On display ...

Canon John Jordan's son was visiting Washington DC and the Smithsonian today. He sent this photo of the original Charlie McCarthy to his Father who forwarded the image to me. In the past I've received other photos of this display, and they do bring fond memories. But the ageless Charlie always strikes me as appearing a bit lonely, even with the hundreds of people who stop to gaze at him from the other side the glass.


  1. Anonymous8/19/2011

    I heared they took him off display till someone complained,having taken a vacation there to see charlie, but when they put him back, they left his hat in storage! I think vent haven would have been a MUCH better choice for bergen's "kids"! they would have been treated with the respect they DESERVE there. Bill Smith

  2. Vent Haven does have a very nice Bergen display including replicas of Charlie, Mortimer, and Effie.

  3. P.Grecian8/20/2011

    I'm glad to hear you say that you feel Charlie looks a bit lonely. Seeing pictures of him there has always made me feel that way as well.
    I've been thinking for a long time about what should be done with my vent figures after I'm gone, most particularly my first "Louie" whom I replaced with a Hartz version.
    The first Louie is a seriously resculpted, rejiggered and rebodied Jerry Mahoney from about 1958 or so. I used him in performance for decades. Seems wrong to put him on display and seems wrong to give him away or sell him. I know. Sounds a bit silly when I type it out here...but it has weighed on me.

  4. I think anyone who had a Charlie McCarthy doll can agree: the hat ALWAYS gets lost. (I'm afraid the monocle is next.)

  5. Winkle and Wags8/20/2011

    I remember seeing Charlie at the Smithsonian some 15 years ago. As part of the "Nation of Nations" exhibit, his top hat WAS on him then and he was sitting on top of Irving Berlin's piano. To his right, stood Howdy Doody (strings arranged so that he was waving and his open mouth revealed his toothy smile) and above that leading citizen of Doodyville sat Kermit the Frog. Around the corner, in another section and right next to a pair of Jack Dempsey's boxing gloves, sat Jerry Mahoney & Knucklehead Smiff side by side. It was like I was visiting "Puppet Heaven"! But seeing it so much later than on TV, I appreciated it more, I think. As a youngster, I'd have probably wet my pants by seeing Jerry in person ... but as an adult, I appreciated the beautiful craftsmanship that was part of each of these wonderful characters and how much they still meant and still MEAN to me.