Tigger's stopped bouncing: Paul Winchell dead at 82

This rumor has been floating around theatre forums for a couple of days, but apparently it’s been confirmed.

Another great voice over guy speaks no more.

Call me old-fashioned but I never liked the characters in the Disney version of Poo having American accents. The original stories were British through and through. These accents just didn’t seem right.

I didn’t know he was the voice of Gargamel. I’ll miss him for that more so than the Pooh animations.

I will definitely miss him as Tigger. Makes me wonder who will be next.

I learned ventriloquism from his book waaay back when I was a kid. Made it very simple to do. A really good guy.

The most surprising part of his résumé:

This is one of those “Tis pity, but I didn’t know he was still alive” ones.

His artificial heart (which he built in his garage) makes the rounds on trivia circles, all the more so since he never studied medicine. I did some research into it at one point and as so often happens the full story isn’t as fun: he donated it to University of Utah because he read they were already working on one, and they basically ignored it (it wasn’t really incorporated into the one they built). It was, however, the first patent issued for an artificial heart, and I honestly think from what I’ve read that Winchell thought they basically tweaked his a bit and put it in to a guy (which thrilled rather than embittered him), so it was a harmless bit of self-deception if it made him happy and he didn’t experiment on neighborhood cats or anything.

(To date the record for survival with an artificial heart is 17 months, which doesn’t sound very long until you remember that all of the 16 people who have received one were in the final stages of heart disease, ineligible for heart transplant due to various considerations, and expected to die within weeks without a transplant.)

The first part of Tigger’s sign-off “TTFN-ta ta for now!”, which according to his obituary was coined by Winchell himself, has actually become part of Internet shorthand, which I think is rather interesting.

Depite what Tigger may say in his song (written by the great Dick and Bob Sherman), Winchell was not “the only one” to play Tigger: in later years, the bouncy, trouncy, pouncy, flouncy tiger has been voiced by Jim Cummings, who also picked up the mantle for the silly old bear himself after the passing of the original Pooh, Sterling Holloway.

The TTFN actually comes from a BBC WW2 radio show called ITMA (It’s That Man Again). So he did not invent it himself .To quote his obituary from the BBC web site :-

For Tigger, he created a slight lisp and laugh, crediting his British wife with Tigger’s “TTFN” catchprase - “ta-ta for now”, itself coming from BBC radio comedy It’s That Man Again.

Tigger’s voice always sounded to me like he recycled the voice of his old dummy character Knucklehead Smiff.

I watched the Winchell Mahoney Show a lot when I was a kid. I remember it as being pretty irreverent and funny. Didn’t he do a character which was basically his upside down face with a small face painted on his chin, and the rest of his face wearing a suit? I remember the character as being kind of insulting and Don Rickles-like.

Well, RIP, Paul Winchell.

For goodness sake, I hope they’ve at least changed his name to “Tiger-American” by now!

winchell may have done it, but I don’t recall him doing so. On NY television Sandy Becker and (maybe) Sonny Fox did it, though. The entire illusion is supposed to have been invented by eccentric scientist Robert W. Wood back about 100 years ago.

I love ventriloquist acts, and have since I was a kid. Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy may have appeared in a few films and made some TV appearances, but I believe it was Paul Winchell and Jimmy Nelson (remember Danny O’Day and Farfel the dog?) who truly brought this art form to the masses through the medium of television. I know I acquired my love for it watching Winchell Mahoney Time very day after school. Goodbye Jerry, Knucklehead and Tessie. You will be missed. :frowning:

BTW, Winchell was also the voice of Dick Dastardly on Wacky Races and Dastardly and Muttly . Just FYI.

[Hijack] Whatever happened to Willie Tyler & Lester? or the guy who did the “Old Grandpa” puppet? You never see ventriloquists anymore.[/Hijack]

You have to come to Vegas to see them. Ronn Lucas does a daily afternoon show at the Rio, and Jeff Dunham (“His name is Peanut; he’s a Woozle”) plays here several times a year.

I saw your lips move.