Traditional recipes

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Popeyes

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Popeyes

Who doesn’t love that chicken from Popeyes?

There’s no shortage of fast food fried chicken out there, but in most people’s minds, only two are in the big leagues: Kentucky Fried Chicken and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. While KFC has turned its Southern-style chicken into a huge success, Popeyes made a name for itself by being more specific in its Southernness: namely, Louisiana. It’s hard to argue with traditional Cajun dishes and flavorings, and it’s equally hard to argue that Popeyes’ spins on spicy fried chicken, po’ boys, red beans and rice, and jambalaya aren’t a welcome reprieve from the usual ho-hum fast food offerings. But we bet that there’s a lot about Popeyes that you don’t know!

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Popeyes

There’s no shortage of fast food fried chicken out there, but in most people’s minds, only two are in the big leagues: Kentucky Fried Chicken and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. But we bet that there’s a lot about Popeyes that you don’t know!

It Was Originally Named Chicken on the Run

Paul McKinnon / Shutterstock

When Al Copeland first opened his fried chicken restaurant, the name wasn’t Popeyes; it was Chicken on the Run. The name wasn’t changed until a few months later.

The Name ‘Popeyes’ Wasn’t Inspired by the Cartoon Character

ID 87703155 © Guillohmz | Dreamstime.com

While the chain may have been associated with Popeye the Sailor Man for decades, Copeland claimed that the name was inspired by a slightly less famous Popeye: Jimmy “Popeye” Doyle, the role famously played by Gene Hackman in the film The French Connection, which was released one year before the restaurant opened.

Switching to Spicy Fried Chicken Saved It From Closing

The first few months were pretty tough for Copeland and Chicken on the Run, but its fortunes turned around once Copeland started offering a second chicken option: the chain’s now-signature spicy Cajun chicken. He closed and reopened with the new chicken and the new name, and the rest is history.

Founder Al Copeland Was a New Orleans Legend

ID 54793280 © Pierre Jean Durieu | Dreamstime.com

Al Copeland was a real character. Born in 1944, he struck it rich with the success of Popeyes and began really living it up, the New Orleans way. He ran power boat racing teams, held elaborate and expensive weddings (he was married four times), was a tabloid fixture, and every year he’d have his Metairie mansion decorated with the city’s most elaborate Christmas display. He passed away after a battle with cancer in 2008, at age 64.

Copeland Also Owned One of America’s Best Comedy Clubs

Copeland didn’t just own Popeyes; he also founded the restaurant chain Copeland’s (which has 20 locations in five Southern states), Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro (four locations in Georgia and Louisiana), a handful of other restaurants, and three hotels. He also owned The Improv, a legendary comedy club, with locations throughout the country.

The Company Filed for Bankruptcy in 1991

Copeland’s company was in default on $391 million in debts by 1991 after a period of over-expansion, and in October 1992 the company emerged from bankruptcy as America’s Favorite Chicken Company, the parent company of Popeyes and Church’s Fried Chicken, which the company also owned at the time.

The Famous Jingle Was Penned by Dr. John

Rick Diamond/ Getty Images/ Getty Images Entertainment

You know the song: “Love that chicken from Popeyes!” Did you know that legendary New Orleans musician Dr. John wrote it? He even sang the song himself in some early commercials!

The Sassy Spokeswoman’s Name Is Annie the Chicken Queen

ID 143001870 © Jerome Cid | Dreamstime.com

If you’ve seen any Popeyes commercials lately, you probably spotted the chain’s spokeswoman, dubbed Annie the Chicken Queen and played by actress Deidrie Henry. Introduced in 2008 as part of an overall rebranding effort to associate the chain with New Orleans once again (it was also around this time that the company’s name was changed from Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits to Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen), she sparked a big surge in sales, but some feel that that the character is a racist and stereotypical depiction of a "mammy."

There Are Locations on Military Installations Worldwide

If you find yourself on a military installation in Germany, France, Japan, and some other countries, you just might be lucky enough to have a Popeyes at your disposal.

Some Locations Sell Livers and Gizzards

In certain markets, you can find fried chicken livers and fried gizzards on the menu. Be careful if you decide to order the livers, though: It’s the unhealthiest menu item the chain offers, with 1,190 calories, 80 grams of fat, and a whopping 765 milligrams of cholesterol.

You Can Find Tons of Coupons on the Popeyes Website

ID 97451570 © Jimmytst | Dreamstime.com

Looking for Popeyes coupons? You can find plenty on its website, searchable by location. Nearly every location is offering a deal of some sort!


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Popeyes

When you come from NOLA, crazy backstories are kind of par for the course. But even the city’s fast-food joints have histories that make BW3's figure skating background look commonplace. The Popeyes tale rests on Al Copeland, a larger-than-life chicken mogul known for his (literal) showboating, lavish weddings, and public fights with vampire ladies. Seriously. We also threw in a few stories about the chicken chain's trademark jingle and famous fans, but you're going to want to read that whole Copeland saga below in order to fully appreciate the wonders of Popeyes chicken. We can only imagine the shenanigans he's getting into with JFK and Howard Hughes in the sky as we speak.

1. The chain is named for Gene Hackman, not the sailor

Everyone assumes Popeyes is named for the cartoon character, but the honor actually goes to a fictional ’70s detective. Founder Al Copeland named his place for Gene Hackman’s character from The French Connection, Popeye Doyle, basically because he liked the dude’s style. And considering Doyle provided the blueprint for every modern car chase scene, we can’t argue.

Credit: Andy Kryza/Thrillist

2. The founder got his start in donuts

Copeland entered the food biz at the tender age of 18, when he opened a Tastee Donut franchise. He had to sell his car for the start-up capital, but he was able to turn the place into a profitable shop — which is pretty impressive, considering he didn’t even finish high school. Copeland stuck with Tastee Donut for several years, until he noticed the KFC next door was crushing it and ditched fried dough for fried chicken.

3. Copeland lived large

Once he was making money off Popeyes, Copeland leaned hard into the playboy lifestyle. He was known for racing powerboats and cruising around New Orleans in Rolls-Royces. He had four insanely lavish weddings — including one where he set off heart-shaped fireworks and commissioned the Popeyes helicopter to scatter rose petals. Also, the Times-Picayune apparently once referred to him as Louisiana’s “homegrown Liberace,” which leads us to believe he had an extensive collection of fur coats and candelabras to boot.

4. He also loved Christmas

Move over, Clark Griswold. If you’re looking for the undisputed king of Christmas displays, you gotta hand it to Al. The man put together insane displays with over half a million lights in his front yard for years — in fact, they caused so much traffic that his neighbors sued in 1983, so he staged the stuff offsite for several years, until a toned-down version returned to his estate in 1991. But Copeland channeled his holiday spirit in quieter ways as well. Every year, he underwrote gifts for 1,000 needy children. The presents were delivered on Christmas Eve signed by Santa, who’s starting to look a little miserly compared to this jolly millionaire.

5. But hated Anne Rice

You don’t get to Copeland’s position without making a few enemies, but Al’s most famous feud was pretty hilarious. Noted vampire novelist Anne Rice had it out with Copeland in 1997 over one of his non-Popeyes restaurants, Straya, which she thought was tacky. It seems she was especially pissed because she had her main vamp Lestat disappear into the building (back when it was a car dealership) in her book Memnoch the Devil, so she did what any normal person would do: took out full-page ads in the local newspaper bashing the place and updated her voicemail messages to nasty rants about Straya. Copeland took out a full-page ad in response, offering to treat her to dinner and help her “find” Lestat, but he wasn’t too pleased. He filed a defamation suit that was eventually thrown out by a civil district judge. Rice later moved to California and Straya shut down, but locals still haven’t stopped laughing over this bloodsucker beef.

6. They went through a lot of name changes

Copeland’s first chicken restaurant was called Chicken on the Run, because it was “so fast you get your chicken before you get your change.” But people weren’t into Copeland’s food, so he switched over to a Louisiana Cajun-style recipe and rebranded as Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken. Once that gained some traction, Copeland changed the name yet again to Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken. Eventually they were Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, before their latest rebranding turned them into Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. If you were wondering why they never picked up an apostrophe in all those name changes, Copeland always joked that he was “too poor” to afford one when he started out — and the tradition apparently stuck.

7. They got some big names to sing the jingle

Popeyes famously enlisted Dr. John to sing their “Love that chicken from Popeyes” slogan when it first debuted in the ’80s. But they also got Fats Domino and Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters to sing in commercials over the years — and then got all three acts to perform at the company’s 30th birthday party. Your own 30th birthday party has never seemed sadder.

8. Popeyes had to buy their own recipes back

Just last year, Popeyes made weird news items nationwide for buying their own recipes for $43 million. It turned out that Copeland’s family still owned the goods, even though Al relinquished control of the company in 1992, and had been charging the chain an annual royalties fee of $3.1 million. Now, Popeyes still has to pay the Copeland estate for spices, but at least they finally managed to acquire the world’s most expensive index cards.

9. Ellen DeGeneres and Aubrey Plaza were both commercial stars

Though they’re at polar ends of the cheer spectrum, Ellen and Aubrey have at least one thing in common: pre-fame Popeyes commercials. While Aubrey’s ad for butterfly shrimp aired in the aughts, Ellen’s is giving off strong ’80s vibes.

10. And they’ve got a slew of superfans

Baseball pros like Hank Aaron have proven their admiration by buying franchises. (Or, if you’re Adam Jones, with a Popeyes birthday cake.) UFC fighter Daniel Cormier’s so into that chicken, his opponents have taunted him with it and he featured it in a Meghan Trainor parody that he for some reason felt compelled to make. But their most famous fan is probably Beyonce. She talked about getting a free chicken for life card on Oprah back in 2003 and was even rumored to have had it at her wedding to Jay Z. This cupcake above is not from Popeyes, but we’re sure Beyonce’s got a combo stashed somewhere in the back.

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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Popeyes

When you come from NOLA, crazy backstories are kind of par for the course. But even the city’s fast-food joints have histories that make BW3's figure skating background look commonplace. The Popeyes tale rests on Al Copeland, a larger-than-life chicken mogul known for his (literal) showboating, lavish weddings, and public fights with vampire ladies. Seriously. We also threw in a few stories about the chicken chain's trademark jingle and famous fans, but you're going to want to read that whole Copeland saga below in order to fully appreciate the wonders of Popeyes chicken. We can only imagine the shenanigans he's getting into with JFK and Howard Hughes in the sky as we speak.

1. The chain is named for Gene Hackman, not the sailor

Everyone assumes Popeyes is named for the cartoon character, but the honor actually goes to a fictional ’70s detective. Founder Al Copeland named his place for Gene Hackman’s character from The French Connection, Popeye Doyle, basically because he liked the dude’s style. And considering Doyle provided the blueprint for every modern car chase scene, we can’t argue.

Credit: Andy Kryza/Thrillist

2. The founder got his start in donuts

Copeland entered the food biz at the tender age of 18, when he opened a Tastee Donut franchise. He had to sell his car for the start-up capital, but he was able to turn the place into a profitable shop — which is pretty impressive, considering he didn’t even finish high school. Copeland stuck with Tastee Donut for several years, until he noticed the KFC next door was crushing it and ditched fried dough for fried chicken.

3. Copeland lived large

Once he was making money off Popeyes, Copeland leaned hard into the playboy lifestyle. He was known for racing powerboats and cruising around New Orleans in Rolls-Royces. He had four insanely lavish weddings — including one where he set off heart-shaped fireworks and commissioned the Popeyes helicopter to scatter rose petals. Also, the Times-Picayune apparently once referred to him as Louisiana’s “homegrown Liberace,” which leads us to believe he had an extensive collection of fur coats and candelabras to boot.

4. He also loved Christmas

Move over, Clark Griswold. If you’re looking for the undisputed king of Christmas displays, you gotta hand it to Al. The man put together insane displays with over half a million lights in his front yard for years — in fact, they caused so much traffic that his neighbors sued in 1983, so he staged the stuff offsite for several years, until a toned-down version returned to his estate in 1991. But Copeland channeled his holiday spirit in quieter ways as well. Every year, he underwrote gifts for 1,000 needy children. The presents were delivered on Christmas Eve signed by Santa, who’s starting to look a little miserly compared to this jolly millionaire.

5. But hated Anne Rice

You don’t get to Copeland’s position without making a few enemies, but Al’s most famous feud was pretty hilarious. Noted vampire novelist Anne Rice had it out with Copeland in 1997 over one of his non-Popeyes restaurants, Straya, which she thought was tacky. It seems she was especially pissed because she had her main vamp Lestat disappear into the building (back when it was a car dealership) in her book Memnoch the Devil, so she did what any normal person would do: took out full-page ads in the local newspaper bashing the place and updated her voicemail messages to nasty rants about Straya. Copeland took out a full-page ad in response, offering to treat her to dinner and help her “find” Lestat, but he wasn’t too pleased. He filed a defamation suit that was eventually thrown out by a civil district judge. Rice later moved to California and Straya shut down, but locals still haven’t stopped laughing over this bloodsucker beef.

6. They went through a lot of name changes

Copeland’s first chicken restaurant was called Chicken on the Run, because it was “so fast you get your chicken before you get your change.” But people weren’t into Copeland’s food, so he switched over to a Louisiana Cajun-style recipe and rebranded as Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken. Once that gained some traction, Copeland changed the name yet again to Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken. Eventually they were Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, before their latest rebranding turned them into Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. If you were wondering why they never picked up an apostrophe in all those name changes, Copeland always joked that he was “too poor” to afford one when he started out — and the tradition apparently stuck.

7. They got some big names to sing the jingle

Popeyes famously enlisted Dr. John to sing their “Love that chicken from Popeyes” slogan when it first debuted in the ’80s. But they also got Fats Domino and Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters to sing in commercials over the years — and then got all three acts to perform at the company’s 30th birthday party. Your own 30th birthday party has never seemed sadder.

8. Popeyes had to buy their own recipes back

Just last year, Popeyes made weird news items nationwide for buying their own recipes for $43 million. It turned out that Copeland’s family still owned the goods, even though Al relinquished control of the company in 1992, and had been charging the chain an annual royalties fee of $3.1 million. Now, Popeyes still has to pay the Copeland estate for spices, but at least they finally managed to acquire the world’s most expensive index cards.

9. Ellen DeGeneres and Aubrey Plaza were both commercial stars

Though they’re at polar ends of the cheer spectrum, Ellen and Aubrey have at least one thing in common: pre-fame Popeyes commercials. While Aubrey’s ad for butterfly shrimp aired in the aughts, Ellen’s is giving off strong ’80s vibes.

10. And they’ve got a slew of superfans

Baseball pros like Hank Aaron have proven their admiration by buying franchises. (Or, if you’re Adam Jones, with a Popeyes birthday cake.) UFC fighter Daniel Cormier’s so into that chicken, his opponents have taunted him with it and he featured it in a Meghan Trainor parody that he for some reason felt compelled to make. But their most famous fan is probably Beyonce. She talked about getting a free chicken for life card on Oprah back in 2003 and was even rumored to have had it at her wedding to Jay Z. This cupcake above is not from Popeyes, but we’re sure Beyonce’s got a combo stashed somewhere in the back.

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“I’m a teacher but I serve God first and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion."

Elizabeth Hurley rocks low-cut dress for her ɿirst night out in 14 months'

The British actress enjoyed a well-deserved night on the town.

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By the time Schuyler Bailar got to high school, he was one of the nation’s top 20 15-year-old breast strokers. By 17, he set a national age-group record. His hard work paid off when he was accepted to join the Harvard swim team in 2013. Bailar had been accepted to the women’s swim team, but after realizing that he was transgender, he had to grapple with possibly losing the chance to compete in the sport he loved. “I’m an athlete, and if I transitioned I would lose the women’s team. But when it became more clear that I wanted to transition, that I was going to go through medical steps in my transition, that I wanted to go by he/him/his pronouns, my coach Steph was like ‘What about the men’s team?’” Ultimately, Bailar decided to take the leap. And after a gap year, became the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. Now 25, Bailar uses his social platforms to raise awareness about trans issues. Currently, more than 30 state legislatures have bills designed to ban trans girls and women from playing women’s athletics. Bailar believes these bills are harmful to the wellbeing of trans children. “I get goosebumps in a bad way, in a sad way and sort of teary when I think about it because a lot of trans kids don’t have the support from their parents, don’t have the support from their teachers, or their friends. So for the government to add on to that, ‘oh by the way, you also don’t belong in sports,' it’s a massive massive message to these kids that they don’t belong. Additionally, Bailar suggests going to his website to learn more about the 144 trans bills in the United States that target sports and access to healthcare.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Popeyes

When you come from NOLA, crazy backstories are kind of par for the course. But even the city’s fast-food joints have histories that make BW3's figure skating background look commonplace. The Popeyes tale rests on Al Copeland, a larger-than-life chicken mogul known for his (literal) showboating, lavish weddings, and public fights with vampire ladies. Seriously. We also threw in a few stories about the chicken chain's trademark jingle and famous fans, but you're going to want to read that whole Copeland saga below in order to fully appreciate the wonders of Popeyes chicken. We can only imagine the shenanigans he's getting into with JFK and Howard Hughes in the sky as we speak.

1. The chain is named for Gene Hackman, not the sailor

Everyone assumes Popeyes is named for the cartoon character, but the honor actually goes to a fictional ’70s detective. Founder Al Copeland named his place for Gene Hackman’s character from The French Connection, Popeye Doyle, basically because he liked the dude’s style. And considering Doyle provided the blueprint for every modern car chase scene, we can’t argue.

Credit: Andy Kryza/Thrillist

2. The founder got his start in donuts

Copeland entered the food biz at the tender age of 18, when he opened a Tastee Donut franchise. He had to sell his car for the start-up capital, but he was able to turn the place into a profitable shop — which is pretty impressive, considering he didn’t even finish high school. Copeland stuck with Tastee Donut for several years, until he noticed the KFC next door was crushing it and ditched fried dough for fried chicken.

3. Copeland lived large

Once he was making money off Popeyes, Copeland leaned hard into the playboy lifestyle. He was known for racing powerboats and cruising around New Orleans in Rolls-Royces. He had four insanely lavish weddings — including one where he set off heart-shaped fireworks and commissioned the Popeyes helicopter to scatter rose petals. Also, the Times-Picayune apparently once referred to him as Louisiana’s “homegrown Liberace,” which leads us to believe he had an extensive collection of fur coats and candelabras to boot.

4. He also loved Christmas

Move over, Clark Griswold. If you’re looking for the undisputed king of Christmas displays, you gotta hand it to Al. The man put together insane displays with over half a million lights in his front yard for years — in fact, they caused so much traffic that his neighbors sued in 1983, so he staged the stuff offsite for several years, until a toned-down version returned to his estate in 1991. But Copeland channeled his holiday spirit in quieter ways as well. Every year, he underwrote gifts for 1,000 needy children. The presents were delivered on Christmas Eve signed by Santa, who’s starting to look a little miserly compared to this jolly millionaire.

5. But hated Anne Rice

You don’t get to Copeland’s position without making a few enemies, but Al’s most famous feud was pretty hilarious. Noted vampire novelist Anne Rice had it out with Copeland in 1997 over one of his non-Popeyes restaurants, Straya, which she thought was tacky. It seems she was especially pissed because she had her main vamp Lestat disappear into the building (back when it was a car dealership) in her book Memnoch the Devil, so she did what any normal person would do: took out full-page ads in the local newspaper bashing the place and updated her voicemail messages to nasty rants about Straya. Copeland took out a full-page ad in response, offering to treat her to dinner and help her “find” Lestat, but he wasn’t too pleased. He filed a defamation suit that was eventually thrown out by a civil district judge. Rice later moved to California and Straya shut down, but locals still haven’t stopped laughing over this bloodsucker beef.

6. They went through a lot of name changes

Copeland’s first chicken restaurant was called Chicken on the Run, because it was “so fast you get your chicken before you get your change.” But people weren’t into Copeland’s food, so he switched over to a Louisiana Cajun-style recipe and rebranded as Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken. Once that gained some traction, Copeland changed the name yet again to Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken. Eventually they were Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, before their latest rebranding turned them into Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. If you were wondering why they never picked up an apostrophe in all those name changes, Copeland always joked that he was “too poor” to afford one when he started out — and the tradition apparently stuck.

7. They got some big names to sing the jingle

Popeyes famously enlisted Dr. John to sing their “Love that chicken from Popeyes” slogan when it first debuted in the ’80s. But they also got Fats Domino and Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters to sing in commercials over the years — and then got all three acts to perform at the company’s 30th birthday party. Your own 30th birthday party has never seemed sadder.

8. Popeyes had to buy their own recipes back

Just last year, Popeyes made weird news items nationwide for buying their own recipes for $43 million. It turned out that Copeland’s family still owned the goods, even though Al relinquished control of the company in 1992, and had been charging the chain an annual royalties fee of $3.1 million. Now, Popeyes still has to pay the Copeland estate for spices, but at least they finally managed to acquire the world’s most expensive index cards.

9. Ellen DeGeneres and Aubrey Plaza were both commercial stars

Though they’re at polar ends of the cheer spectrum, Ellen and Aubrey have at least one thing in common: pre-fame Popeyes commercials. While Aubrey’s ad for butterfly shrimp aired in the aughts, Ellen’s is giving off strong ’80s vibes.

10. And they’ve got a slew of superfans

Baseball pros like Hank Aaron have proven their admiration by buying franchises. (Or, if you’re Adam Jones, with a Popeyes birthday cake.) UFC fighter Daniel Cormier’s so into that chicken, his opponents have taunted him with it and he featured it in a Meghan Trainor parody that he for some reason felt compelled to make. But their most famous fan is probably Beyonce. She talked about getting a free chicken for life card on Oprah back in 2003 and was even rumored to have had it at her wedding to Jay Z. This cupcake above is not from Popeyes, but we’re sure Beyonce’s got a combo stashed somewhere in the back.

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By the time Schuyler Bailar got to high school, he was one of the nation’s top 20 15-year-old breast strokers. By 17, he set a national age-group record. His hard work paid off when he was accepted to join the Harvard swim team in 2013. Bailar had been accepted to the women’s swim team, but after realizing that he was transgender, he had to grapple with possibly losing the chance to compete in the sport he loved. “I’m an athlete, and if I transitioned I would lose the women’s team. But when it became more clear that I wanted to transition, that I was going to go through medical steps in my transition, that I wanted to go by he/him/his pronouns, my coach Steph was like ‘What about the men’s team?’” Ultimately, Bailar decided to take the leap. And after a gap year, became the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. Now 25, Bailar uses his social platforms to raise awareness about trans issues. Currently, more than 30 state legislatures have bills designed to ban trans girls and women from playing women’s athletics. Bailar believes these bills are harmful to the wellbeing of trans children. “I get goosebumps in a bad way, in a sad way and sort of teary when I think about it because a lot of trans kids don’t have the support from their parents, don’t have the support from their teachers, or their friends. So for the government to add on to that, ‘oh by the way, you also don’t belong in sports,' it’s a massive massive message to these kids that they don’t belong. Additionally, Bailar suggests going to his website to learn more about the 144 trans bills in the United States that target sports and access to healthcare.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Popeyes

When you come from NOLA, crazy backstories are kind of par for the course. But even the city’s fast-food joints have histories that make BW3's figure skating background look commonplace. The Popeyes tale rests on Al Copeland, a larger-than-life chicken mogul known for his (literal) showboating, lavish weddings, and public fights with vampire ladies. Seriously. We also threw in a few stories about the chicken chain's trademark jingle and famous fans, but you're going to want to read that whole Copeland saga below in order to fully appreciate the wonders of Popeyes chicken. We can only imagine the shenanigans he's getting into with JFK and Howard Hughes in the sky as we speak.

1. The chain is named for Gene Hackman, not the sailor

Everyone assumes Popeyes is named for the cartoon character, but the honor actually goes to a fictional ’70s detective. Founder Al Copeland named his place for Gene Hackman’s character from The French Connection, Popeye Doyle, basically because he liked the dude’s style. And considering Doyle provided the blueprint for every modern car chase scene, we can’t argue.

Credit: Andy Kryza/Thrillist

2. The founder got his start in donuts

Copeland entered the food biz at the tender age of 18, when he opened a Tastee Donut franchise. He had to sell his car for the start-up capital, but he was able to turn the place into a profitable shop — which is pretty impressive, considering he didn’t even finish high school. Copeland stuck with Tastee Donut for several years, until he noticed the KFC next door was crushing it and ditched fried dough for fried chicken.

3. Copeland lived large

Once he was making money off Popeyes, Copeland leaned hard into the playboy lifestyle. He was known for racing powerboats and cruising around New Orleans in Rolls-Royces. He had four insanely lavish weddings — including one where he set off heart-shaped fireworks and commissioned the Popeyes helicopter to scatter rose petals. Also, the Times-Picayune apparently once referred to him as Louisiana’s “homegrown Liberace,” which leads us to believe he had an extensive collection of fur coats and candelabras to boot.

4. He also loved Christmas

Move over, Clark Griswold. If you’re looking for the undisputed king of Christmas displays, you gotta hand it to Al. The man put together insane displays with over half a million lights in his front yard for years — in fact, they caused so much traffic that his neighbors sued in 1983, so he staged the stuff offsite for several years, until a toned-down version returned to his estate in 1991. But Copeland channeled his holiday spirit in quieter ways as well. Every year, he underwrote gifts for 1,000 needy children. The presents were delivered on Christmas Eve signed by Santa, who’s starting to look a little miserly compared to this jolly millionaire.

5. But hated Anne Rice

You don’t get to Copeland’s position without making a few enemies, but Al’s most famous feud was pretty hilarious. Noted vampire novelist Anne Rice had it out with Copeland in 1997 over one of his non-Popeyes restaurants, Straya, which she thought was tacky. It seems she was especially pissed because she had her main vamp Lestat disappear into the building (back when it was a car dealership) in her book Memnoch the Devil, so she did what any normal person would do: took out full-page ads in the local newspaper bashing the place and updated her voicemail messages to nasty rants about Straya. Copeland took out a full-page ad in response, offering to treat her to dinner and help her “find” Lestat, but he wasn’t too pleased. He filed a defamation suit that was eventually thrown out by a civil district judge. Rice later moved to California and Straya shut down, but locals still haven’t stopped laughing over this bloodsucker beef.

6. They went through a lot of name changes

Copeland’s first chicken restaurant was called Chicken on the Run, because it was “so fast you get your chicken before you get your change.” But people weren’t into Copeland’s food, so he switched over to a Louisiana Cajun-style recipe and rebranded as Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken. Once that gained some traction, Copeland changed the name yet again to Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken. Eventually they were Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, before their latest rebranding turned them into Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. If you were wondering why they never picked up an apostrophe in all those name changes, Copeland always joked that he was “too poor” to afford one when he started out — and the tradition apparently stuck.

7. They got some big names to sing the jingle

Popeyes famously enlisted Dr. John to sing their “Love that chicken from Popeyes” slogan when it first debuted in the ’80s. But they also got Fats Domino and Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters to sing in commercials over the years — and then got all three acts to perform at the company’s 30th birthday party. Your own 30th birthday party has never seemed sadder.

8. Popeyes had to buy their own recipes back

Just last year, Popeyes made weird news items nationwide for buying their own recipes for $43 million. It turned out that Copeland’s family still owned the goods, even though Al relinquished control of the company in 1992, and had been charging the chain an annual royalties fee of $3.1 million. Now, Popeyes still has to pay the Copeland estate for spices, but at least they finally managed to acquire the world’s most expensive index cards.

9. Ellen DeGeneres and Aubrey Plaza were both commercial stars

Though they’re at polar ends of the cheer spectrum, Ellen and Aubrey have at least one thing in common: pre-fame Popeyes commercials. While Aubrey’s ad for butterfly shrimp aired in the aughts, Ellen’s is giving off strong ’80s vibes.

10. And they’ve got a slew of superfans

Baseball pros like Hank Aaron have proven their admiration by buying franchises. (Or, if you’re Adam Jones, with a Popeyes birthday cake.) UFC fighter Daniel Cormier’s so into that chicken, his opponents have taunted him with it and he featured it in a Meghan Trainor parody that he for some reason felt compelled to make. But their most famous fan is probably Beyonce. She talked about getting a free chicken for life card on Oprah back in 2003 and was even rumored to have had it at her wedding to Jay Z. This cupcake above is not from Popeyes, but we’re sure Beyonce’s got a combo stashed somewhere in the back.

Valedictorian delivers abortion-rights speech

First trans NCAA athlete wants to stop bills that ban trans kids from sports

The bizarre drama surrounding TikTok’s Texas bee lady

ɾverything's Gonna Be Okay' star Josh Thomas on life with autism and ADHD: 'I'm just trying to get through the day'

Jazz Jennings reacts to anti-trans athletic bill

Why Hailey Baldwin says she wouldn't ɾver' pose nude

The model opened up about Christianity, modesty and social media backlash in a new interview.

Have an older car? Amazon slashed the price of this top-rated dash cam to just $31

See why more than 2,500 five-star Amazon reviewers are in love with this gadget — and it's 56 percent off right now.

AdPlace A Bag On Your Car Mirror When Traveling

Brilliant Car Cleaning Hacks Local Dealers Wish You Didn’t Know

Jill Biden celebrates her 70th birthday with a 5-mile bike ride alongside husband President Biden

A couple who bikes together, stays together.

A teacher who says he will not respect transgender students’ pronouns got placed on leave. Now he’s suing.

“I’m a teacher but I serve God first and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion."

Elizabeth Hurley rocks low-cut dress for her ɿirst night out in 14 months'

The British actress enjoyed a well-deserved night on the town.

Meghan Trainor feels like a �ss' after giving birth: 'If I can get through that C-section, man, I can do anything'

The new mom opens up about baby Riley.

Critical race theory is causing controversy in K-12 classrooms. Here's what parents should know.

Critical race theory is generating controversy in some K-12 schools but experts say misinformation is what's fueling protest.

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'No foot pain at all': Who knew Amazon's No. 1 bestselling sandals were just $17?

Need house shoes? Podiatrists recommend wearing footwear inside to absorb shock — and these are loved by over 20,000 shoppers.

In now-viral TikTok, stranger encourages woman to have confidence: ‘It only takes a moment to be kind and uplift the next person’

The pair, who met in a chance encounter that's gone viral on TikTok, are now inseparable.

Rebel Wilson, 41, stuns in a plunging swimsuit: ‘Unbelievable transformation’

The "Pitch Perfect" actress shared photos from a Florida vacation on Instagram.

Tan France on confidence and becoming a first-time dad: 'I've had to wait a very long time to make this happen'

The "Queer Eye" star opens up about mental health and why coffee and sleep are crucial.

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The singer just let her photos do the talking.

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From teeth whitening kits to a magical cleaning paste, these life-changers are worth the hype.

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The latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you don't need to be tested or to quarantine if you're fully vaccinated, even if you’ve been exposed to someone who was sick.

Amazon just slashed the price of these Hamilton Beach breakfast must-haves

Score an ingenious machine for making your morning coffee, waffles, and sandwiches at up to 30 percent off.

The first trans athlete to compete in the NCAA on stopping bills banning trans kids from sports

By the time Schuyler Bailar got to high school, he was one of the nation’s top 20 15-year-old breast strokers. By 17, he set a national age-group record. His hard work paid off when he was accepted to join the Harvard swim team in 2013. Bailar had been accepted to the women’s swim team, but after realizing that he was transgender, he had to grapple with possibly losing the chance to compete in the sport he loved. “I’m an athlete, and if I transitioned I would lose the women’s team. But when it became more clear that I wanted to transition, that I was going to go through medical steps in my transition, that I wanted to go by he/him/his pronouns, my coach Steph was like ‘What about the men’s team?’” Ultimately, Bailar decided to take the leap. And after a gap year, became the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. Now 25, Bailar uses his social platforms to raise awareness about trans issues. Currently, more than 30 state legislatures have bills designed to ban trans girls and women from playing women’s athletics. Bailar believes these bills are harmful to the wellbeing of trans children. “I get goosebumps in a bad way, in a sad way and sort of teary when I think about it because a lot of trans kids don’t have the support from their parents, don’t have the support from their teachers, or their friends. So for the government to add on to that, ‘oh by the way, you also don’t belong in sports,' it’s a massive massive message to these kids that they don’t belong. Additionally, Bailar suggests going to his website to learn more about the 144 trans bills in the United States that target sports and access to healthcare.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Popeyes

When you come from NOLA, crazy backstories are kind of par for the course. But even the city’s fast-food joints have histories that make BW3's figure skating background look commonplace. The Popeyes tale rests on Al Copeland, a larger-than-life chicken mogul known for his (literal) showboating, lavish weddings, and public fights with vampire ladies. Seriously. We also threw in a few stories about the chicken chain's trademark jingle and famous fans, but you're going to want to read that whole Copeland saga below in order to fully appreciate the wonders of Popeyes chicken. We can only imagine the shenanigans he's getting into with JFK and Howard Hughes in the sky as we speak.

1. The chain is named for Gene Hackman, not the sailor

Everyone assumes Popeyes is named for the cartoon character, but the honor actually goes to a fictional ’70s detective. Founder Al Copeland named his place for Gene Hackman’s character from The French Connection, Popeye Doyle, basically because he liked the dude’s style. And considering Doyle provided the blueprint for every modern car chase scene, we can’t argue.

Credit: Andy Kryza/Thrillist

2. The founder got his start in donuts

Copeland entered the food biz at the tender age of 18, when he opened a Tastee Donut franchise. He had to sell his car for the start-up capital, but he was able to turn the place into a profitable shop — which is pretty impressive, considering he didn’t even finish high school. Copeland stuck with Tastee Donut for several years, until he noticed the KFC next door was crushing it and ditched fried dough for fried chicken.

3. Copeland lived large

Once he was making money off Popeyes, Copeland leaned hard into the playboy lifestyle. He was known for racing powerboats and cruising around New Orleans in Rolls-Royces. He had four insanely lavish weddings — including one where he set off heart-shaped fireworks and commissioned the Popeyes helicopter to scatter rose petals. Also, the Times-Picayune apparently once referred to him as Louisiana’s “homegrown Liberace,” which leads us to believe he had an extensive collection of fur coats and candelabras to boot.

4. He also loved Christmas

Move over, Clark Griswold. If you’re looking for the undisputed king of Christmas displays, you gotta hand it to Al. The man put together insane displays with over half a million lights in his front yard for years — in fact, they caused so much traffic that his neighbors sued in 1983, so he staged the stuff offsite for several years, until a toned-down version returned to his estate in 1991. But Copeland channeled his holiday spirit in quieter ways as well. Every year, he underwrote gifts for 1,000 needy children. The presents were delivered on Christmas Eve signed by Santa, who’s starting to look a little miserly compared to this jolly millionaire.

5. But hated Anne Rice

You don’t get to Copeland’s position without making a few enemies, but Al’s most famous feud was pretty hilarious. Noted vampire novelist Anne Rice had it out with Copeland in 1997 over one of his non-Popeyes restaurants, Straya, which she thought was tacky. It seems she was especially pissed because she had her main vamp Lestat disappear into the building (back when it was a car dealership) in her book Memnoch the Devil, so she did what any normal person would do: took out full-page ads in the local newspaper bashing the place and updated her voicemail messages to nasty rants about Straya. Copeland took out a full-page ad in response, offering to treat her to dinner and help her “find” Lestat, but he wasn’t too pleased. He filed a defamation suit that was eventually thrown out by a civil district judge. Rice later moved to California and Straya shut down, but locals still haven’t stopped laughing over this bloodsucker beef.

6. They went through a lot of name changes

Copeland’s first chicken restaurant was called Chicken on the Run, because it was “so fast you get your chicken before you get your change.” But people weren’t into Copeland’s food, so he switched over to a Louisiana Cajun-style recipe and rebranded as Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken. Once that gained some traction, Copeland changed the name yet again to Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken. Eventually they were Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, before their latest rebranding turned them into Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. If you were wondering why they never picked up an apostrophe in all those name changes, Copeland always joked that he was “too poor” to afford one when he started out — and the tradition apparently stuck.

7. They got some big names to sing the jingle

Popeyes famously enlisted Dr. John to sing their “Love that chicken from Popeyes” slogan when it first debuted in the ’80s. But they also got Fats Domino and Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters to sing in commercials over the years — and then got all three acts to perform at the company’s 30th birthday party. Your own 30th birthday party has never seemed sadder.

8. Popeyes had to buy their own recipes back

Just last year, Popeyes made weird news items nationwide for buying their own recipes for $43 million. It turned out that Copeland’s family still owned the goods, even though Al relinquished control of the company in 1992, and had been charging the chain an annual royalties fee of $3.1 million. Now, Popeyes still has to pay the Copeland estate for spices, but at least they finally managed to acquire the world’s most expensive index cards.

9. Ellen DeGeneres and Aubrey Plaza were both commercial stars

Though they’re at polar ends of the cheer spectrum, Ellen and Aubrey have at least one thing in common: pre-fame Popeyes commercials. While Aubrey’s ad for butterfly shrimp aired in the aughts, Ellen’s is giving off strong ’80s vibes.

10. And they’ve got a slew of superfans

Baseball pros like Hank Aaron have proven their admiration by buying franchises. (Or, if you’re Adam Jones, with a Popeyes birthday cake.) UFC fighter Daniel Cormier’s so into that chicken, his opponents have taunted him with it and he featured it in a Meghan Trainor parody that he for some reason felt compelled to make. But their most famous fan is probably Beyonce. She talked about getting a free chicken for life card on Oprah back in 2003 and was even rumored to have had it at her wedding to Jay Z. This cupcake above is not from Popeyes, but we’re sure Beyonce’s got a combo stashed somewhere in the back.

Valedictorian delivers abortion-rights speech

First trans NCAA athlete wants to stop bills that ban trans kids from sports

The bizarre drama surrounding TikTok’s Texas bee lady

ɾverything's Gonna Be Okay' star Josh Thomas on life with autism and ADHD: 'I'm just trying to get through the day'

Jazz Jennings reacts to anti-trans athletic bill

Why Hailey Baldwin says she wouldn't ɾver' pose nude

The model opened up about Christianity, modesty and social media backlash in a new interview.

Have an older car? Amazon slashed the price of this top-rated dash cam to just $31

See why more than 2,500 five-star Amazon reviewers are in love with this gadget — and it's 56 percent off right now.

AdPlace A Bag On Your Car Mirror When Traveling

Brilliant Car Cleaning Hacks Local Dealers Wish You Didn’t Know

Jill Biden celebrates her 70th birthday with a 5-mile bike ride alongside husband President Biden

A couple who bikes together, stays together.

A teacher who says he will not respect transgender students’ pronouns got placed on leave. Now he’s suing.

“I’m a teacher but I serve God first and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion."

Elizabeth Hurley rocks low-cut dress for her ɿirst night out in 14 months'

The British actress enjoyed a well-deserved night on the town.

Meghan Trainor feels like a �ss' after giving birth: 'If I can get through that C-section, man, I can do anything'

The new mom opens up about baby Riley.

Critical race theory is causing controversy in K-12 classrooms. Here's what parents should know.

Critical race theory is generating controversy in some K-12 schools but experts say misinformation is what's fueling protest.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson shows off his ‘beautiful’ fish, urges followers to prioritize ‘self care’

Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson knows how to decompress! All it takes is a little help from mother nature.

'No foot pain at all': Who knew Amazon's No. 1 bestselling sandals were just $17?

Need house shoes? Podiatrists recommend wearing footwear inside to absorb shock — and these are loved by over 20,000 shoppers.

In now-viral TikTok, stranger encourages woman to have confidence: ‘It only takes a moment to be kind and uplift the next person’

The pair, who met in a chance encounter that's gone viral on TikTok, are now inseparable.

Rebel Wilson, 41, stuns in a plunging swimsuit: ‘Unbelievable transformation’

The "Pitch Perfect" actress shared photos from a Florida vacation on Instagram.

Tan France on confidence and becoming a first-time dad: 'I've had to wait a very long time to make this happen'

The "Queer Eye" star opens up about mental health and why coffee and sleep are crucial.

Rihanna serves in bright orange lingerie: ‘Internet just broke’

The singer just let her photos do the talking.

‘Why Women Kill’ star Lana Parrilla on her passion for fashion — and the surprising advice she’d give her younger self

The "Why Women Kill" actress talks about the best decade in fashion and the color that makes her feel empowered.

Schuyler Bailar was the first trans athlete to compete in the NCAA. Now he wants to stop bills that ban trans children from sports.

Schuyler Bailar, the first trans NCAA athlete, shares his story and the continued fight for trans equality in sports and healthcare.

These 11 cult-favorite Amazon products are on sale for Memorial Day — and they're all under $20

From teeth whitening kits to a magical cleaning paste, these life-changers are worth the hype.

Do you need to get a COVID-19 test if you are vaccinated? Here's what the experts say

The latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you don't need to be tested or to quarantine if you're fully vaccinated, even if you’ve been exposed to someone who was sick.

Amazon just slashed the price of these Hamilton Beach breakfast must-haves

Score an ingenious machine for making your morning coffee, waffles, and sandwiches at up to 30 percent off.

The first trans athlete to compete in the NCAA on stopping bills banning trans kids from sports

By the time Schuyler Bailar got to high school, he was one of the nation’s top 20 15-year-old breast strokers. By 17, he set a national age-group record. His hard work paid off when he was accepted to join the Harvard swim team in 2013. Bailar had been accepted to the women’s swim team, but after realizing that he was transgender, he had to grapple with possibly losing the chance to compete in the sport he loved. “I’m an athlete, and if I transitioned I would lose the women’s team. But when it became more clear that I wanted to transition, that I was going to go through medical steps in my transition, that I wanted to go by he/him/his pronouns, my coach Steph was like ‘What about the men’s team?’” Ultimately, Bailar decided to take the leap. And after a gap year, became the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. Now 25, Bailar uses his social platforms to raise awareness about trans issues. Currently, more than 30 state legislatures have bills designed to ban trans girls and women from playing women’s athletics. Bailar believes these bills are harmful to the wellbeing of trans children. “I get goosebumps in a bad way, in a sad way and sort of teary when I think about it because a lot of trans kids don’t have the support from their parents, don’t have the support from their teachers, or their friends. So for the government to add on to that, ‘oh by the way, you also don’t belong in sports,' it’s a massive massive message to these kids that they don’t belong. Additionally, Bailar suggests going to his website to learn more about the 144 trans bills in the United States that target sports and access to healthcare.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Popeyes

When you come from NOLA, crazy backstories are kind of par for the course. But even the city’s fast-food joints have histories that make BW3's figure skating background look commonplace. The Popeyes tale rests on Al Copeland, a larger-than-life chicken mogul known for his (literal) showboating, lavish weddings, and public fights with vampire ladies. Seriously. We also threw in a few stories about the chicken chain's trademark jingle and famous fans, but you're going to want to read that whole Copeland saga below in order to fully appreciate the wonders of Popeyes chicken. We can only imagine the shenanigans he's getting into with JFK and Howard Hughes in the sky as we speak.

1. The chain is named for Gene Hackman, not the sailor

Everyone assumes Popeyes is named for the cartoon character, but the honor actually goes to a fictional ’70s detective. Founder Al Copeland named his place for Gene Hackman’s character from The French Connection, Popeye Doyle, basically because he liked the dude’s style. And considering Doyle provided the blueprint for every modern car chase scene, we can’t argue.

Credit: Andy Kryza/Thrillist

2. The founder got his start in donuts

Copeland entered the food biz at the tender age of 18, when he opened a Tastee Donut franchise. He had to sell his car for the start-up capital, but he was able to turn the place into a profitable shop — which is pretty impressive, considering he didn’t even finish high school. Copeland stuck with Tastee Donut for several years, until he noticed the KFC next door was crushing it and ditched fried dough for fried chicken.

3. Copeland lived large

Once he was making money off Popeyes, Copeland leaned hard into the playboy lifestyle. He was known for racing powerboats and cruising around New Orleans in Rolls-Royces. He had four insanely lavish weddings — including one where he set off heart-shaped fireworks and commissioned the Popeyes helicopter to scatter rose petals. Also, the Times-Picayune apparently once referred to him as Louisiana’s “homegrown Liberace,” which leads us to believe he had an extensive collection of fur coats and candelabras to boot.

4. He also loved Christmas

Move over, Clark Griswold. If you’re looking for the undisputed king of Christmas displays, you gotta hand it to Al. The man put together insane displays with over half a million lights in his front yard for years — in fact, they caused so much traffic that his neighbors sued in 1983, so he staged the stuff offsite for several years, until a toned-down version returned to his estate in 1991. But Copeland channeled his holiday spirit in quieter ways as well. Every year, he underwrote gifts for 1,000 needy children. The presents were delivered on Christmas Eve signed by Santa, who’s starting to look a little miserly compared to this jolly millionaire.

5. But hated Anne Rice

You don’t get to Copeland’s position without making a few enemies, but Al’s most famous feud was pretty hilarious. Noted vampire novelist Anne Rice had it out with Copeland in 1997 over one of his non-Popeyes restaurants, Straya, which she thought was tacky. It seems she was especially pissed because she had her main vamp Lestat disappear into the building (back when it was a car dealership) in her book Memnoch the Devil, so she did what any normal person would do: took out full-page ads in the local newspaper bashing the place and updated her voicemail messages to nasty rants about Straya. Copeland took out a full-page ad in response, offering to treat her to dinner and help her “find” Lestat, but he wasn’t too pleased. He filed a defamation suit that was eventually thrown out by a civil district judge. Rice later moved to California and Straya shut down, but locals still haven’t stopped laughing over this bloodsucker beef.

6. They went through a lot of name changes

Copeland’s first chicken restaurant was called Chicken on the Run, because it was “so fast you get your chicken before you get your change.” But people weren’t into Copeland’s food, so he switched over to a Louisiana Cajun-style recipe and rebranded as Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken. Once that gained some traction, Copeland changed the name yet again to Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken. Eventually they were Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, before their latest rebranding turned them into Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. If you were wondering why they never picked up an apostrophe in all those name changes, Copeland always joked that he was “too poor” to afford one when he started out — and the tradition apparently stuck.

7. They got some big names to sing the jingle

Popeyes famously enlisted Dr. John to sing their “Love that chicken from Popeyes” slogan when it first debuted in the ’80s. But they also got Fats Domino and Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters to sing in commercials over the years — and then got all three acts to perform at the company’s 30th birthday party. Your own 30th birthday party has never seemed sadder.

8. Popeyes had to buy their own recipes back

Just last year, Popeyes made weird news items nationwide for buying their own recipes for $43 million. It turned out that Copeland’s family still owned the goods, even though Al relinquished control of the company in 1992, and had been charging the chain an annual royalties fee of $3.1 million. Now, Popeyes still has to pay the Copeland estate for spices, but at least they finally managed to acquire the world’s most expensive index cards.

9. Ellen DeGeneres and Aubrey Plaza were both commercial stars

Though they’re at polar ends of the cheer spectrum, Ellen and Aubrey have at least one thing in common: pre-fame Popeyes commercials. While Aubrey’s ad for butterfly shrimp aired in the aughts, Ellen’s is giving off strong ’80s vibes.

10. And they’ve got a slew of superfans

Baseball pros like Hank Aaron have proven their admiration by buying franchises. (Or, if you’re Adam Jones, with a Popeyes birthday cake.) UFC fighter Daniel Cormier’s so into that chicken, his opponents have taunted him with it and he featured it in a Meghan Trainor parody that he for some reason felt compelled to make. But their most famous fan is probably Beyonce. She talked about getting a free chicken for life card on Oprah back in 2003 and was even rumored to have had it at her wedding to Jay Z. This cupcake above is not from Popeyes, but we’re sure Beyonce’s got a combo stashed somewhere in the back.

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Amazon just slashed the price of these Hamilton Beach breakfast must-haves

Score an ingenious machine for making your morning coffee, waffles, and sandwiches at up to 30 percent off.

The first trans athlete to compete in the NCAA on stopping bills banning trans kids from sports

By the time Schuyler Bailar got to high school, he was one of the nation’s top 20 15-year-old breast strokers. By 17, he set a national age-group record. His hard work paid off when he was accepted to join the Harvard swim team in 2013. Bailar had been accepted to the women’s swim team, but after realizing that he was transgender, he had to grapple with possibly losing the chance to compete in the sport he loved. “I’m an athlete, and if I transitioned I would lose the women’s team. But when it became more clear that I wanted to transition, that I was going to go through medical steps in my transition, that I wanted to go by he/him/his pronouns, my coach Steph was like ‘What about the men’s team?’” Ultimately, Bailar decided to take the leap. And after a gap year, became the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. Now 25, Bailar uses his social platforms to raise awareness about trans issues. Currently, more than 30 state legislatures have bills designed to ban trans girls and women from playing women’s athletics. Bailar believes these bills are harmful to the wellbeing of trans children. “I get goosebumps in a bad way, in a sad way and sort of teary when I think about it because a lot of trans kids don’t have the support from their parents, don’t have the support from their teachers, or their friends. So for the government to add on to that, ‘oh by the way, you also don’t belong in sports,' it’s a massive massive message to these kids that they don’t belong. Additionally, Bailar suggests going to his website to learn more about the 144 trans bills in the United States that target sports and access to healthcare.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Popeyes

When you come from NOLA, crazy backstories are kind of par for the course. But even the city’s fast-food joints have histories that make BW3's figure skating background look commonplace. The Popeyes tale rests on Al Copeland, a larger-than-life chicken mogul known for his (literal) showboating, lavish weddings, and public fights with vampire ladies. Seriously. We also threw in a few stories about the chicken chain's trademark jingle and famous fans, but you're going to want to read that whole Copeland saga below in order to fully appreciate the wonders of Popeyes chicken. We can only imagine the shenanigans he's getting into with JFK and Howard Hughes in the sky as we speak.

1. The chain is named for Gene Hackman, not the sailor

Everyone assumes Popeyes is named for the cartoon character, but the honor actually goes to a fictional ’70s detective. Founder Al Copeland named his place for Gene Hackman’s character from The French Connection, Popeye Doyle, basically because he liked the dude’s style. And considering Doyle provided the blueprint for every modern car chase scene, we can’t argue.

Credit: Andy Kryza/Thrillist

2. The founder got his start in donuts

Copeland entered the food biz at the tender age of 18, when he opened a Tastee Donut franchise. He had to sell his car for the start-up capital, but he was able to turn the place into a profitable shop — which is pretty impressive, considering he didn’t even finish high school. Copeland stuck with Tastee Donut for several years, until he noticed the KFC next door was crushing it and ditched fried dough for fried chicken.

3. Copeland lived large

Once he was making money off Popeyes, Copeland leaned hard into the playboy lifestyle. He was known for racing powerboats and cruising around New Orleans in Rolls-Royces. He had four insanely lavish weddings — including one where he set off heart-shaped fireworks and commissioned the Popeyes helicopter to scatter rose petals. Also, the Times-Picayune apparently once referred to him as Louisiana’s “homegrown Liberace,” which leads us to believe he had an extensive collection of fur coats and candelabras to boot.

4. He also loved Christmas

Move over, Clark Griswold. If you’re looking for the undisputed king of Christmas displays, you gotta hand it to Al. The man put together insane displays with over half a million lights in his front yard for years — in fact, they caused so much traffic that his neighbors sued in 1983, so he staged the stuff offsite for several years, until a toned-down version returned to his estate in 1991. But Copeland channeled his holiday spirit in quieter ways as well. Every year, he underwrote gifts for 1,000 needy children. The presents were delivered on Christmas Eve signed by Santa, who’s starting to look a little miserly compared to this jolly millionaire.

5. But hated Anne Rice

You don’t get to Copeland’s position without making a few enemies, but Al’s most famous feud was pretty hilarious. Noted vampire novelist Anne Rice had it out with Copeland in 1997 over one of his non-Popeyes restaurants, Straya, which she thought was tacky. It seems she was especially pissed because she had her main vamp Lestat disappear into the building (back when it was a car dealership) in her book Memnoch the Devil, so she did what any normal person would do: took out full-page ads in the local newspaper bashing the place and updated her voicemail messages to nasty rants about Straya. Copeland took out a full-page ad in response, offering to treat her to dinner and help her “find” Lestat, but he wasn’t too pleased. He filed a defamation suit that was eventually thrown out by a civil district judge. Rice later moved to California and Straya shut down, but locals still haven’t stopped laughing over this bloodsucker beef.

6. They went through a lot of name changes

Copeland’s first chicken restaurant was called Chicken on the Run, because it was “so fast you get your chicken before you get your change.” But people weren’t into Copeland’s food, so he switched over to a Louisiana Cajun-style recipe and rebranded as Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken. Once that gained some traction, Copeland changed the name yet again to Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken. Eventually they were Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, before their latest rebranding turned them into Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. If you were wondering why they never picked up an apostrophe in all those name changes, Copeland always joked that he was “too poor” to afford one when he started out — and the tradition apparently stuck.

7. They got some big names to sing the jingle

Popeyes famously enlisted Dr. John to sing their “Love that chicken from Popeyes” slogan when it first debuted in the ’80s. But they also got Fats Domino and Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters to sing in commercials over the years — and then got all three acts to perform at the company’s 30th birthday party. Your own 30th birthday party has never seemed sadder.

8. Popeyes had to buy their own recipes back

Just last year, Popeyes made weird news items nationwide for buying their own recipes for $43 million. It turned out that Copeland’s family still owned the goods, even though Al relinquished control of the company in 1992, and had been charging the chain an annual royalties fee of $3.1 million. Now, Popeyes still has to pay the Copeland estate for spices, but at least they finally managed to acquire the world’s most expensive index cards.

9. Ellen DeGeneres and Aubrey Plaza were both commercial stars

Though they’re at polar ends of the cheer spectrum, Ellen and Aubrey have at least one thing in common: pre-fame Popeyes commercials. While Aubrey’s ad for butterfly shrimp aired in the aughts, Ellen’s is giving off strong ’80s vibes.

10. And they’ve got a slew of superfans

Baseball pros like Hank Aaron have proven their admiration by buying franchises. (Or, if you’re Adam Jones, with a Popeyes birthday cake.) UFC fighter Daniel Cormier’s so into that chicken, his opponents have taunted him with it and he featured it in a Meghan Trainor parody that he for some reason felt compelled to make. But their most famous fan is probably Beyonce. She talked about getting a free chicken for life card on Oprah back in 2003 and was even rumored to have had it at her wedding to Jay Z. This cupcake above is not from Popeyes, but we’re sure Beyonce’s got a combo stashed somewhere in the back.

Valedictorian delivers abortion-rights speech

First trans NCAA athlete wants to stop bills that ban trans kids from sports

The bizarre drama surrounding TikTok’s Texas bee lady

ɾverything's Gonna Be Okay' star Josh Thomas on life with autism and ADHD: 'I'm just trying to get through the day'

Jazz Jennings reacts to anti-trans athletic bill

Why Hailey Baldwin says she wouldn't ɾver' pose nude

The model opened up about Christianity, modesty and social media backlash in a new interview.

Have an older car? Amazon slashed the price of this top-rated dash cam to just $31

See why more than 2,500 five-star Amazon reviewers are in love with this gadget — and it's 56 percent off right now.

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Jill Biden celebrates her 70th birthday with a 5-mile bike ride alongside husband President Biden

A couple who bikes together, stays together.

A teacher who says he will not respect transgender students’ pronouns got placed on leave. Now he’s suing.

“I’m a teacher but I serve God first and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion."

Elizabeth Hurley rocks low-cut dress for her ɿirst night out in 14 months'

The British actress enjoyed a well-deserved night on the town.

Meghan Trainor feels like a �ss' after giving birth: 'If I can get through that C-section, man, I can do anything'

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Critical race theory is causing controversy in K-12 classrooms. Here's what parents should know.

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'No foot pain at all': Who knew Amazon's No. 1 bestselling sandals were just $17?

Need house shoes? Podiatrists recommend wearing footwear inside to absorb shock — and these are loved by over 20,000 shoppers.

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The pair, who met in a chance encounter that's gone viral on TikTok, are now inseparable.

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The "Pitch Perfect" actress shared photos from a Florida vacation on Instagram.

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The latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you don't need to be tested or to quarantine if you're fully vaccinated, even if you’ve been exposed to someone who was sick.

Amazon just slashed the price of these Hamilton Beach breakfast must-haves

Score an ingenious machine for making your morning coffee, waffles, and sandwiches at up to 30 percent off.

The first trans athlete to compete in the NCAA on stopping bills banning trans kids from sports

By the time Schuyler Bailar got to high school, he was one of the nation’s top 20 15-year-old breast strokers. By 17, he set a national age-group record. His hard work paid off when he was accepted to join the Harvard swim team in 2013. Bailar had been accepted to the women’s swim team, but after realizing that he was transgender, he had to grapple with possibly losing the chance to compete in the sport he loved. “I’m an athlete, and if I transitioned I would lose the women’s team. But when it became more clear that I wanted to transition, that I was going to go through medical steps in my transition, that I wanted to go by he/him/his pronouns, my coach Steph was like ‘What about the men’s team?’” Ultimately, Bailar decided to take the leap. And after a gap year, became the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. Now 25, Bailar uses his social platforms to raise awareness about trans issues. Currently, more than 30 state legislatures have bills designed to ban trans girls and women from playing women’s athletics. Bailar believes these bills are harmful to the wellbeing of trans children. “I get goosebumps in a bad way, in a sad way and sort of teary when I think about it because a lot of trans kids don’t have the support from their parents, don’t have the support from their teachers, or their friends. So for the government to add on to that, ‘oh by the way, you also don’t belong in sports,' it’s a massive massive message to these kids that they don’t belong. Additionally, Bailar suggests going to his website to learn more about the 144 trans bills in the United States that target sports and access to healthcare.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Popeyes

When you come from NOLA, crazy backstories are kind of par for the course. But even the city’s fast-food joints have histories that make BW3's figure skating background look commonplace. The Popeyes tale rests on Al Copeland, a larger-than-life chicken mogul known for his (literal) showboating, lavish weddings, and public fights with vampire ladies. Seriously. We also threw in a few stories about the chicken chain's trademark jingle and famous fans, but you're going to want to read that whole Copeland saga below in order to fully appreciate the wonders of Popeyes chicken. We can only imagine the shenanigans he's getting into with JFK and Howard Hughes in the sky as we speak.

1. The chain is named for Gene Hackman, not the sailor

Everyone assumes Popeyes is named for the cartoon character, but the honor actually goes to a fictional ’70s detective. Founder Al Copeland named his place for Gene Hackman’s character from The French Connection, Popeye Doyle, basically because he liked the dude’s style. And considering Doyle provided the blueprint for every modern car chase scene, we can’t argue.

Credit: Andy Kryza/Thrillist

2. The founder got his start in donuts

Copeland entered the food biz at the tender age of 18, when he opened a Tastee Donut franchise. He had to sell his car for the start-up capital, but he was able to turn the place into a profitable shop — which is pretty impressive, considering he didn’t even finish high school. Copeland stuck with Tastee Donut for several years, until he noticed the KFC next door was crushing it and ditched fried dough for fried chicken.

3. Copeland lived large

Once he was making money off Popeyes, Copeland leaned hard into the playboy lifestyle. He was known for racing powerboats and cruising around New Orleans in Rolls-Royces. He had four insanely lavish weddings — including one where he set off heart-shaped fireworks and commissioned the Popeyes helicopter to scatter rose petals. Also, the Times-Picayune apparently once referred to him as Louisiana’s “homegrown Liberace,” which leads us to believe he had an extensive collection of fur coats and candelabras to boot.

4. He also loved Christmas

Move over, Clark Griswold. If you’re looking for the undisputed king of Christmas displays, you gotta hand it to Al. The man put together insane displays with over half a million lights in his front yard for years — in fact, they caused so much traffic that his neighbors sued in 1983, so he staged the stuff offsite for several years, until a toned-down version returned to his estate in 1991. But Copeland channeled his holiday spirit in quieter ways as well. Every year, he underwrote gifts for 1,000 needy children. The presents were delivered on Christmas Eve signed by Santa, who’s starting to look a little miserly compared to this jolly millionaire.

5. But hated Anne Rice

You don’t get to Copeland’s position without making a few enemies, but Al’s most famous feud was pretty hilarious. Noted vampire novelist Anne Rice had it out with Copeland in 1997 over one of his non-Popeyes restaurants, Straya, which she thought was tacky. It seems she was especially pissed because she had her main vamp Lestat disappear into the building (back when it was a car dealership) in her book Memnoch the Devil, so she did what any normal person would do: took out full-page ads in the local newspaper bashing the place and updated her voicemail messages to nasty rants about Straya. Copeland took out a full-page ad in response, offering to treat her to dinner and help her “find” Lestat, but he wasn’t too pleased. He filed a defamation suit that was eventually thrown out by a civil district judge. Rice later moved to California and Straya shut down, but locals still haven’t stopped laughing over this bloodsucker beef.

6. They went through a lot of name changes

Copeland’s first chicken restaurant was called Chicken on the Run, because it was “so fast you get your chicken before you get your change.” But people weren’t into Copeland’s food, so he switched over to a Louisiana Cajun-style recipe and rebranded as Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken. Once that gained some traction, Copeland changed the name yet again to Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken. Eventually they were Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, before their latest rebranding turned them into Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. If you were wondering why they never picked up an apostrophe in all those name changes, Copeland always joked that he was “too poor” to afford one when he started out — and the tradition apparently stuck.

7. They got some big names to sing the jingle

Popeyes famously enlisted Dr. John to sing their “Love that chicken from Popeyes” slogan when it first debuted in the ’80s. But they also got Fats Domino and Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters to sing in commercials over the years — and then got all three acts to perform at the company’s 30th birthday party. Your own 30th birthday party has never seemed sadder.

8. Popeyes had to buy their own recipes back

Just last year, Popeyes made weird news items nationwide for buying their own recipes for $43 million. It turned out that Copeland’s family still owned the goods, even though Al relinquished control of the company in 1992, and had been charging the chain an annual royalties fee of $3.1 million. Now, Popeyes still has to pay the Copeland estate for spices, but at least they finally managed to acquire the world’s most expensive index cards.

9. Ellen DeGeneres and Aubrey Plaza were both commercial stars

Though they’re at polar ends of the cheer spectrum, Ellen and Aubrey have at least one thing in common: pre-fame Popeyes commercials. While Aubrey’s ad for butterfly shrimp aired in the aughts, Ellen’s is giving off strong ’80s vibes.

10. And they’ve got a slew of superfans

Baseball pros like Hank Aaron have proven their admiration by buying franchises. (Or, if you’re Adam Jones, with a Popeyes birthday cake.) UFC fighter Daniel Cormier’s so into that chicken, his opponents have taunted him with it and he featured it in a Meghan Trainor parody that he for some reason felt compelled to make. But their most famous fan is probably Beyonce. She talked about getting a free chicken for life card on Oprah back in 2003 and was even rumored to have had it at her wedding to Jay Z. This cupcake above is not from Popeyes, but we’re sure Beyonce’s got a combo stashed somewhere in the back.

Valedictorian delivers abortion-rights speech

First trans NCAA athlete wants to stop bills that ban trans kids from sports

The bizarre drama surrounding TikTok’s Texas bee lady

ɾverything's Gonna Be Okay' star Josh Thomas on life with autism and ADHD: 'I'm just trying to get through the day'

Jazz Jennings reacts to anti-trans athletic bill

Why Hailey Baldwin says she wouldn't ɾver' pose nude

The model opened up about Christianity, modesty and social media backlash in a new interview.

Have an older car? Amazon slashed the price of this top-rated dash cam to just $31

See why more than 2,500 five-star Amazon reviewers are in love with this gadget — and it's 56 percent off right now.

AdPlace A Bag On Your Car Mirror When Traveling

Brilliant Car Cleaning Hacks Local Dealers Wish You Didn’t Know

Jill Biden celebrates her 70th birthday with a 5-mile bike ride alongside husband President Biden

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The first trans athlete to compete in the NCAA on stopping bills banning trans kids from sports

By the time Schuyler Bailar got to high school, he was one of the nation’s top 20 15-year-old breast strokers. By 17, he set a national age-group record. His hard work paid off when he was accepted to join the Harvard swim team in 2013. Bailar had been accepted to the women’s swim team, but after realizing that he was transgender, he had to grapple with possibly losing the chance to compete in the sport he loved. “I’m an athlete, and if I transitioned I would lose the women’s team. But when it became more clear that I wanted to transition, that I was going to go through medical steps in my transition, that I wanted to go by he/him/his pronouns, my coach Steph was like ‘What about the men’s team?’” Ultimately, Bailar decided to take the leap. And after a gap year, became the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. Now 25, Bailar uses his social platforms to raise awareness about trans issues. Currently, more than 30 state legislatures have bills designed to ban trans girls and women from playing women’s athletics. Bailar believes these bills are harmful to the wellbeing of trans children. “I get goosebumps in a bad way, in a sad way and sort of teary when I think about it because a lot of trans kids don’t have the support from their parents, don’t have the support from their teachers, or their friends. So for the government to add on to that, ‘oh by the way, you also don’t belong in sports,' it’s a massive massive message to these kids that they don’t belong. Additionally, Bailar suggests going to his website to learn more about the 144 trans bills in the United States that target sports and access to healthcare.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Popeyes

When you come from NOLA, crazy backstories are kind of par for the course. But even the city’s fast-food joints have histories that make BW3's figure skating background look commonplace. The Popeyes tale rests on Al Copeland, a larger-than-life chicken mogul known for his (literal) showboating, lavish weddings, and public fights with vampire ladies. Seriously. We also threw in a few stories about the chicken chain's trademark jingle and famous fans, but you're going to want to read that whole Copeland saga below in order to fully appreciate the wonders of Popeyes chicken. We can only imagine the shenanigans he's getting into with JFK and Howard Hughes in the sky as we speak.

1. The chain is named for Gene Hackman, not the sailor

Everyone assumes Popeyes is named for the cartoon character, but the honor actually goes to a fictional ’70s detective. Founder Al Copeland named his place for Gene Hackman’s character from The French Connection, Popeye Doyle, basically because he liked the dude’s style. And considering Doyle provided the blueprint for every modern car chase scene, we can’t argue.

Credit: Andy Kryza/Thrillist

2. The founder got his start in donuts

Copeland entered the food biz at the tender age of 18, when he opened a Tastee Donut franchise. He had to sell his car for the start-up capital, but he was able to turn the place into a profitable shop — which is pretty impressive, considering he didn’t even finish high school. Copeland stuck with Tastee Donut for several years, until he noticed the KFC next door was crushing it and ditched fried dough for fried chicken.

3. Copeland lived large

Once he was making money off Popeyes, Copeland leaned hard into the playboy lifestyle. He was known for racing powerboats and cruising around New Orleans in Rolls-Royces. He had four insanely lavish weddings — including one where he set off heart-shaped fireworks and commissioned the Popeyes helicopter to scatter rose petals. Also, the Times-Picayune apparently once referred to him as Louisiana’s “homegrown Liberace,” which leads us to believe he had an extensive collection of fur coats and candelabras to boot.

4. He also loved Christmas

Move over, Clark Griswold. If you’re looking for the undisputed king of Christmas displays, you gotta hand it to Al. The man put together insane displays with over half a million lights in his front yard for years — in fact, they caused so much traffic that his neighbors sued in 1983, so he staged the stuff offsite for several years, until a toned-down version returned to his estate in 1991. But Copeland channeled his holiday spirit in quieter ways as well. Every year, he underwrote gifts for 1,000 needy children. The presents were delivered on Christmas Eve signed by Santa, who’s starting to look a little miserly compared to this jolly millionaire.

5. But hated Anne Rice

You don’t get to Copeland’s position without making a few enemies, but Al’s most famous feud was pretty hilarious. Noted vampire novelist Anne Rice had it out with Copeland in 1997 over one of his non-Popeyes restaurants, Straya, which she thought was tacky. It seems she was especially pissed because she had her main vamp Lestat disappear into the building (back when it was a car dealership) in her book Memnoch the Devil, so she did what any normal person would do: took out full-page ads in the local newspaper bashing the place and updated her voicemail messages to nasty rants about Straya. Copeland took out a full-page ad in response, offering to treat her to dinner and help her “find” Lestat, but he wasn’t too pleased. He filed a defamation suit that was eventually thrown out by a civil district judge. Rice later moved to California and Straya shut down, but locals still haven’t stopped laughing over this bloodsucker beef.

6. They went through a lot of name changes

Copeland’s first chicken restaurant was called Chicken on the Run, because it was “so fast you get your chicken before you get your change.” But people weren’t into Copeland’s food, so he switched over to a Louisiana Cajun-style recipe and rebranded as Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken. Once that gained some traction, Copeland changed the name yet again to Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken. Eventually they were Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, before their latest rebranding turned them into Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. If you were wondering why they never picked up an apostrophe in all those name changes, Copeland always joked that he was “too poor” to afford one when he started out — and the tradition apparently stuck.

7. They got some big names to sing the jingle

Popeyes famously enlisted Dr. John to sing their “Love that chicken from Popeyes” slogan when it first debuted in the ’80s. But they also got Fats Domino and Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters to sing in commercials over the years — and then got all three acts to perform at the company’s 30th birthday party. Your own 30th birthday party has never seemed sadder.

8. Popeyes had to buy their own recipes back

Just last year, Popeyes made weird news items nationwide for buying their own recipes for $43 million. It turned out that Copeland’s family still owned the goods, even though Al relinquished control of the company in 1992, and had been charging the chain an annual royalties fee of $3.1 million. Now, Popeyes still has to pay the Copeland estate for spices, but at least they finally managed to acquire the world’s most expensive index cards.

9. Ellen DeGeneres and Aubrey Plaza were both commercial stars

Though they’re at polar ends of the cheer spectrum, Ellen and Aubrey have at least one thing in common: pre-fame Popeyes commercials. While Aubrey’s ad for butterfly shrimp aired in the aughts, Ellen’s is giving off strong ’80s vibes.

10. And they’ve got a slew of superfans

Baseball pros like Hank Aaron have proven their admiration by buying franchises. (Or, if you’re Adam Jones, with a Popeyes birthday cake.) UFC fighter Daniel Cormier’s so into that chicken, his opponents have taunted him with it and he featured it in a Meghan Trainor parody that he for some reason felt compelled to make. But their most famous fan is probably Beyonce. She talked about getting a free chicken for life card on Oprah back in 2003 and was even rumored to have had it at her wedding to Jay Z. This cupcake above is not from Popeyes, but we’re sure Beyonce’s got a combo stashed somewhere in the back.

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Score an ingenious machine for making your morning coffee, waffles, and sandwiches at up to 30 percent off.

The first trans athlete to compete in the NCAA on stopping bills banning trans kids from sports

By the time Schuyler Bailar got to high school, he was one of the nation’s top 20 15-year-old breast strokers. By 17, he set a national age-group record. His hard work paid off when he was accepted to join the Harvard swim team in 2013. Bailar had been accepted to the women’s swim team, but after realizing that he was transgender, he had to grapple with possibly losing the chance to compete in the sport he loved. “I’m an athlete, and if I transitioned I would lose the women’s team. But when it became more clear that I wanted to transition, that I was going to go through medical steps in my transition, that I wanted to go by he/him/his pronouns, my coach Steph was like ‘What about the men’s team?’” Ultimately, Bailar decided to take the leap. And after a gap year, became the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. Now 25, Bailar uses his social platforms to raise awareness about trans issues. Currently, more than 30 state legislatures have bills designed to ban trans girls and women from playing women’s athletics. Bailar believes these bills are harmful to the wellbeing of trans children. “I get goosebumps in a bad way, in a sad way and sort of teary when I think about it because a lot of trans kids don’t have the support from their parents, don’t have the support from their teachers, or their friends. So for the government to add on to that, ‘oh by the way, you also don’t belong in sports,' it’s a massive massive message to these kids that they don’t belong. Additionally, Bailar suggests going to his website to learn more about the 144 trans bills in the United States that target sports and access to healthcare.


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Popeyes

When you come from NOLA, crazy backstories are kind of par for the course. But even the city’s fast-food joints have histories that make BW3's figure skating background look commonplace. The Popeyes tale rests on Al Copeland, a larger-than-life chicken mogul known for his (literal) showboating, lavish weddings, and public fights with vampire ladies. Seriously. We also threw in a few stories about the chicken chain's trademark jingle and famous fans, but you're going to want to read that whole Copeland saga below in order to fully appreciate the wonders of Popeyes chicken. We can only imagine the shenanigans he's getting into with JFK and Howard Hughes in the sky as we speak.

1. The chain is named for Gene Hackman, not the sailor

Everyone assumes Popeyes is named for the cartoon character, but the honor actually goes to a fictional ’70s detective. Founder Al Copeland named his place for Gene Hackman’s character from The French Connection, Popeye Doyle, basically because he liked the dude’s style. And considering Doyle provided the blueprint for every modern car chase scene, we can’t argue.

Credit: Andy Kryza/Thrillist

2. The founder got his start in donuts

Copeland entered the food biz at the tender age of 18, when he opened a Tastee Donut franchise. He had to sell his car for the start-up capital, but he was able to turn the place into a profitable shop — which is pretty impressive, considering he didn’t even finish high school. Copeland stuck with Tastee Donut for several years, until he noticed the KFC next door was crushing it and ditched fried dough for fried chicken.

3. Copeland lived large

Once he was making money off Popeyes, Copeland leaned hard into the playboy lifestyle. He was known for racing powerboats and cruising around New Orleans in Rolls-Royces. He had four insanely lavish weddings — including one where he set off heart-shaped fireworks and commissioned the Popeyes helicopter to scatter rose petals. Also, the Times-Picayune apparently once referred to him as Louisiana’s “homegrown Liberace,” which leads us to believe he had an extensive collection of fur coats and candelabras to boot.

4. He also loved Christmas

Move over, Clark Griswold. If you’re looking for the undisputed king of Christmas displays, you gotta hand it to Al. The man put together insane displays with over half a million lights in his front yard for years — in fact, they caused so much traffic that his neighbors sued in 1983, so he staged the stuff offsite for several years, until a toned-down version returned to his estate in 1991. But Copeland channeled his holiday spirit in quieter ways as well. Every year, he underwrote gifts for 1,000 needy children. The presents were delivered on Christmas Eve signed by Santa, who’s starting to look a little miserly compared to this jolly millionaire.

5. But hated Anne Rice

You don’t get to Copeland’s position without making a few enemies, but Al’s most famous feud was pretty hilarious. Noted vampire novelist Anne Rice had it out with Copeland in 1997 over one of his non-Popeyes restaurants, Straya, which she thought was tacky. It seems she was especially pissed because she had her main vamp Lestat disappear into the building (back when it was a car dealership) in her book Memnoch the Devil, so she did what any normal person would do: took out full-page ads in the local newspaper bashing the place and updated her voicemail messages to nasty rants about Straya. Copeland took out a full-page ad in response, offering to treat her to dinner and help her “find” Lestat, but he wasn’t too pleased. He filed a defamation suit that was eventually thrown out by a civil district judge. Rice later moved to California and Straya shut down, but locals still haven’t stopped laughing over this bloodsucker beef.

6. They went through a lot of name changes

Copeland’s first chicken restaurant was called Chicken on the Run, because it was “so fast you get your chicken before you get your change.” But people weren’t into Copeland’s food, so he switched over to a Louisiana Cajun-style recipe and rebranded as Popeyes Mighty Good Fried Chicken. Once that gained some traction, Copeland changed the name yet again to Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken. Eventually they were Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, before their latest rebranding turned them into Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. If you were wondering why they never picked up an apostrophe in all those name changes, Copeland always joked that he was “too poor” to afford one when he started out — and the tradition apparently stuck.

7. They got some big names to sing the jingle

Popeyes famously enlisted Dr. John to sing their “Love that chicken from Popeyes” slogan when it first debuted in the ’80s. But they also got Fats Domino and Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. & The Zydeco Twisters to sing in commercials over the years — and then got all three acts to perform at the company’s 30th birthday party. Your own 30th birthday party has never seemed sadder.

8. Popeyes had to buy their own recipes back

Just last year, Popeyes made weird news items nationwide for buying their own recipes for $43 million. It turned out that Copeland’s family still owned the goods, even though Al relinquished control of the company in 1992, and had been charging the chain an annual royalties fee of $3.1 million. Now, Popeyes still has to pay the Copeland estate for spices, but at least they finally managed to acquire the world’s most expensive index cards.

9. Ellen DeGeneres and Aubrey Plaza were both commercial stars

Though they’re at polar ends of the cheer spectrum, Ellen and Aubrey have at least one thing in common: pre-fame Popeyes commercials. While Aubrey’s ad for butterfly shrimp aired in the aughts, Ellen’s is giving off strong ’80s vibes.

10. And they’ve got a slew of superfans

Baseball pros like Hank Aaron have proven their admiration by buying franchises. (Or, if you’re Adam Jones, with a Popeyes birthday cake.) UFC fighter Daniel Cormier’s so into that chicken, his opponents have taunted him with it and he featured it in a Meghan Trainor parody that he for some reason felt compelled to make. But their most famous fan is probably Beyonce. She talked about getting a free chicken for life card on Oprah back in 2003 and was even rumored to have had it at her wedding to Jay Z. This cupcake above is not from Popeyes, but we’re sure Beyonce’s got a combo stashed somewhere in the back.

Valedictorian delivers abortion-rights speech

First trans NCAA athlete wants to stop bills that ban trans kids from sports

The bizarre drama surrounding TikTok’s Texas bee lady

ɾverything's Gonna Be Okay' star Josh Thomas on life with autism and ADHD: 'I'm just trying to get through the day'

Jazz Jennings reacts to anti-trans athletic bill

Why Hailey Baldwin says she wouldn't ɾver' pose nude

The model opened up about Christianity, modesty and social media backlash in a new interview.

Have an older car? Amazon slashed the price of this top-rated dash cam to just $31

See why more than 2,500 five-star Amazon reviewers are in love with this gadget — and it's 56 percent off right now.

AdPlace A Bag On Your Car Mirror When Traveling

Brilliant Car Cleaning Hacks Local Dealers Wish You Didn’t Know

Jill Biden celebrates her 70th birthday with a 5-mile bike ride alongside husband President Biden

A couple who bikes together, stays together.

A teacher who says he will not respect transgender students’ pronouns got placed on leave. Now he’s suing.

“I’m a teacher but I serve God first and I will not affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion."

Elizabeth Hurley rocks low-cut dress for her ɿirst night out in 14 months'

The British actress enjoyed a well-deserved night on the town.

Meghan Trainor feels like a �ss' after giving birth: 'If I can get through that C-section, man, I can do anything'

The new mom opens up about baby Riley.

Critical race theory is causing controversy in K-12 classrooms. Here's what parents should know.

Critical race theory is generating controversy in some K-12 schools but experts say misinformation is what's fueling protest.

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson shows off his ‘beautiful’ fish, urges followers to prioritize ‘self care’

Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson knows how to decompress! All it takes is a little help from mother nature.

'No foot pain at all': Who knew Amazon's No. 1 bestselling sandals were just $17?

Need house shoes? Podiatrists recommend wearing footwear inside to absorb shock — and these are loved by over 20,000 shoppers.

In now-viral TikTok, stranger encourages woman to have confidence: ‘It only takes a moment to be kind and uplift the next person’

The pair, who met in a chance encounter that's gone viral on TikTok, are now inseparable.

Rebel Wilson, 41, stuns in a plunging swimsuit: ‘Unbelievable transformation’

The "Pitch Perfect" actress shared photos from a Florida vacation on Instagram.

Tan France on confidence and becoming a first-time dad: 'I've had to wait a very long time to make this happen'

The "Queer Eye" star opens up about mental health and why coffee and sleep are crucial.

Rihanna serves in bright orange lingerie: ‘Internet just broke’

The singer just let her photos do the talking.

‘Why Women Kill’ star Lana Parrilla on her passion for fashion — and the surprising advice she’d give her younger self

The "Why Women Kill" actress talks about the best decade in fashion and the color that makes her feel empowered.

Schuyler Bailar was the first trans athlete to compete in the NCAA. Now he wants to stop bills that ban trans children from sports.

Schuyler Bailar, the first trans NCAA athlete, shares his story and the continued fight for trans equality in sports and healthcare.

These 11 cult-favorite Amazon products are on sale for Memorial Day — and they're all under $20

From teeth whitening kits to a magical cleaning paste, these life-changers are worth the hype.

Do you need to get a COVID-19 test if you are vaccinated? Here's what the experts say

The latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says you don't need to be tested or to quarantine if you're fully vaccinated, even if you’ve been exposed to someone who was sick.

Amazon just slashed the price of these Hamilton Beach breakfast must-haves

Score an ingenious machine for making your morning coffee, waffles, and sandwiches at up to 30 percent off.

The first trans athlete to compete in the NCAA on stopping bills banning trans kids from sports

By the time Schuyler Bailar got to high school, he was one of the nation’s top 20 15-year-old breast strokers. By 17, he set a national age-group record. His hard work paid off when he was accepted to join the Harvard swim team in 2013. Bailar had been accepted to the women’s swim team, but after realizing that he was transgender, he had to grapple with possibly losing the chance to compete in the sport he loved. “I’m an athlete, and if I transitioned I would lose the women’s team. But when it became more clear that I wanted to transition, that I was going to go through medical steps in my transition, that I wanted to go by he/him/his pronouns, my coach Steph was like ‘What about the men’s team?’” Ultimately, Bailar decided to take the leap. And after a gap year, became the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. Now 25, Bailar uses his social platforms to raise awareness about trans issues. Currently, more than 30 state legislatures have bills designed to ban trans girls and women from playing women’s athletics. Bailar believes these bills are harmful to the wellbeing of trans children. “I get goosebumps in a bad way, in a sad way and sort of teary when I think about it because a lot of trans kids don’t have the support from their parents, don’t have the support from their teachers, or their friends. So for the government to add on to that, ‘oh by the way, you also don’t belong in sports,' it’s a massive massive message to these kids that they don’t belong. Additionally, Bailar suggests going to his website to learn more about the 144 trans bills in the United States that target sports and access to healthcare.


Watch the video: 11 Πράγματα Που Δεν Ήξερες Για Την Κωνσταντίνα Σπυροπούλου Υπότιτλοι (December 2021).