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Melding craftsmanship and showmanship, puppet master Bil Baird was a wiz at stringing an audience along. He rose to prominence in television's golden age, creating this marionette for "The Ed Sullivan Show," the CBS Sunday night staple from 1948 to 1971. The puppet is called Drano Man and he is in working order. Rotating eyeballs animate his sadsack face. His pointy nose with blush tint makes him look like he has a cold or has been drinking too much of the drain unclogger. Original flannel shirt and brown pants are seamstress-fresh. Baird paid close attention to the shoes, too. These square-toed pilgrim numbers are beauties. Drano Man is about 2 1/2 feet tall, weighs 3 pounds and appears to have his original paint job. Baird and his wife Cora produced children's shows and segments on revues such as Sid Caesar's "Your Show of Shows." Their puppets have an exhibit to themselves at a museum in Iowa. This once-walking and talking artifact of television history could be yours. Don't be a dummy and miss out.
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