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    So, it turns out that Louisville’s own bespectacled colonel—who happened to rock a pretty legit clip-on black bow tie—is famous internationally for more than just his eleven secret spices. Colonel Sanders has been part of LA art installations, dressed up in maid’s clothing, featured on Comedy Central’s raunchiest animated series, and tossed into the Dōtonbori River. Enjoy these and other “finger lickin’ good” anecdotes featuring the Colonel as more respectful way to honor the KFC founder’s legacy than having a fried chicken picnic on his grave.

    The Curse of The Colonel

    Colonel Sanders is a vengeful colonel—especially when you toss an image made in his likeness into a river.

    The Curse of the Colonel (Kāneru Sandāsu no Noroi) is a Japanese urban legend regarding a reputed curse placed on the Japanese Kansai-based Hanshin Tigers baseball team by the deceased KFC founder.

    Following a 1985 Japan Championship Series victory by the Tigers, they decided to celebrate in an elaborate fashion. Rather than simply burn a couch like UK fans, they pitched a life-size statue of Colonel Sanders into the Dōtonbori River, leading to a subsequent 18-year losing streak.

    The Colonel was finally discovered in the River on March 10, 2009. Divers who recovered the statue at first thought it was only a large barrel, and shortly after a human corpse, but Hanshin fans on the scene were quick to identify it as the upper body of the long-lost Colonel. The right hand and lower body were found next day, but the statue is still missing its glasses and left hand.

    It is said that the only way the curse can be lifted is by returning his long lost glasses and left hand.

    The statue was later recovered (with replacement of new glasses and hand) and returned to the KFC Japan. As the KFC branch that the statue originally belongs to no longer existed, the statue was now placed in the branch near Koshien Stadium.

    “Medicinal Fried Chicken”

    "Medicinal Fried Chicken" is the third episode of the fourteenth season of the American animated television series South Park.

    It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on March 31, 2010. In the episode, the South Park KFC is replaced by a medicinal marijuana dispensary, and  the ever-industrious Cartman gets involved in black market selling the KFC chicken, and eventually has to go to Corbin, Kentucky for more chicken—the home of  the infamous Colonel Sanders himself. 

    Let’s Play Dress Up

    Outside almost every one of Japan’s KFC’s is a life-size statue of Colonel Sanders. Obviously, store owners and workers feel it appropriate to cloak him in a variety of seasonal costumes:

    Mike Kelley at the Gagosian Gallery

    According to L.A. Times art-critic, the late Mike Kelley’s 2007 collection “mashed up classically revered ancient tales with childhood pop-culture trash... a life-size mannequin of Col. Sanders pulls back a drape to reveal a vitrine in which a tiny figure of Freud, psychoanalyst of childhood trauma complete with phallic cigar, has just stepped off a stage painted in swirling, psychedelic colors.”

    Who Wore it Better?

    Mischa Barton took a style note from the most stylish man in Louisville.

    LEGO My Fried Chicken

    Photography courtesy of Shutterstock, Comedy Central, Wiki Commons, and The L.A. Times.

    Ashlie Danielle Stevens's picture

    About Ashlie Danielle Stevens

    I am a freelance food, arts and culture writer. Among other publications, my work has appeared at The Atlantic’s CityLab, Eater, Slate, Salon, The Guardian, Hyperallergic and National Geographic’s food blog, The Plate.

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