An old clip of Frank Paris, the man who originated Howdy Doody, performing with his marionettes.
In 1994 I began collecting puppets; marionettes, hand puppets, sock puppets, shadow puppets, stick puppets, puppets from Indonesia, Turkey, Thailand, China, Europe and elsewhere. I had been interested in puppets and ventriloquism as a child, even performed regularly with what is now called a ‘vent figure’. My vent figure was a highly modded commercially available character named Jerry Mahoney, by Paul Winchell. My father wrote scripts on yellow legal pads, primarily old vaudeville jokes that he remembered from his childhood. I had an agent that booked me into VA hospitals and local children’s television shows like ‘The Captain Cy Show’, where I would be sandwiched in between the Popeye cartoons and the kids picking their noses. I did this from age 9 through half of my tenth year.