Jerry Mahoney Ventriloquist Puppet

Description (Brief)
Jerry Mahoney is a ventriloquist figure, that was the creation of puppeteer Paul WInchell. . His interest in ventriloquism started at an early age and in 1936, at the age of 16 WInchell appeared on the popular radio show Major Bowles Original Amateur Hour and won first prize with his sidekick Jerry. This original Jerry was made of plastic wood and sculpted by Frank Marshall;; he has a detachable carved wooden head and is dressed in a red sport coat and a bow tie. His sassy, outspoken persona was inspired by the irreverent personality of Edgar Bergen’s “partner,” the ventriloquist figure Charlie McCarthy.
From 1950-1954 Jerry was the star on The Paul WInchell Show and in 1951 he was joined by his friend and sidekick, Knucklehead Smiff. For the next three decades Winchell appeared as a guest on numerous television shows, and from 1965-1968, he and his two dummies starred on a popular children's television show "Winchell-Mahoney Time." While controlling both dummies simultaneously, Winchell came up with the idea to put his hands into the sleeves of the two characters, giving the effect that the two puppets were talking not only to him but each other.
In addition to his ventriloquist skills, Winchell was an inventor and holds a patent on an early version of the artificial heart. He was also a well known voice over for children's movies and television shows. One of his most memorable characters included acting as the voice of Tigger in the Disney movies, "Winnie the Pooh" for which he received a Grammy award.
Location
Currently not on view
Date made
1938
user
Winchell, Paul
maker
Marshall, Frank
Winchell, Dr. Paul
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
hair (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 43 in x 20 in x 6 1/2 in; 109.22 cm x 50.8 cm x 16.51 cm
ID Number
1981.0395.01
catalog number
1981.0395.01
accession number
1981.0395
Credit Line
Gift of Paul Winchell
subject
Puppetry
Television broadcasts
Radio and television broadcasting
Children's television programs
Television
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Entertainment
Puppets
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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