Doodles Weaver

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Winstead Sheffield "Doodles" Weaver (May 11, 1911 – January 17, 1983) was an American actor and comedian on radio, recordings and television. He was the brother of NBC-TV executive Sylvester "Pat" Weaver and the uncle of actress Sigourney Weaver.

Born in Los Angeles, Weaver attended Stanford University, where he was a contributor to the Stanford Chaparral humor magazine.

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Radio and recordings

After Weaver signed on in 1946 as a member of Spike Jones' City Slickers band, he was heard on Jones' 1947-49 radio shows. He toured the country with the Spike Jones Music Depreciation Revue until 1951. The radio programs were often broadcast from cities where the Revue was staged.[1]

One of Weaver's most enduringly popular recordings is the Spike Jones parody of Rossini's William Tell Overture. Weaver gives a close impression of the gravelly-voiced sports announcer Clem McCarthy in a satire of a horse race announcer who forgets whether he's covering a horse race or a boxing match ("It's Girdle in the stretch! Locomotive is on the rail! Apartment House is second with plenty of room! It's Cabbage by a head!"). The race features an apparent nag called "Beetlebaum", who begins at long odds, runs almost the entire race a distant last—and yet suddenly emerges as the winner. Weaver also portrayed a character in the Jones troupe called Professor Beetlebaum. Part of the Professor's schtick was mixing up words and sentences in various songs and recitations, as if he were suffering from myopia and/or dyslexia.

In 1966, Weaver recorded a novelty version of "Eleanor Rigby" — singing, mixing up the words, insulting and interrupting, while playing the piano.

Madness

Weaver was a contributor to the early Mad, as described by Time's Richard Corliss:

Films and TV

Appearing on The Colgate Comedy Hour, Weaver did an Ajax cleanser commercial with a pig, and the audience reaction prompted the network to give him his own series. In 1951, The Doodles Weaver Show was NBC's summer replacement for Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows, telecast from June to September with Weaver, his wife Lois, vocalist Marion Colby and the comedy team of Dick Dana and Peanuts Mann. The show's premise involved Doodles dealing with an assignment to stage a no-budget television series using only the discarded costumes, sets and props left behind by more popular network TV shows away for the summer.[3]

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