Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Unlike his brother Pat (president of NBC and father to Sigourney Weaver), Winstead Weaver looked like a "doodlebug" (his own mother's opinion!) and acted like one, being a cornball comic/singer all his life.

The dude named Doodles gained fame with a manic William Tell horse race routine on a Spike Jones novelty single. He did a sequel, "Dance of the Hours" as a car race. Doodles also loved spoonerisms, mispronouncing song lyrics in frantic gibberish till he'd clear his mind with a bellowing "OOOOH!" That, along with deliberately awful jokes, made a hit out of "Man on the Flying Trapeze." You can hear Spike Jones ask "Are you in voice, Winstead," at the beginning.

He worked with Jones on stage and on radio for many years, but was fired for a lethal combo of alcoholism and natural nutsiness. He had bit parts in movies, notably the 1940 version of "Li'l Abner," and in 1951 prevailed upon brother Pat to help him land a summer TV show on NBC which went nowhere. He turned up on "You Bet Your Life" as an unknown contestant. After Doodles admitted his profession was a comedian, Groucho sympathetically hoped he'd get somewhere with it. In 1965 Weaver briefly had a notoriously desperate 6-minute "Day with Doodles" syndicated kiddie show. Nothing worked too well.

Throughout the 60's The Dood took minor roles in sitcoms, from "Dick Van Dyke Show" to "The Monkees" to "Batman" (as "Crier Tuck). His curly hair, tubular head and large eyes helped the comic ambience of any scene, even if his lines were few.

The older he got, the more bitter and disillusioned he became. 1948, when he issued his novelty tunes with Spike, was probably Doodles' best year. 1983 would be his fact, despite of or because of alcohol and pills, be couldn't stand to live more than a few weeks into 1983.

Not too many years earlier, Doodles went into the studio one last time to make a solo disc. He offered some updated spooner routines and he even tried to work his dentures through his classic Feetlebaum routine...which was now more of a trotter than a horse race.

Here's a six pack with samples of Doodles' hit singles, radio tunes and final recordings. All Weaver wanted was to get some laughs, and even if you're not a corn-comedy buff, he Dood it. He succeeded mightily several times, and in every sense of the word, he was always trying.

Cop a Doodles... DO! (Right here)
Update: the mid-October "inactivity purge" doomed Doodles at Rapidshare, but here's an upload of two rarities for you, Doodles doin' it on the old Spike Jones radio show. No Rapidshare waiting, either. Instant gratification

1 comment:

noboruwatanabebop said...

Hooray for Doodles!