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Jerry Mahoney

Jerry Mahoney

Usage conditions apply
Description (Brief)
This is a child's toy puppet that was popular in the 1950s and is based on Paul Winchell's character, Jerry Mahoney. Dressed in a green cloth suit, Jerry has a removable plastic head that is mounted on a wooden shaft with a moveable mouth and eyes, along with plastic hands and feet and a soft body. The puppet came in it's own cardboard suitcase box, and included a special record and booklet explaining the art of ventriloquism. This is just one example of merchandising to children acting on the popularity of the Jerry Mahoney character.
The original carved marionette of Jerry Mahoney, used by Paul Winchell, was created by the famous ventriloquist figure maker Frank Marshall. He also created Edgar Bergen's Charlie McCarthy.
Ventriloquist Dr. Paul Winchell, and his puppets, Jerry Mahoney (1981.0385.01) and Knucklehead Smiff (1982.0424.01), were popular acts from 1938 through the 1980s, appearing on stage and on popular variety shows, like Ed Sullivan. Jerry Mahoney starred in the popular television show, "The Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney Show" which premiered in 1950 and ran until syndicated in 1965.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
Rollins, Hazelle H.
Associated Place
United States: New York, New York
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
cardboard (overall material)
wood (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
overall: 33 in x 12 in x 6 in; 83.82 cm x 30.48 cm x 15.24 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gene and Nancy R. Krupa
Radio and television broadcasting
Television broadcasts
Children's television programs
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Entertainment
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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