Tony, are you lookin’?

It’s easy to take the statue of Big Mike the lumberjack for granted.

After all, he’s smiling benevolently at you right now from atop The HayWord.

He’s also grinning at passers-by on Mission Boulevard, near Grace Street, from alongside Tyre Treds. And Mike’s nearly identical twin even has a happy expression when he sees Tony Soprano.

Yes, check out the opening credits for “The Sopranos” reruns — now on the A&E channel Monday and Wednesday nights — and there’s a split-second shot of a Big Mike lookalike as Tony cruises through Joisey towards home.

In the early 1960s, dozens of 20-foot-high, Paul Bunyanesque fiberglass statues were made for an automotive company. Each was known as the “Muffler Man,” and they dotted commercial throughfares throughout the country.

Many have survived over the decades, with some getting new names and makeovers. Check out this site for a look at Big Mike and his brothers.

Even with big smiles, they’re real tough guys.

Take that, Tony, Christopher, Paulie Walnuts and Sil.


  • Freja Robinsong

    Alas no more as of Thursday! Oct 27,2011
    Mike has moved on.

  • Sherry Blair

    What??? Big Mike has moved? from the internet or from Mission Blvd?

  • Sherry Blair

    What!?! Where did he go?

  • Eric Kurhi

    Yep, I talked to the commercial real estate guy last week and he confirmed that a local resident purchased Big Mike and is restoring him. I asked him to pass the word along that I want to talk to the buyer for a story and to find out what will be done with the restored Mike but I haven’t heard back from him.

  • All;

    Let us hope that ‘Big Mike’ upon restoration will find a better location. ‘His positioning’ in Hayward did nothing for the aesthetics of the street. It lacked freshness and marked Hayward with appearance of banality.

    Send him to Pleasanton!

  • Sherry Blair

    Thanks Eric. I am interested in more too. It is such a landmark here. It has meaning for a lot of people.

    Freja, do you know any more?

  • qodrn

    This is just horrible. Can’t we have anything fun in Hayward?

    Waiting on Eric for the answers….