Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Of the many kinds of dolls available to a collector, none elicits more interest than ventriloquist dolls that found fame in Hollywood, starting with Charlie McCarthy of Edgar Bergen. Quick to follow was "Danny O'Day", a creation of Jimmy Nelson (b. December 15, 1928). At age 10, he was given a toy ventriloquist's dummy named "Dummy Dan" won by an aunt in a Bingo game. Jimmy learned ventriloquism, and a year later, began taking "Dan" to school. From school performances, he joined amateur talent contests which he consistently won, prompting him to start a professional career.

In 1945, Nelson asked Frank Marshall, a famed maker of ventriloquist dolls (he had made Charlie McCarthy and Jerry Mahoney)  to make him a professional-quality dummy. Marshall sold Nelson a custom-made dummy, which Nelson named Danny O'Day. "Danny O'Day" became a hit when Nelson took his act in nationwide tours.

This vintage 24" 1967 Danny O'Day Ventriloquist Dummy Doll was made by Juro Novelty Co. The ventriloquist is in good used condition. There are signs of use/age but overall doesn't look bad.  The string opens the mouth as it should but the mouth does not close on its own. Despite its flaws, Danny O'Day makes a great display piece, an icon from the past when the world was entertained by talking dolls!


  1. I have a Danny O'Day doll and was wondering what he is worth?

  2. I have a Danny O'Day doll and was wondering what he is worth?

  3. A used Danny O'Day, depending on condition , is worth anywhere from 40$-70$.