Randy's was built in 1952 as part of the now-defunct Big Donut Drive-In chain by Russell C. Wendell; he later sold off the individual stores to concentrate on his Pup 'N' Taco chain. At least four other Big Donuts survive: they are Kindle's Donuts in Los Angeles (this is the original location, built in 1950), the Donut King II in Gardena, Dale's Donuts in Compton, and Bellflower Bagels in Bellflower. Each features Robert Graham's donut sculpture.
Similar to the Big Donut chain is The Donut Hole of La Puente, California, the last of a chain of five stores featuring two 26 foot diameter drive-through fiberglass donuts on either side of a small bakery building.
The 24-hour drive-in, also known as the "Big O," is located at 805 West Manchester Avenue at the corner of La Cienega Boulevard and is near the Manchester Avenue off-ramp of the San Diego Freeway (I-405). Ron & Larry Weintraub are the current owners, nephews of the previous owner, whose son is the Randy the shop was named after.
This building has appeared in a number of music videos including "I Love LA" by Randy Newman, "Californication" by Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a work by Snoop Doggy Dogg that had the rapper looking down from the roof, it also appears in Bob Sinclair's videoclip for "Love Generation". It was also featured in an episode of Futurama and in several movies including Earth Girls Are Easy. A donut shop remarkably like Randy's also appeared in an episode of The Simpsons. The shop has also appeared on Food Network's Top 5: Fab Food Architecture, History Channel's Modern Marvels, and in Pier Pressure, a first-season episode of Arrested Development. During the 1990s it appeared for several years in the opening montage of the Tonight Show, with the camera zooming through the center of the doughnut and into the moon. There is also a similar building in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and in Need For Speed: Most Wanted satirically named Glory Hole Donuts. It was recently part of the UK TV show BO! in the USA starring Leigh Francis as Coldplay's Chris Martin during a scene entitled, "fun with Chris Martin". It is also featured in the movie Mars Attacks where it is blown up by a flying saucer. It is also the picture for the vinyl of J Dilla's Dilla Donuts drawn by Jeff Jank. The building was also nominated for "Roadside distractions" in Weird California (Weird US). A representation of the famous donut design was incorporated into Disney's Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios) as a thematic element in the roller coaster.
In July of 2008, the sign was featured in a viral video where two women attempt to kick a soccer ball through the donut hole from across the street, a distance of about 200 feet. The first attempt is a near miss, the second attempt succeeds. The soundtrack includes an Italian soccer commentator.