Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Little Man in the Chair

Here's an old favorite - the ever popular "Man in the Chair" which has always accompanied the movie/theater reviews in the Sunday Datebook. This little guy was the creation of artist Warren Goodrich sometime back in 1942.

On the Little Man’s 50th birthday in 1992, Goodrich recalled it was just another assignment that he sketched quickly, noting, “I’m surprised (it) continued." Goodrich, who died in 2007, once recalled that a woman (possibly a disgruntled actress) once hit him on the head with her umbrella and said, “I hate the Little Man!”

Here is what famed movie critic Roger Ebert had to say about this Bay Area icon:

"...The only rating system that makes any sense is the Little Man of the San Franciscio Chronicle, who is seen (1) jumping out of his seat and applauding wildly; (2) sitting up happily and applauding; (3) sitting attentively; (4) asleep in his seat; or (5) gone from his seat….The blessing of the Little Man system is that it offers a true middle position, like three on a five-star scale..."

I don't know about now, but years ago, the Datebook was printed on pink paper(years after the Chronicle stopped printing the Sporting Green on green paper back in the very early 1980s, remember that?), dubbing it the "pink section". On Sunday mornings in my house, I was the first to mangle my dad's paper by grabbing two things: the pink section and the funnies.

Here's to 50 more years of that little man hoping that in this eceonmy, he can still afford to go to the movies!

Thanks to and for pics and info.

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