LETTERS  PCR #215      (May 3--9, 2004)

 The Answer To Who Created The Pillsbury Doughboy
 Mike's Tampa Venue Mystery Solved

Letters to the EditorWe welcome your feedback.

The following recent exchange is an example of why I love this job. --N

Marty Nodell did not create the Pillsbury Doughboy. (Re: Splash Page, PCR #193 from December 2003, evidently found through a search engine.---N) If you'll Google my name -- Rudy Perz -- you'll get the real story.

I was a creative director at Leo Burnett advertising agency and Marty was an artist in my group.

Marty has been selling Doughboy drawings on eBay, claiming to be the originator. He's wrong, two ways; first he's not the originator, and second, he's illegally selling a licensed trademark. Recently, the General Mills (they own Pillsbury) lawyers have notified eBay.

I'm open to answer questions.

Rudy Perz
P.S. I have talked to Marty on the phone and have written him a letter telling him to cut the crap.

Mr. Perz,
Thank you very much for writing! It is an honor to hear from you and I appreciate your taking action to straighten out the confusion on who really created the Pillsbury Doughboy, definitely a Pop Culture icon.

I had to search my own site to see where we even mentioned that. I see it was written up by PCR writer Brandon Jones in a Splash Page segment from last December regarding the Tampa Comic Con attended by Nodell (apparently he was selling Doughboy drawings there, too). I did not attend that Con, but I remember his billing as "legendary creator of Green Lantern". I trust that is also not in dispute.

I took your advice and "Googled" your name. You are, no doubt, the creator of "Poppin' Fresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy". In defense of Mr. Nodell, perhaps if pressed for an answer he'd admit to your creating it, but maybe he helped design the actual figure? When you communicated to Marty via phone and email to "cut the crap", was he receptive to clarifying his role? I would be disappointed to learn he'd refuse to acknowledge you and still selling drawings on Ebay.

I will publish your letter in this week's Nolan's Pop Culture Review. Hopefully, Mart will see it, too.

Once again, thanks so much for writing.

Sincerely yours,
Nolan B. Canova
Nolan's Pop Culture Review
The World of Nolan

Mr. Canova:
I appreciate your letter. Short of starting a war, here are some more pieces of the puzzle:

A few years ago, I got a phone call from a Palm Beach or West Palm Beach editor who said he was doing a story on Marty Nodell creating the Pillsbury Doughboy. I told him Marty was an artist in my group and had nothing to do with the concept or design. He may have done some storyboards but so did other artists in the group. I gave the editor the facts -- I don't know if he ever did the story.

When I talked to Marty a few months ago, I asked him where he got the idea that he created the Doughboy. He said, as best as I can remember: "these things get started and they build." He never clarified or denied.

I'm a writer not an artist. After I thought of the concept of a "dough something" hopping out of a package of biscuits I sketched my thoughts which came up looking like Casper the Ghost. I discussed my sketch and concept with Milt Schaffer, a Leo Burnett animation expert and he came up with the design of the Doughboy which is still being used.

When I mentioned Milt Schaffer to Marty he said he didn't remember him.

When I asked Marty what he's doing on eBay, selling drawings as the originator of the Pillsbury Doughboy, he dismissed knowing anything about it.

Thanks for your interest.

Rudy Perz.


About that bar/club on the "Dale Mabry side" of Britton Plaza Mike Smith's asking about (Re: Mike's Rant PCR #214 ---N). I think that he is thinking of the building that used to be where Walgreens is now standing. It had several names, one was the "Desperado" (remember, there was that whole urban cowboy embarrassment going on). Then the last club/bar, before it was demolished, I can't remember the name, had a small air plane, that they had cabled to the front entrance, right over the doors, so that it looked like the plane crashed into the wall.

Count Poffula

Yes, that's it! I remember the small airplane, but don't remember if the club was renamed LEVEL III LOUNGE yet. William Moriaty and Rick Sousa also remembered "Big Daddy's" which was the name Mike Smith was trying to summon. I was thinking of the Twin Bays Mall when Mike referenced "The Dale Mabry side." Big Daddy's/Level 3/Desperado is on the Euclid Ave. side. --Nolan

I believe you are correct when you say that Tapper Pub is the be all-end all of bar existence at Britton Plaza (Re: My reply to Mike in Mike's Rant PCR #214 ---N). Also correct in stating they never had live music. Don't recall there ever being another place to go at that mall, and if there was, I'm almost positive I would have checked it out.

I have to believe that Mike is thinking of Twin Bays plaza, which had a couple different bars throughout the years, most prominently a wonderful little pub (where I solo'd for a time) called Bootleggers. Of course, everyone remembers Squires Lounge, sometime home of that great, legendary rock group, Blade.

Matt [Drinnenberg]

Thank you for writing Matt, Mike's directions confused you, too. As answered above (and in the current Rant), we've learned he was thinking of Big Daddy's. HOWEVER, I am grateful to finally have, in writing the "name of the club [you] played at I can never remember": Bootleggers. The late, great Squires Lounge, next to Twin Bays as an adjunct onto the Woolco building has since been demolished (after becoming a gym as an adjunct onto the subsequent Phar-Mor building!). The whole property is now a Lowe's Home Improvement Center. ---Nolan

To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com.  Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan

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