Everyone’s favorite, lovable Phillie Phanatic is the topic of a recent mini-documentary released by Sports Illustrated this week.
Sports Illustrated did an excellent feature video called “Phillie Phanatic: Pheel the Love” through its SI Now section. The video told of how the Phillie Phanatic came to be, going all the way back to Bill Giles hiring the great Jim Henson.
SI brought Bill Giles, Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa, the men behind the green mask, and the Phanatic’s creator/mother (?) Bonnie Erickson.
The original Phanatic cost $3,900 without the copyright to the character. With the copyright it would be $5,200. Bill Giles decided to be cheap (somewhat shocking) and opted to let the Henson Company keep the copyright to the Phanatic.
A few years later, he paid $500,000 for the copyright.
I knew of Phil and Phyllis, and that the Phanatic came out of the “Henson Creature Shop,” but the majority of it I’d never heard of.
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One of the things that I never knew was the origin of the Phanatic’s “snout.” The idea that it represents a megaphone used by cheerleaders makes perfect sense.
Also, how the Phanatic’s character evolved through David Raymond having to learn a form of sign language to communicate with his deaf mother was sad, but touching.
The original Phanatic merchandise/give-aways were also neat to see. I’m a sucker for that kind of history, or as most people describe, junk.
The Phanatic also made an appearance on SportsCenter and relived some of his great moments.
Like many people I’ve seen the Phanatic’s “car” on the highway driving out to Lehigh Valley or to a birthday party. I’ve seen him at a turnpike rest stop probably heading out to Reading.
Great job by Sports Illustrated getting this mini-documentary on the best mascot on the planet!