Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff Arms

Last week N Jay from “N Jay n Joey” asked a question about Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff’s arms. He wanted to know how and who made them move.

I answered him and also posted on Worldvents that I had done a blog back on March 18th 2008 on just this subject and showed pictures of Jay Lloyd doing same. Click here to see the blog

Yesterday, I received this note from Mike Brose adding a bit more information that I did not previously have so I decided to share this with the vent community.

Hey Dan,

There was also Skip Ludwig, shown in the attached photo with Jay and
Paul’s wife at the time. I always remember their names, as I used to
recall the credits on the Winchell Mahoney show out KTTV in Los Angeles
near where I lived growing up.

There were usually the two operators (Jay and Skip), who would operate the head with one hand and be one of the figure’s hands with their other hand. One operator did Jerry, and one did Knuck. The other hand on the figure would be a stuffed glove. But sometimes, when they needed both
hands to be active on the figures (see other attached photo) a third
person was used to operate just heads. Many times, this third person was Paul himself, when he did not need to be seen on camera the same time as the figures. This way he could operate the head and mouths on the figures, and do the voices too, and would have the best synch on the mouth movement.

Best Regards,

Mike Brose


jayandskip paul-winchell-jerry-knucklehead

Thanks Mike for sending this in to us here at Ventriloquist Central.

To see “N Jay n Joey” blog, click here.



Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. His collection of ventriloquist figures now numbers over 100 figures of which there are over 50 Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to:

Copyright 2008 by Dan Willinger

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