Dooley the Leprechaun – Enchanted leprechaun featured on the Saturday morning children’s marionette adventure THE WHISTLING WIZARD/CBS/1951-52 produced in New York City. The show was the first of its kind to be broadcast in color.
THE WHISTLING WIZARD was a Bil and Cora Baird marionette production. It followed the adventures of JP, a cute, wide-eyed little boy (voice of Cora Baird) who accidentally fell to the bottom of a well (much like Alice fell into Wonderland) only to find the entrance to an enchanted world of “The Land of Beyond” ruled by a Leprechaun named Dooley (a.k.a. “The Whistling Wizard”).
Speaking with an Irish brogue and playing a magic flute, Dooley (voice of Bil Baird) protected his kingdom against the evil Kohlrabi and the Mistress Spider Lady who weaved her black magic spells by uttering the incantation “Elia Kazan!”
Other residents of this fantasy land were King Rutabega, the ruler of a neighboring kingdom of Nagard; Thimble the Elf, Dooley’s assistant; Davey Jones, the guardian of the treasure at the bottom of the sea; J. Fiddle Crab, Ting-a-Ling the firefly, Flannel the Mouse who played a “Mouse-Organ,” Charlemane, a dim-witted long-maned lion, and Heathcliff, a horse.
NOTE: Many of the puppets on the show were recycled from Baird’s previous show “The Life of Snarky Parker,” a western-themed series about Snarky Parker, a deputy sheriff from the town of Hot Rock during the 1850s. With the aid of his talking horse Heathcliff (voice of Franz Fazakas), he rid the town of such dangerous critters as Ronald Rodent and Blackie McGoo.
The Charles H. MacNider Museum at 303 2nd St. SE in Mason City, Iowa features a permanent collection of puppets created and collected by master puppeteer Bil Baird.
Dooley the Leprechaun (aka, “The Whistling Wizard)
c/o Bil and Cora Baird Puppets
New York, NY