Old Radio Programs

An Archive Of Historical Old Radio Broadcasts


Index-Menu Home

 

Paul Winchell And Jerry Mahoney

Paul Winchell (born Paul Wilchinsky; December 21, 1922 June 24, 2005) was an American ventriloquist, comedian, actor, humanitarian, and inventor whose career flourished in the 1950s and 1960s. From 1950 to 1954, he hosted The Paul Winchell Show, which also used two other titles during its prime time run on NBC, The Speidel Show, and What's My Name?. From 19651968, Winchell hosted the children's television series, Winchell-Mahoney Time. Winchell made guest appearances on Emmy Award-winning television series from the late 1950s to the mid 1970s, such as Perry Mason, The Dick Van Dyke Show, McMillan & Wife, The Donna Reed Show, and two appearances as Homer Winch on The Beverly Hillbillies in 1962. In animation, he was the original voice of Tigger, Dick Dastardly, Gargamel, and other characters. Winchell, who had medical training, was also an inventor, becoming the first person to build and patent a mechanical artificial heart, implantable in the chest cavity (US Patent #3097366). He has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in television. Winchell's best-known ventriloquist dummies were Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff. Mahoney was carved by Chicago-based figure maker Frank Marshall. Sometime later Winchell had basswood copies of Jerry's head made by a commercial duplicating service. One became the upgraded Jerry Mahoney that is seen primarily throughout Winchell's television career. The television versions of Jerry and Knucklehead also featured Winchell's innovation of actors slipping their hands into the sleeves of the dummies, giving the visual effect of gesturing with their hands while "conversing" with each other. He modified two other copies to create Knucklehead Smiff. The original Marshall Jerry Mahoney and one copy of Knucklehead Smiff are in storage at the Smithsonian Institution. The other two figures are in the collection of illusionist David Copperfield. [wikipedia]

 

Play all episodes.