Oh Skinny Dugan We Love You

When it comes to ventriloquism and its promotion there was none better than Fred Maher. He was a for real marketing genius.

Back in the early days you could look in any periodical from Boy’s Life to Look to Popular Mechanics and you would always find Fred Maher’s ad promoting his ventriloquism course. And he always had his side kick Skinny Dugan by his side to help with the promotion.

His course was so successful that his wife Madeleine Maher continued to sell it after Fred passed away and then Madeleine sold it to Clinton and Adelia Detweiler and he is still selling it today.

If you want this course I am sure Clinton would be happy to oblige. For more about the Maher Course, click here.

Fred Maher took many promotional shots of Skinny and these pictures were always retouched to eliminate the lines showing the mouth movement, the upper lip movement, the wiggling nose movement and the eyebrow movement.

I was fortunate to find an original sepia 8 x 10 photo of Fred and Skinny and these lines in this photo are not removed. It is a wonderful shot of one of the most famous McElroy figures and certainly one of the most favorite of all the McElroy fans. I hope you enjoy seeing this rare photo.


If you have any pictures of Skinny that you think the readers here at Ventriloquist Central would enjoy seeing please send them in to us to webmaster@ventriloquistcentral.com and we will post them right away.




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: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com

Copyright 2009 by Dan Willinger

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This entry was posted in Dummy Collecting, Edgar Bergen, Fred Maher, Madeleine Maher, Maher Studios, Ventriloquism Course, Ventriloquism/Ventriloquist, Ventriloquist Central, Ventriloquist Figure (Dummy) Makers, Ventriloquist Figure Building, Ventriloquist Figures. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Oh Skinny Dugan We Love You

  1. Rob K. says:

    I am so happy to have found your website! I have a pretty interesting story for you: In 1975 my (ex) wife & I were at a neighborhood garage sale in Grosse Pointe Farms Michigan. That’s where I bought a framed 8×10 with a different pose from this same Fred & Skinny photo session. At the time the sale hostess said it was her uncle, but I don’t remember if she told me his name. This photo has been hung in every house I’ve lived in since then. It was only today that I discovered the man in the photo was Fred Maher, from the Detroit Kid’s Show website http://detroitkidshow.com/Skinny_Dugan.htm
    It’s a pretty good day: I identify the man in the photo, find out Skinny Dugan’s owned by popular ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, and see two new poses of my photo!


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