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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Tony's Pizza Man — Mystery Solved?

Posted By on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 10:55 AM

Is this fellow Tony?
  • Is this fellow Tony?
Precisely one year ago, I posted this photograph of an odd-looking fiberglass statue I had discovered at a Midtown estate sale. Who was this vaguely scary-looking creature, I wondered, and where did he (or it) come from?

Several readers thought it was a promotion for a pizza parlor in Memphis, and suggested Pasquale's, Shakey's, Coletta's, and others. I didn't think that was right.

Then other readers — among them peterwertz, bp1952, and pwgriffith (hmmm, something tells me that is NOT their real names) — thought it came from the old Tony's Pizza on Central, a building now occupied by Central Barbecue.

I wasn't able to prove, or disprove, their theories. Until now. Looking through some old newspapers yesterday, as I seem to do Monday through Friday, and most Saturdays and Sundays, I noticed a 1968 ad for Tony's Pizza, shown below. You'll have to click on it to enlarge it, but I think you'll agree that there is a definite resemblance. The fiberglass guy wears eyeglasses, while the Tony's guy doesn't, but the chef's hat and the moustache are pretty similar, and the real giveaway, if you ask me, are the checkered pants.

So, I think the little fellow came from Tony's. What do YOU think?

Tonys Pizza ad from 1968
  • Tony's Pizza ad from 1968

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