Sunday, June 26, 2005

Paul Winchell R. I. P.

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.


ShellyS said...

Oh, I'm sorry to hear this. I hadn't heard it reported til I saw it on your blog. I, too, was a big fan of Winchell and "Jerry Mahoney." I loved ventriloguists when I was growing up, and puppeteers. And I was very impressed years later when I learned Winchell had a part in inventing an artificial heart. He was a special man.

James Reasoner said...

One of my earliest memories is watching Paul Winchell on TV. I'm sorry to hear that he's passed away. Edgar Bergen was a bigger name, but Winchell was a better ventriloquist.

Anonymous said...

Another icon of our collective childhood is gone. Paul & Jerry Mahoney were two of my favorites.