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Farfel - A friendly, floppy-eared hound dog puppet of wooden dummy Danny O'Day who was created and operated by ventriloquist, Jimmy Nelson.

Farfel the Hound Dog Puppet

 Talking with a sleepy drone, Farfel appeared in a series of Nestlés Quik chocolate commercials from 1953-65 .

After the little jingle of "N-E-S-T-L-E-S, Nestlés tastes the very best," Farfel in an extended yawn delivered the closing line "CH-A-A-A-W-CLIT."

The distinctive snapping shut of Farfel's jaws after saying "CH-A-A-AW-CLIT" initially happened by accident during rehearsals for the Nestle's commercials when Nelson's sweaty hands caused his finger to slip inside the puppet. Luckily, the folks at Nestles liked it and the rest is history.

The Farfel character was born during a late night show in Wichita, Kansas when someone left a little stuffed dog on his piano, Jimmy Nelson picked up the dog and began to ad-lib. Later, he contacted his figure maker Frank Marshall (creator of Danny O'Day) in Chicago to help create a wooden dog dummy.

The name "Farfel" (nicknamed by Nelson's piano player) is the name of a little matzoh noodle made from flour and water and used in Jewish cooking that was common in the Catskill Mountain resorts where Nelson performed his ventriloquism act.

Danny O'Day, puppeteer Jimmy Nelson and Farfel
Danny O'Day, Jimmy Nelson and Farfel

Farfel, Danny O'Day and Jimmy Nelson were visible on television's early years as regular performers on THE TOAST OF THE TOWN (THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW) and cast regulars of THE TEXACO STAR THEATER (THE MILTON BERLE SHOW) when Nelson and his puppet, Danny O'Day wore Texaco gas attendant uniforms during the sponsor's commercial breaks.

TRIVIA NOTE: On episode No. 21 "The Dog" on the sitcom SEINFELD/NBC/1990-98 comedian Jerry Seinfeld found himself the reluctant caretaker of a dog named Farfel when its alcoholic owner had an attack of Bell's Palsy on the airplane and asked Jerry to watch his dog while he was recuperating.

The dog constantly barked, crapped on the floor, chewed clothing, humped legs but was never seen.

When Jerry found out that the Dogpound kept dogs for a week then killed them, he asked "How late are they open?"


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