich as Big Boy was the star of his double-decker sandwich." (Related: We Tried 6 Fast-Food Chicken Sandwiches and This Is the Best).

Dolly, who sports a purple dress with a pink undershirt and blonde hair that's pulled up in a ponytail, has been featured in the Adventures of the Big Boy comic book series, as well as on the kids' menu as Big Boy's sidekick, for almost 70 years now.

Again, management disclosed that the shift in mascots was not prompted by other food brands changing the name and image of their products that were built on offensive roots (think: Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben). The change is largely promotional, which begs the question, is it permanent? 

"It is Dolly's time to shine now with our chicken sandwich. So, she's taken the forefront right now. She's in charge," Alessandrini told WOOD-TV. "The name will always be Big Boy but as far as the logo, she's leading the charge and we'll see when he comes back if he does."

For more, check out these 52 Life-Changing Kitchen Hacks That Will Make You Enjoy Cooking Again.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more