Fonz, Wisconsin!

My friend Thingy informs me of a disturbing phenomenon.  Apparently, there is a chilling statue of the television character “the Fonz” in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I mean, everybody has their own tastes, but personally I think it’s bizarre-looking.  The eyes are especially unnerving.

Wikipedia says there are also statues of Mary Tyler Moore throwing her hat in the air and Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden in Minneapolis and New York, respectively. I am not a huge fan of statues in general, but at least statues of historical figures who actually did real, important things make some sense.    But fictional characters?  From comedies?  Seems weird to me.

Maybe it’s the same reason it looks so strange to me to begin with. Statues are better suited to looking solemn, because that fits better with being unmoving.  Something that appears to be grinning manically and yet does not move seems unnatural and sinister. (The Mary Tyler Moore statue is also kind of odd looking to me, although less so because it appears not to be multicolored.)

I don’t blame the sculptors for how these look; it seems like they did as well as anyone could have. It’s just an impossible task.  What interests me more is why you would want statues of fictional comedic characters in your city.  Maybe I’m too old-fashioned, but it seems kind of like saying “we didn’t have any real famous people, so it was necessary to invent some.”


  1. The bottom half of MTM isn’t bad, but the faces…. Just don’t work in bronze. Fonzie has been vandalized several times, but they keep cleaning it up. Maybe they will rub into something half decent, eventually.

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