I was in Little Rock, Arkansas while back when I decided to go have lunch at the Flying Fish restaurant, home of the Billy Bass Adoption Center in the historic river market district.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I walked in, there were rows and rows of the infamous animatronic Big Mouth Billy Bass that was popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. Don't pretend like you never got one as a gag gift or Christmas gift, as a matter of fact, I used to have two of them. The battery-operated bass was mounted on a plaque with a button and sensor so that every time someone would walk by it would start singing a song. Songs such as Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry Be Happy," Al Green's "Take Me To The River," or "Pretty Fishy" a parody of "Pretty Woman," by Roy Orbison. After the success of these novelty toys, other companies quickly created their own various types of fish.


Of course, with most novelty items they disappear as fast they come into the market. So, when the fad faded so did Billy Bass, many turned up in flea markets, garage sales, or tucked away in a closet with most being trashed, like mine. If you still happen to have one you may want to take it to the Billy Bass Adoption Center where it will live in infamy at the Flying Fish southern cajun restaurant. Billy Bass is now the iconic staple of the restaurant having more than 300 of Billy Bass on the walls and even hanging from the ceiling. And get this, with each donation you get a free catfish basket.


Flying Fish restaurants originated in Texas and are mainly in the South. This one is in Little Rock located at 511 President Clinton Avenue near the Arkansas River, a fitting place for a retired fish.

Now that's what I call a fisherman's tale! Sing on Billy, sing on!

Did you know you can actually buy a Billy Bass with built-in Alexa at Amazon?

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