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Rare Photo of Life-Size Vintage Charlie the Tuna

A life-size Charlie the Tuna at an unidentified amusement or theme park, possibly in California.

A life-size vintage Charlie the Tuna at an unidentified amusement or theme park, possibly in California.

Today’s Daily Gen X photo is a vintage Charlie the Tuna of Sorry-Charlie fame! I am able to share it thanks to the generous spirit of Shannon Kringen, a Gen-X artist who was born in 1968. I appreciate Shannon allowing me to bring this wonderful photo to a larger audience via the blog and social networks. It is truly a rare find. In all my years of searching for and collecting images of Gen-Xers I have never seen a life-size Charlie the Tuna! I forgot to ask Shannon where the photo was taken and I didn’t want to bug her again. lol. Does anyone have a guess as to the location? There is a sign in the background but I can’t make it out. I’m guessing Sea World or some other ocean-type theme park in Southern California.

About Charlie the Tuna

Charlie the Tuna is the spokes-tuna (lol) and mascot of the StarKist brand. He was created in 1961 by Tom Rogers, Leo Burnett Agency, Chicago, and would become one of the most recognized characters in American advertising. Generation X was the first generation of kids to fall in love with him!

Check out this great video about the “Sorry, Charlie” catchphrase, which entered the American lexicon in 1962.

Were you a fan of Charlie the Tuna or did you grow up in a Chicken-of-the-Sea household? I grew up in a household that was loyal to whatever was on sale.

Thank you for your continued interest in the Daily Photo. Be sure to join the conversation about this particular photo on Facebook. Tell ’em, Charlie sent you.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Sharon

    After some sleuthing, I figured out where the posted Charlie the Tuna photo was taken. The logo in the upper right hand corner is from a now-defunct restaurant, Atlantis, that was located within Southern CA Sea World. Why would I take the time to do this, you ask? I also have a photo of the same Charlie the Tuna taken when my grown sons were young children. I’m scanning, restoring and uploading their childhood photos to a shared cloud folder and I like to comment on the photos. This was fun! Thanks.


    • Jennifer X

      Thank you, Sharon! I’m glad to know!

  2. David Doyle

    I’m wondering if maybe this photo was taken at Marineland in Rancho Palos Verdes California? Marineland was bought by Hannah-Barbera in the 1970’s and featured their famous cartoon characters. Although Charlie the Tuna was produced by DePatie-Freleng I’m wondering if they allowed sponsors to promote their characters.
    You can see vintage photos from the 70’s-80’s of Marineland here:

    • Jennifer

      Thank you, David. I appreciate the information and also that link. I love vintage photos! I need to reach out to Shannon and ask her to confirm the location. (I hate bugging people. lol.)


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