Thursday, November 09, 2006

This is something you don’t hear every day.

“The acquisition committee of the Smithsonian Institution has voted unanimously to collect (the original) Bob for its permanent collection - per Jay Johnson’s specifications.”

I just heard this news tonight. The original Bob will now sit along side Charlie McCarthy, Howdy Doody and Kermit the Frog as a permanent member of American History in the Smithsonian Institute of Washington, DC.

This is a process that has been going on for several months. A committee evaluates a donation for its value and significance to American History. Not every donation is accepted; in fact they decline more donations than they accept. I am thrilled they consider the work Bob and I did and the contribution we made to the arts worthy to be so honored. There will be a ceremony that will likely take place here in New York during the run of my show and those details have to be worked out. But wow!

Just to clarify, we are talking about the original Bob I used on “Soap”. The Bob I use now in “The Two and Only” is the next generation. After a couple of years of use Bob needed to be up graded to keep pace with the schedule. Unlike a Hollywood star getting a face-lift, it is easier to start all over with a puppet. That is how I come to have two Bobs. For a while this Bob resided in the Magic and Movie Hall of Fame Museum in Las Vegas with several other famous puppets. That Museum was disbanded a few years ago and Bob has been looking for a new home since. I never dreamed the little guy would end up in such grand company.

I guess Bob has the best of all worlds now. He gets to hang out with his pals Charlie McCarthy and Howdy Doody all day and still perform every night on Broadway. It is a unique advantage to living exclusively in the world of imagination. I’m glad the imaginary people of “The Two and Only” allow me hang out with them.
It’s a wonderful life.
As you were,


the other one said...

How cool is that?

Anonymous said...

You and Bob to be immortalized in the Smithsonian Collection LONG after we are all gone to "never land." What a warm and wonderful compliment to you and Bob and to your work. CONGRATULATIONS are in order and I hope you will report on the ceremony and I hope it is during a performance. How neat is that.
Carry on,

sister said...

We are so proud of you, Jay! Our beloved 'rents visited the Smithsonian years ago. When they stopped in front of Charlie McCarthy, they said to each other how wonderful it would be if Jay someday had one of his figures there. Talk about fulfillment of dreams!


Love you!

David Robison said...


Congrats on this honor.

Space doesn't permit for me to tell you what a great influence you were for me.

The least I can do is to spread the word on this honor.

Bill DeMar said...

Sure glad you're the one who helped bring ventriloquism back
before the public.

Anonymous said...

I once had a room across the hall from your parents at the Drawbridge. I spoke a minute with your father telling my ambitions. He asked, "Do you have anything ready?"
What an embarrassing question, I didn't.
I'm sure that was part of the reason for the success you've had - being ready.
You've made vents all over the country proud.