Thanks, Modern Farmer! I was curious about the history of the rubber chicken, specifically the unabridged biography of one of the most famous artificial hens to ever come off a factory line in China: Camilla Corona. She's the mascot of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, and she's been to space multiple times. But that's for science, this is for humor.
So why did the rubber chicken become the world's most random punchline, the icon of all that is absurd? What else were court jesters supposed to do, bring their own props? It's suspected that the relative abundance of dead chickens in medieval times (different from at Medieval Times) may have contributed to their use as a humorous thing to be flung, sat upon or puppeteered. Thinking about it in context, yeah, I'd chuckle regally at that. And it took off! Many comedians of olden times, from early burlesque performers to classic slapstick, employed the "hit 'em with a chicken" technique, which became less inherently gross with the advent of synthetic manufacturing materials and the invention, clearly due to popular demand, of the rubber chicken.
Read the full history, then purchase one to proudly employ in your barbershop routine. It's a good old-fashioned piece of Americana.
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