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Smithsonian Acquires Jay Johnson's Sidekick, Bob

At a special ceremony in New York City today, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History acquired the original "Bob," the infamous sidekick of renowned ventriloquist Jay Johnson. "Bob," who was created for the TV show "Soap," which premiered on ABC in 1977, will appear as part of the museum's exhibit documenting the evolution of the sitcom.

Over the past 30 years, "Bob" has appeared on "The Tonight Show," "Who's Who," and "So You Think You've Got Problems," as well as 30 commercials and three television series. He recently appeared on Broadway with Johnson and ten other characters in The Two and Only, resulting a 2007 Special Theatrical Event Tony Award nomination.

Press notes state, "Jay Johnson developed his ability for ventriloquism from the age of 11 and moved to Los Angeles in the 1970's to pursue a career in entertainment. In addition to being a ventriloquist, Johnson also works as a writer, comic, cartoonist, poet and puppeteer. The 30-year-old wooden figure of 'Bob' is three feet tall with apple cheeks, large eyes and brown hair."

For more information, please visit or call (202) 633-1000, (202) 633-5285 (TTY).

Photo by Rob Rich/

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