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Doodles Weaver

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Doodles Weaver
Winstead Sheffield Weaver

(1911-05-11)May 11, 1911
DiedJanuary 16, 1983(1983-01-16) (aged 71)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeAvalon Cemetery
Alma materStanford University
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • musician
Years active1936–1981
Beverly Masterman
(m. 1939; div. 1943)

Evelyn Irene Paulsen
(m. 1946; div. 1948)

Lois Frisell
(m. 1949; div. 1954)
Reita Green
(m. 1957; div. 1968)
RelativesPat Weaver (brother)
Elizabeth Inglis (sister-in-law)
Sigourney Weaver (niece)

Winstead Sheffield "Doodles" Weaver (May 11, 1911 – January 16, 1983)[1][2] was an American character actor, comedian, and musician.

Born into a wealthy West Coast family, Weaver began his career in radio. In the late 1930s, he performed on Rudy Vallée's radio programs and Kraft Music Hall. He later joined Spike Jones' City Slickers. In 1957, Weaver hosted his own NBC variety show The Doodles Weaver Show. In addition to his radio work, he also recorded a number of comedy records, appeared in films and guest-starred on numerous television series from the 1950s through the 1970s. Weaver made his last onscreen appearance in 1981. Despondent over poor health, Weaver fatally shot himself in January 1983.

Early life[edit]

Weaver was born in Los Angeles, one of four children born to Sylvester Laflin Weaver, a wealthy roofing contractor, and Nellie Mabel (Amabel) Dixon Weaver.[3][4] His older brother was Pat Weaver, who served as the president of NBC in the 1950s.[5] Weaver's niece is actress Sigourney Weaver.[6] He was of English and Scottish ancestry with roots in New England.[7][8] Weaver's mother gave him the nickname "Doodlebug" as a child because of his freckles and big ears.[9][10]

He attended Los Angeles High School and Stanford University. At Stanford, Weaver was a contributor to the Stanford Chaparral humor magazine. He was also known to engage in numerous pranks and practical jokes and earned the nickname "The Mad Monk". He was reportedly suspended from Stanford in 1937 (the year he graduated) for pulling a prank on the train home from the Rose Bowl.[5][11]


Radio and recordings[edit]

On radio during the late 1930s and early 1940s, he was heard as an occasional guest on Rudy Vallée's program and on the Kraft Music Hall.

In 1946, Weaver signed on as a member of Spike Jones's City Slickers band. Weaver was heard on Jones's 1947–49 radio shows, where he introduced his comedic Professor Feetlebaum (which Weaver sometimes spelled as Feitlebaum),[2] a character who spoke in spoonerisms. Part of the Professor's schtick was mixing up words and sentences in various songs and recitations as if he had myopia or dyslexia.[12] Weaver toured the country with the Spike Jones Music Depreciation Revue until 1951. The radio programs were often broadcast from cities where the Revue was staged.[13]

One of Weaver's most popular recordings is the Spike Jones parody of Rossini's "William Tell Overture". Weaver gives a close impression of the gravel-voiced sports announcer Clem McCarthy in a satire of a horse race announcer who forgets whether he's covering a horse race or a boxing match ("It's Girdle in the stretch! Locomotive is on the rail! Apartment House is second with plenty of room! It's Cabbage by a head!"). The race features a nag named Beetlebaum, who begins at long odds, runs the race a distant last—and yet suddenly emerges as the winner. The oft-repeated "Beetlebaum" became so identified with the record that RCA reprinted the record label, adding "Beetlebaum" in parentheses after the song title. Jones and Weaver followed this hit with a 1949 parody of the Indianapolis 500 automobile race, again with Weaver as commentator, set to Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours". The surprise winner? Beetlebaum. When an angry listener named Beetlebaum threatened a lawsuit, Weaver changed the name to Feitlebaum.

In 1966, Weaver recorded a novelty version of "Eleanor Rigby"—singing, mixing up the words, insulting, and interrupting, while playing the piano.


Weaver was a contributor to the early Mad, as described by Time's Richard Corliss:

Among the funny stuff: Doodles Weaver's strict copy editing of the Gettysburg Address, advising Lincoln to change "fourscore and seven" to eighty-seven ("Be specific"), noting that there are six "dedicates" ("Study your Roget"), wondering if "proposition" isn't misspelled and, finally exasperated, urging the writer to omit "of the people, by the people, for the people" as "superfluous."[14]

Films and television[edit]

Weaver made his television debut on The Colgate Comedy Hour in 1951. He performed an Ajax cleanser commercial with a pig, and the audience reaction prompted the network to give him his own series. In 1951, The Doodles Weaver Show was NBC's summer replacement for Sid Caesar's Your Show of Shows; it was telecast from June to September with Weaver, his wife Lois, vocalist Marian Colby, and the comedy team of Dick Dana and Peanuts Mann. The show's premise involved Weaver dealing with an assignment to stage a no-budget television series using only the discarded costumes, sets and props left behind by more popular network television shows away for the summer.[15] The series ended in July 1951.

Weaver went on to guest star on numerous television shows including The Spike Jones Show, The Donna Reed Show, Dennis the Menace, and The Tab Hunter Show. He also hosted several children's television series. In 1965, he starred in A Day With Doodles, a series of six-minute shorts sold as alternative fare to cartoons for locally hosted kiddie television programs. Each episode featured Weaver in a first-person plural adventure (e.g., "Today we are a movie actor"), portraying himself and, behind false mustaches and costume hats, all the other characters in slapstick comedy situations with a voice over narration and minimal sets.[15] The ending credits would invariably list "Doodles... Doodles Weaver" and "Everybody Else... Doodles Weaver."

He portrayed eccentric characters in guest appearances on such television series as Batman (where he played The Archer's henchman Crier Tuck), Land of the Giants, Dragnet 1967 and The Monkees. He appeared in more than 90 films, including The Great Imposter (1961), Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963) (as the man helping Tippi Hedren's character with her rental boat), Jerry Lewis's The Nutty Professor (1963), Pocketful of Miracles (1961) and, in a cameo, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963). He appeared in Six Pack Annie (1975). His last movie was Earthbound (1981).

Personal life[edit]

Weaver was married four times and had three children. His first marriage was to Beverly Masterman in 1939.[16] His second marriage, to Evelyn Irene Paulsen, ended with a divorce decree on December 22, 1948, but that decree was not recorded at that time. In 1949, Weaver's third marriage was with nightclub dancer Lois Frisell, who had the marriage annulled in 1954.[17]

Weaver's fourth and final marriage was to actress Reita Anne Green in October 1957.[18] They had two children before divorcing in 1969.[citation needed]


On January 16, 1983, Weaver was discovered dead by his son Winston at his Burbank, California home.[1] He died of two self-inflicted gunshot wounds to the chest. His death was ruled a suicide. Weaver's son later said that his father had been despondent over his failing health.[19] His funeral service was held on January 22 at Forest Lawn Mortuary in the Hollywood Hills. He was buried in Avalon Cemetery on Santa Catalina Island, California.[20]

Weaver's memoir, Golden Spike, remains unpublished.[21][22]


Year Title Role Notes
1936 My American Wife Cowhand Uncredited
1936 Come and Get It Sourdough Barfly Uncredited
1937 The Woman I Love 'Chopin' pianist Uncredited
1937 Behind the Headlines Duggan
1937 Topper Rustic
1937 Double Wedding Bass Fiddle Player Uncredited
1937 Our Gang Follies of 1938 Winstead (piano player) Short film
1938 A Yank at Oxford Bill Uncredited
1938 Swiss Miss Taxicab Driver Uncredited
1938 Hold That Co-ed Gilks Uncredited
1938 Swing That Cheer Bennett
1939 Boy Trouble Ralph, the Stockboy Uncredited
1939 Invitation to Happiness Band Leader / Emcee at Harry's Uncredited
1939 Flight at Midnight Uncredited
1939 Thunder Afloat Sailor Getting Cigar Uncredited
1939 Another Thin Man Gatekeeper, MacFay Estate Uncredited
1939 The Night of Nights Flower Delivery Man Uncredited
1940 Li'l Abner Hannibal Hoops
1940 Kitty Foyle Pianist Uncredited
1941 A Girl, a Guy, and a Gob Eddie 'Ed'
1941 Mitt Me Tonight
1942 The Spirit of Stanford Student Uncredited
1942 Girl Trouble Ticket Taker Uncredited
1943 Reveille with Beverly Elmer Uncredited
1943 Salute for Three First Sailor at Canteen Sailors' Table Uncredited
1943 This Is the Army Soldier Uncredited
1943 Thank Your Lucky Stars Doodles Weaver Uncredited
1944 Shine On, Harvest Mon Elevator Man Uncredited
1944 Hey, Rookie Maxon
1944 Two Girls and a Sailor Soldier Playing Ocarina Uncredited
1944 The Story of Dr. Wassell Harold Hunter Uncredited
1944 Since You Went Away Convalescent Wishing for Watermelon Uncredited
1944 Kansas City Kitty Joe Uncredited
1944 The Singing Sheriff Ivory Uncredited
1944 That's My Baby! Butler Uncredited
1944 The Merry Monahans Farmer Uncredited
1944 San Fernando Valley Hot Dog Salesman Uncredited
1944 The National Barn Dance Musical Team Member Uncredited
1944 Mrs. Parkington Caterer Uncredited
1944 And Now Tomorrow Charlie Uncredited
1944 Carolina Blues Skinny Uncredited
1944 Thoroughbreds Pvt. Mulrooney
1945 Duck Pimples Radio Actor Voice role[23]
1945 Hockey Homicide Narrator Voice role
1945 Cured Duck Narrator Voice role[24]
1945 San Antonio Entertainer in Cotulla saloon. Uncredited
1948 Superman Admin Bldg Guard at Metropolis University Chapter 9
1949 Tennis Racquet Radio Commentator Voice role
1952 Because of You Toy Dealer Uncredited
1953 Powder River Barfly Uncredited
1958 Hot Rod Gang Wesley Cavendish
1958 The Tunnel of Love Escort
1958 Frontier Gun Eph Loveman
1959 The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock Booster Uncredited
1959 The Rookie Winchell Uncredited
1961 The Great Impostor Farmer Hauling Fertilizer
1961 Ring of Fire Mr. Hobart Uncredited
1961 The Ladies Man Soundman
1961 The Errand Boy Weaver
1961 Pocketful of Miracles Pool Player
1963 The Birds Fisherman Helping with Rental Boat
1963 Tammy and the Doctor Traction Patient
1963 The Nutty Professor Rube Uncredited
1963 It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Hardware Store Clerk Uncredited
1964 Mail Order Bride Charlie Mary
1964 A Tiger Walks Bob Evans Uncredited
1964 Quick, Before It Melts Ham Operator
1964 Kitten with a Whip Salty Sam
1965 The Rounders Arlee
1965 Zebra in the Kitchen Nearsighted Man
1965 Fluffy Yokel
1966 The Plainsman Bartender Uncredited
1967 The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin Man in Bathtub Uncredited
1967 The Spirit Is Willing Booper Mellish
1967 Rosie! Florist
1967 The Road to Nashville Colonel Feetlebaum
1970 Which Way to the Front? Van Koch Uncredited
1970 Bigfoot Forest Ranger
1971 The Zodiac Killer Doc Credited as Doddles Weaver
1972 Cancel My Reservation Cactus, Deputy Sheriff
1972 A Ton of Grass Goes to Pot
1974 Macon County Line Augie
1975 Trucker's Woman Ben Turner Alternative title: Truckin' Man
1975 The Wild McCullochs Pop Holson
1975 Sixpack Annie Hank
1975 White House Madness Supreme Court Justice
1975 Fugitive Lovers Roy Dibbs
1976 Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood Man in Mexican Film
1976 Cat Murkil and the Silks Kelso
1977 The Great Gundown Baggage Man Alternative title: Savage Red, Outlaw White
1977 Mule Feathers Hotel Manager
1981 Earthbound Sterling (final film role)
Year Title Role Notes
1956 Sheriff of Cochise Joe Heap Episode: "Caine and Abel"
1957 The Pied Piper of Hamelin First Counselor Television film
1958 Club Oasis Sea Captain 2 episodes
1959 Maverick Lem Episode: "Gun-Shy"
1960 You Bet Your Life Himself-Contestant Episode: "59-20"
1960 Sugarfoot Simon Miller Episode: "Journey to Provision"
1960 Fury Jake Episode: "Packy's Dilemma"
1960 Lawman Jack Stiles 4 episodes
1960 The Tab Hunter Show Messenger Boy Episode: "I Love a Marine"
1961 Wagon Train Efen Dirkin Episode: "The Joe Muharich Story"
1961 Shannon Shoes Malone Episode: "The King Leal Report"
1961 Laramie George Episode: "Handful of Fire"
1962 The Dick Van Dyke Show Bailiff Episode: "One Angry Man"
1962 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Peavey Simpson Episode: "The Country Sculptor"
1962 Dennis the Menace Needy Man #2 Episode: "Poor Mr. Wilson"
1962 "The Joey Bishop Show" Mr. Johnson Episode: The Big Date
1963 Have Gun – Will Travel Hildreth – General Store Prop. Episode: "Shootout at Hogtooth"
1963 The Wide Country Jones Episode: "The Judas Goat"
1963 The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet Janitor Episode: "Dave's Law Office"
1961–1963 The Andy Griffith Show Various roles 2 episodes
1964 The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters Pettigrew Episode: " The Day of the Tin Trumpet"
1964 The Virginian Stationmaster Episode: "Rope of Lies"
1964 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Gregg Episode: "Body In the Barn"
1965 Petticoat Junction Chester Farnsworth Episode: "The Curse of Chester Farnsworth"
1965 Laredo Various roles 2 episodes
1966 Batman Crier Tuck 2 episodes
1967 My Three Sons Jesse Prouty Episode: "The Good Earth"
1967 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Stationmaster Episode: "The Pieces of Fate Affair"
1967 The Monkees Butler S1:E30, "Monkees Manhattan Style"
1967–70 Dragnet Numerous episodes
1968 Land of the Giants Giant Hobo Episode: "Framed"
1971 The Jimmy Stewart Show Halsted Episode: "Pro Bono Publico"
1976 Banjo Hackett: Roamin' Free Old Turkey Television film
1976 Starsky and Hutch Eddie Hoyle Episodes: "The Bounty Hunter" S1, Ep22 &

"Gillian" S2, Ep5

1979 Fantasy Island Blindman Episode: "Spending Spree/The Hunted"

In popular culture[edit]

  • Weaver's horse race routine has been quoted and parodied by many performers over the years.[citation needed]
  • A children's board game called Homestretch featured horses named Cabbage, Banana, Girdle, and the misspelled/simplified "Beetle Bohm." This was a direct lift of Weaver's number, with Cabbage "leading by a head" and Beetle Bohm eventually winning the race.
  • Mike Kazaleh's comic The Adventures of Captain Jack took place on the planet Pootwattle and featured a character who used many of Weaver's jokes and catchphrases, such as "That's a killer!"
  • A one-page Weaver contribution to Mad magazine #25, September 1955, had him as Professor Feetlebaum grading student Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, complete with grammatical corrections and encouraging note despite the C minus.[25]


  1. ^ a b Associated, Press (January 18, 1983). "DOODLES WEAVER, 71, TV COMEDIAN, DIES; APPARENTLY A SUICIDE". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2024.
  2. ^ a b Young, Jordan R. (2004). Spike Jones off the record: the man who murdered music. BearManor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-012-7.
  3. ^ Current Biography Yearbook. H. W. Wilson Co. 1956. p. 634.
  4. ^ Lueck, Thomas J. (March 18, 2002). "Sylvester Weaver, 93, Dies; Created 'Today' and 'Tonight'". nytimes.com. p. 1. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "The Life and Times of Doodles Weaver". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 17, 1957. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  6. ^ Kleiner, Dick (July 12, 1979). "Sigourney Weaver: A misfit". Sarasota Journal. pp. 7–B. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  7. ^ Interview by Sigourney Weaver, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, 8/25/08
  8. ^ Sigourney Weaver – Weaver's Scottish Ancestry Mix-Up
  9. ^ Joe Franklin's Encyclopedia of Comedians. Bell Pub. Co. 1985. p. 327. ISBN 0-517-46765-8.
  10. ^ "Doodles Weaver makes a comeback". Boca Raton News. September 7, 1975. p. 9C. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  11. ^ "DOODLES WEAVER AT TIMES DINNER". Los Angeles Times. December 17, 1950. p. B11.
  12. ^ Spike Jones Murders Them All
  13. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On The Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. ISBN 0-19-507678-8.
  14. ^ Corliss, Richard. "That Old Feeling: Hail, Harvey!" Time, May 5, 2004. Archived January 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ a b TV Party: Lost Kids Shows
  16. ^ "Beau Peep Whispers". Los Angeles Times. October 22, 1939. p. D4.
  17. ^ "Comic Doodles Weaver's Wfe Gets Decree". Los Angeles Times. April 8, 1954. p. 2. Archived from the original on April 22, 2024. Retrieved April 22, 2024.
  18. ^ "Doodles Weaver Marries". The New York Times. October 8, 1957.
  19. ^ "'Doodles' Weaver death ruled suicide". The Modesto Bee. January 19, 1983. pp. A–12. Retrieved December 30, 2012.[permanent dead link]
  20. ^ "Weaver Buried". The Press-Courier. January 24, 1983. p. 3. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  21. ^ "r/UnresolvedMysteries - [Lost Artifact] Why does Doodles Weaver's memoirs 'Golden Spike' remain unpublished ?". Reddit. March 26, 2019. Retrieved October 20, 2019.
  22. ^ "Please publish Golden Spike by Doodles Weaver". Facebook. March 31, 2019. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  23. ^ "Disney's "Duck Pimples" |". cartoonresearch.com. Retrieved February 14, 2021.
  24. ^ Scott, Keith (October 3, 2022). Cartoon Voices of the Golden Age, Vol. 2. BearManor Media. p. 299.
  25. ^ Kurtzman, Harvey; Elder, Will; Wood, Wallace (2016). Trump. Dark Horse Comics. ISBN 9781506701028.

External links[edit]