Americans are just as likely to bronze Mickey Mouse as Mark Twain, so, to say the least, we’re curious about TV and movies. So curious that a young cartographer made this map.
After seeing that, my brain ran with it and couldn’t stop asking questions. Are people interested in traveling long distances to see the homes and shrines of their favorite fictional characters? Or do you think they’re more likely to bump into these things while traveling for other reasons, oo, ah, take a picture, and move on?
A business banking on nostalgia, TV Land has put up six different bronze picture-magnets, tributes to the pop culture TV Land runs 24-7 on varying channels (check your local listings):
Mary Tyler Moore statue
Where: Nicollet Mall and 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN
The sassy, independent woman does her iconic hat toss from The Mary Tyler Moore Show opening credits, outside a mall.
The Fonzie statue
Where: Riverwalk, Wells St. Bridge, Milwaukee, WI
Fans came out to support the statue of Arthur Fonzarelli with signs proclaiming, “Bronze the Fonz.” Newspapers ran with this headline.
Bob Newhart statue
Where: Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand, Chicago, IL
The driest wit of any statue you ever met, it started outside where the series took place, 430 N. Michigan Ave. Then, Bob woke up at the entrance to Navy Pier. It had all been a sushi-induced dream.
Statue of Ralph Kramden from The Honeymooners
Where: Port Authority Bus Terminal, 8th Ave. and 41st St, New York, NY
Fittingly, the first sitcom is enshrined as the first of TV Land’s statues.
Statue of Samantha from Bewitched
Where: Lapin Park, Salem, MA
What’s better than learning about witches in the witch-burning capital of the world? A Bewitched statue!
Andy Griffith statue
Where: Pullen Park, Raleigh, NC
Close to my heart, my namesake shows his bronze son how to enjoy small town life in North Carolina.
Elvis Presley statue
Where: The Neal Blaisdell Center, Honolulu, HI
The King is not syndicated TV and is debatably fictional, plus most consider his one true shrine to be Graceland. But TV Land built him a statue anyway.
And those were just from one company website! What about:
The Rocky statue
Where: Philadelphia Museum of Art, 26th St & Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA
Run up the famous Museum of Art stair master, and you can feel triumphant next to an 8-ft. Rocky Balboa.
Riverside, Iowa, the Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk
Where: Riverside, Iowa, 15 miles south of Interstate 80
Why just stick to the past? And why stick to statues? The entire town is a shrine to the future suave starship commander, made apparent by the town’s motto, “Where the Trek Begins.” Check out the town’s Trek Fest June 26-27.
So we’ve got seven statues and one entire city, and I’m sure I barely scratched the surface. Ever do a pilgrimage to one of the above, or maybe to your own? Does anyone else have any other statues and famous pop culture shrines? Send them here. —Andy Dost