Paul Winchell

Trivia and Quotes

Quotes (5)

  • Paul: On television, everyone talks and they don't care about the mechanics.

  • Paul: Children are so used to seeing puppets that when they see a real ventriloquist they don't understand it.

  • Paul: (speaking about the destruction of the taped recording by Metromedia of his show) The thing that was perhaps most painful to me was that in my best days, back in the '50s and '60s, it was all live. All the work I had done in the past, there was no record of it. Then finally I had the opportunity to do this taped thing [from 1964 to 1968], and I felt that at last, I'll have some remaining record of my work that future people could see, especially children. Suddenly I didn't have it anymore. It was gone forever.

  • Paul: Ventriloquism is closely related to magic. It's all about misdirection. You practice speaking from your diaphragm and low in your throat. You substitute letters for 'B' and 'P' that allow you to speak without moving your lips

  • Paul: Television and its use of computers can make everything talk, so there's no need for the art of ventriloquism anymore. I don't think young kids today would even understand it.

Trivia (32)

  • Paul was interested and involved in technology right up to the time of his death. He created and maintained a personal website until 2004.

  • Because he was concerned about the starving people in Africa, Paul developed a method to cultivate tilapia fish in tribal villages and small communities. The fish thrives in brackish waters, which made it particularly well suited for sub-Saharan Africa. This idea was turned down, however, because of several obstacles it was considered unfeasible.

  • On August 12, 1951 at Akron Ohio, Paul and Jerry beat Ronald Reagan in the celebrity race at the Soap Box Derby. It's the only race that President Reagan ever lost.

  • Paul's occasional appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show made him known to a large national audience and helped spearhead his growth as an entertainer in demand.

  • To help himself through bouts of severe depression, Paul studied and wrote widely on theology.

  • Paul debuted on NBC in 1947 with The Paul Winchell-Jerry Mahoney Show, featuring a smart-mouthed puppet he had invented in his early teens. Paul had introduced the puppet, Jerry, in 1936 on radio's Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour, earning first prize.

  • Paul was severely abused by his mother when he was young and and this contributed to his horrendous relationships he had with all of his children, according to his daughter, April, as told on her website ( and book.

  • Paul did the voice for Tigger for the first time in 1968 for the Walt Disney Company's Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day which earned an Academy Award for best animated short.

Show More Trivia