Clown Dog Restaurant from “Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead”Dec 14th, 2009 | By Lindsay | Category: Movie Locations
UPDATE – I just drove by this location last week and was shocked to discover that the entire thing had been completely torn down. The only part of it left standing is the All American Burger sign pictured below. A Chipotle restaurant is currently being built in its place. So incredibly sad! I will leave this post up, though, for those stalkers who are interested in seeing photographs of how it used to look.
A few weeks ago, I dragged my boyfriend out to Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood to stalk a restaurant named All American Burger – a location which has been on my list of places to stalk ever since fellow stalker Owen informed me that it stood in for the Clown Dog diner where Bryan (aka Josh Charles) worked in fave movie Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. In a random twist of fate, Owen happened upon this information during his search for the main house used in Don’t Tell Mom back in September. While trying to track down that location, Owen came across an interview with actor Keith Coogan, who played Christina Applegate’s younger brother Kenny in the flick, who had this to say, “The film was shot entirely in Southern California. Mostly in the San Fernando Valley and Santa Clarita/Antelope Valley areas. The house is really close to Six Flags Magic Mountain. Some locations were in the heart of Hollywood, like the roof of the Holiday Inn, and the Clown Dog is actually an ‘All American Burger’ located on Sunset Blvd. Some scenes were shot in Santa Monica and Malibu, as well as some interiors which were filmed in Simi Valley/Sherman Oaks.” (Unfortunately, for the life of me, I cannot find the source of that interview online, otherwise I would post a link to it here.) An actor who not only remembers where scenes from his movies were filmed, but actually references them in an interview??? SO LOVE IT!!!!! Thank you, Keith!!! So, once I heard where Clown Dog was located, I immediately added the address to my long “to stalk” list and finally made it out there to see the place in person just a few weeks back. YAY!
And, let me tell you, this was one stalk that was DEFINITELY worth the wait. As fate would have it, the owner of the restaurant, an INCREDIBLY nice man named Lang, was working behind the counter when we arrived. Of course, the first words out of my mouth were, “Was Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead filmed here?” Lang laughed and told me that yes, indeed, the movie had been filmed on the premises. I then asked him if everyone who came in inquired about the very same thing, to which he replied “You’re only the second person in the twenty-plus years I’ve worked here who has ever asked me that!” LOL It’s nice to know I’m unique! Lang seemed truly amused at my excitement over stalking his restaurant and really could NOT have been nicer about it. Not only did he tell me that I was welcome to take all of the pictures of the place that I wanted . . .
. . . BUT HE ALSO LET ME DON ONE ONE OF THE ALL AMERICAN BURGER UNIFORMS AND STEP BEHIND THE COUNTER TO POSE FOR A PIC! LOVE IT! LOVE IT! LOVE IT!
I also so love it that the real All American Burger hat is almost exactly the same as the Clown Dog hat that Christina Applegate wore in the movie!
Because my fiancé and I were both starving at the time, we just had to grab a bite to eat during our stalk. And, let me tell you, we were not disappointed! While All American Burger is by no means fancy, their food is simply A-MA-ZING! The menu features your typical all-American fare, such as burgers, hot dogs, and French fries, all of which happen to be right up my alley. My fiancé and I ended up splitting a cheeseburger and fries – both of which were excellent! And the Grim Cheaper was very excited about the fact that the entire meal cost us $4! Even more exciting to him, though, had to be the restaurant’s working pinball machine, which he played quite a few games on. So cool! (Please pardon the above picture, I was in a goofy mood that day. )
All American Burger pops up twice in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. It first shows up in the beginning of the movie, in the scene in which Sue Ellen (aka Swell), gets a job working behind the counter of the fast food restaurant.
Fed up with Mr. Egg, her perennially happy boss, Swell quits her new job after only one day of work, but not before making a romantic connection with fellow Clown Dog employee Bryan.
The restaurant next shows up towards the end of the movie, in the scene in which Swell, upset over her recent fight with Bryan, drives by Clown Dog and sadly watches him working through the window.
I am very happy to report that although over 18 years have passed since Don’t Tell Mom was filmed, All American Burger still looks very much the same in person as it did onscreen. Missing in real life, of course, is the circus themed decor that was used to dress the restaurant during the filming. Besides Don’t Tell Mom, All American Burger has also been featured in a recent episode of Southland and in an album cover for one of musician Howie Day’s CD’s. And because the restaurant is something of a Hollywood institution, celebs have been known to stop in there from time to time, including The O.C.’s Adam Brody, who is a regular.
Big THANK YOU to Owen for finding this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: All American Burger, aka Clown Dog from Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, was located at 7660 West Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.