news from me: "An amazing man died yesterday at the age of 82. Paul Winchell was a pioneer of early television, appearing on hundreds of shows with his wooden-headed friends, Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff. He was a great ventriloquist -- maybe the best ever -- but he was also a great all-around entertainer and inventor."
I was a huge fan of Paul Winchell when I was a kid. He was just about the best ventriloquist I ever saw. Obviously he was influenced by Edgar Bergen, and of course his partners, Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff, were a lot like Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd, but he was his own man, and Jerry and Knucklehead weren't carbon copies of any other dummies. I'm sorry to hear they've all passed on.