99% Invisible: 151- La Mascotte
February 9, 2015 11:20 AM - Subscribe

The idea of the mascot came to America by way of a popular French opera from the 1880s called La Mascotte.

It's worth a visit to the show notes page for this episode to see Tommy Lasorda fume over Bonnie Erickson creations, the Phillie Phanatic and Youppi, and to see the "most Montreal cupcake ever."
posted by gladly (4 comments total)
I'm a Phillies fan and grew up having Phanatic merchandise around the house. I knew a bit about his origins, but never that he had a Henson/Muppet pedigree. I did know that the Phillies VP, Bill Giles, paid only for the Phanatic costume when Erickson created it and decided not to buy ownership of the character design. A few years later, he ended up paying $250,000 for the rights to the design -- a figure that might have hurt at the time, but that the Phillies must have made back several times over.

In the spirit of equal time, Tommy Lasorda's account of his Phanatic Pheud.
posted by gladly at 11:32 AM on February 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

Of *course* mascots have a Henson/Muppet origin. Makes so much sens!
posted by radioamy at 12:32 PM on February 9, 2015

The rules for designing a mascot from the muppet/Henson workshop were fantastic, and now pretty much every mascot I've seen makes sense. I really loved this episode for having the two-pronged story, half about the Expos mascot, the other half about the history of mascots in general and the Phanatic.
posted by mathowie at 9:29 PM on February 9, 2015

"duck butt"
"duck butt"
"duck butt"
posted by psoas at 10:29 AM on February 10, 2015

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