was originally a scraggly, mixed-breed dog who became student mascot at the
In 1947 the USC student body made George their mascot (official? unofficial?). He led the Trojan band onto the field for each home football game often costumed in a sweater and sometimes wearing odd little hats.
Tirebiter posed with homecoming queens and at least once drew cheers from the students as he rode in a parade car in the Coliseum. At home football games George Tirebiter is remembered for once biting the mask nose of the rival UCLA’s Joe Bruin mascot (a person dressed in a bear costume). He was dog-napped in 1947 by pranksters from the rival school who shaved his fur to read "UCLA" and covered him with honey and feathers.
George Tirebiter was also in the habit of taking daily walks past the house of one David Ossman, who achieved his own fame some 20 years later in a high-IQ, alternate-reality comedy group named Firesign Theatre. This connection made "Tirebiter" a recurring character in the comedic tapestry of that group, best represented in their classic 1970 recording, "Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers".
The Firesign Theatre’s Tirebiter characters include:
(sometimes spelled Porge, Porgie, or Peorgie)
George Tirebiter Camden N200-R
- The Soldier: Lt. Tirebiter
- The Actor: Dave Casman
- The Elder: George Leroy Tirebiter
- The Mother: Mrs. George Tirebiter ("coming mother!")
- And (possibly) The Wife: Mrs. Porcelain Tirebiter
The Firesign Theatre circa 1970. Clockwise
Phil Proctor, David Ossman, Peter Bergman & Phil Austin.
The original, canine George Tirebiter was run over and killed in 1950 by the very tires he wished to bite (a lesson for us all) and USC’s newspaper, the Daily Trojan, allegedly wrote:
Gone to heaven
where he will have cushion rides for breakfast,
white sidewalls for lunch,
and cold rubber recaps for dinner.
Tirebiter I was succeeded by George II for three
years (1950-52), George III during 1953 and finally George IV for
1957. USC’s campus bookstore still sells a stuffed version of “George Tirebiter” but the Trojans switched animal mascots to a
less interesting horse named “Traveler” in 1961. In 2006 a sculpture
dedicated to the original canine mascot was installed on the USC campus, on the
“Bloom Walk” at
Thanks for your curiosity. Perhaps someday Tirebiter.com will do more justice to this immortal legend.
More Tirebiters on the web:
· Alternate rules for playing chess
· Classic Firesign Theatre recordings
· Connecticut based rock band
· The immortal soul of George Leroy Tirebiter, David Ossman.