Culture

Jack Nicholson’s ‘Poopies on the strip,’ a brief investigation

As it turns out, diners’ substitution policies and the director of The Postman Always Rings Twice are also involved.

Have you been to Poopies? Up on the strip?

I haven’t personally, but Jack Nicholson has. In a clip shared via tweet that’s equal parts confusing and hilarious because of how out of context it is, the actor describes a coffee shop, on “The Strip,” simply called... “Poopies.”

After some brief digging, I’m happy to say I now have some context for what the hell is going on here.

Poopies Origins

If you know Poopies, it might be because of a tweet from Twitter user @nitewires on March 14 that simply reads “we all hung out in a coffee shop called poopies up on the strip” with the clip attached.

Simple and to the point.

On March 28, @PoopiesCoffee — an account devoted to tweeting out the clip daily, and sometimes multiple times per day — sent out its first missive. Jack’s been to Poopies, and it’s up on The Strip.

Questions spin out from there, regarding the clip, the people involved (why does that other man look like a Pixar character), the various spellings of “Poopies” (I’ve settled on what I think will be the commonly accepted version), and the location of the coffee shop itself.

So now, some answers.

What the hell is this?

“Poopies on the strip” is actually part of a larger segment the Criterion Collection produced for the Blu-Ray release of Five Easy Pieces. An iconic piece of Nicholson’s filmography (I’m told), that IMDB summarizes as follows:

A dropout from upper-class America picks up work along the way on oil rigs when his life isn't spent in a squalid succession of bars, motels, and other points of interest.

Sounds like some classic, grimy Jack Nicholson content as far as I’m concerned (I haven’t seen it). The segment Criterion shot covers the film’s famous diner scene, in which a waitress is “1970s rude” to Jack Nicholson’s character (read: just doing her job) after he asks for a substitution, and Nicholson is a smart-ass about it.

The whole scene was apparently inspired by Nicholson’s own personal diner experience at Poopies. Unsurprisingly, old men have a lot of opinions about diner policies.

Who’s that other guy?

The Criterion Collection

That would be frequent Nicholson collaborator Bob Rafelson, the American director of Five Easy Pieces and The Postman Only Rings Twice, and the producer of Easy Rider and The Last Picture Show.

He’s arguably one of Hollywood’s original badasses.

What and where is Poopies?

Pupi’s, as it’s actually called, was a cafe and bakery on the Sunset Strip in what’s now West Hollywood. The restaurant is no longer open, but a Facebook page called Vintage Los Angeles claims it was kind of an “it” spot for Hollywood types.

The real life Pupi’s.Ralph Crane / Vintage Los Angeles

The restaurant was “a popular hang out for Warren Oates, Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando,” Vintage Los Angeles writes. “Jack’s crowd were serious habitués, anchored there at all hours of the evening....”

So, ‘Poopies’ is actually ‘Pupi’s,’ and ‘the Strip’ is the Sunset Strip, and while you can’t visit the cafe to relive Nicholson’s particular flavor of 70s life, you can buy an expensive condo and possibly get on a Netflix show.