Traumafessions :: Reader Joe D. on Jerry Mahoney, Knucklehead Smiff & Clarabell

The recent Puppet Show at the ICA resurrected the memory of a particular childhood fear.

While I enjoyed both the HOWDY DOODY SHOW and PAUL WINCHEL’s show on T.V. every week, I once had a frightening dream in which these amusing and friendly T.V. entertainers appeared in my bed room, hovering over the foot of my bed, and when I crawled over to them to greet them, they attacked me, tormenting me physically (lifting me off the bed by pulling hair and ears, pinching skin, and interestingly, nothing sexual, as far as I can recall, given that I was far too young to experience that in my dream world). The fear of these puppets, and, moreover, my bed, where the attack occurred, remained with me for years.

I am not sure if the two shows were contemporaries, so I cannot say for certain if I continued to watch both after that dream, but I do know that I did not stop watching whichever was still shown, despite the fear these images brought me at night, because there really was nothing scary about these puppets, as presented on T.V.

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