Need Help Identifying 1960s Tv Puppet Show

This one is driving me nuts. I’ve been trying to recall which early 1960s show that I saw on TV in the New York Metropolitan Area had a puppet swan with big eyelashes, and who spoke with a southern accent. She referred to someone named “Beauregard”. For the life of me, I can’t recall who this is. I’ve checked through internet data on the puppeteers of my youth, and this apparently isn’t Shari Lewis or Paul Winchell or Jimmy Nelson. Nothing about them indicates such a character. It’s way outta line for Sandy Becker or Sonny Fox or Chuck McCann or Soupy Sales.

The most promising lead I turned up was for Garfield Goose, which featured a long-necked goose puppet. One of the characters on the show was a dog named Burnside Beauregard

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garfield_Goose_and_Friends

But I’m certain this isn’t it – I don’t recall any goose, and I’m certain – more certain than anything – about that southern-belle long lashed-swan, who’s not even hinted at in any internet reference to this, or any other, puppet show.

Does anybody know what I’m talking about? Pepper Mill’s memory corroborates my recollection, but is no more help in identifyig the puppet in questio.

Aha! I found it myself. It’s the Ritts Puppets that ran on NBC from 1959 to 1962:

http://www.tvparty.com/lostny2ritts.html

What I thought of as a swan was Magnolia the Ostrich, performed and voiced by Mary Ritts.
Theh appeared even earlier on TV, back in 1951-3, in In the Park:

They made various appearances after that, including the Jerry Lewis movie The Errand Boy:

Mary died two years ago:

What sprang immediately to my mind was a series of Better Business Bureau spots featuring a number of characters including a long-necked bird with eyelashes and a Southern accent.

Abominable, what are you doing?!

Until two minutes ago I had thought they were created and filmed solely for the BBB’s purposes; apparently they have a much longer history than that. Perhaps you ran across one of their earlier or later incarnations?

The Ritts Puppets

sees your reply Dammit, a minute too late! At least I know I had the right answer. :smiley:

Olentzero – that’s OK. Thanks for the input, and the corroboration. I had no idea they’d done BBB ads, or were on YouTube. I was looking for them for a LONG time, and couldn’t find them, probably because I was looking for a swan. But I typed “Southern belle” in the search line, and it took me to the Ritts Puppets.

Puppets used to be much bigger in TV than they are now, I suspect because animation was expensive and had really long lead times. The puppet hosts also used to be bilevel, appealing to kids and adults because of adult-oriemnted gags that would pass over the kids’ heads. There were stories that Albert Einstein used to watch Bob Clampettt’s early 1950s “Time for Beany”. In the 1950s Heinlein juvenile The Star Beast, you have to look at “Pidgie Widgie” in that light. Sort of the same sentiment people have more recently associated with the 'bots on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Another puppet show that I remember was Brother Buzz. I think the theme song was done to the tune of “Yankee Doodle.”

I remember them. Not much, but as soon as I saw the people and the puppets I recognized them.

From the link:

I started first grade that year at a school with a principal named Mr. Bee. Of course, all the kids referred to him as Brother Buzz behind his back. My memory of the KPIX version has “Flight of the Bumblebee” as the theme, though.

I remember those puppets from the BBB PSAs and various TV specials they hosted but couldn’t put a name to them. For awhile, I confused them with the Baird Marionettes who also used to appear on TV during that same time period.

Not to mention Jim Henson’s Muppets who used to pitch Wilkins Coffee during the 50s.