The Saga of Wing Ding, the Character, the Legend!

Reader discretion advised. Not suited for animal lovers or the faint of heart.

While Shari Lewis had introduced her signature character Lamb Chop on the Captain Kangaroo show in March 1956, Hush Puppy, Charlie Horse and Wing Ding were all introduced on Shari's Hi Mom show which aired on WRCA-TV in New York from 1957-59. When NBC gave Shari her first network program, The Shari Lewis Show, which debuted on 1 October 1960 replacing The Howdy Doody Show, her family of puppets made the move with her.

But a problem eventually arose. You see Wing Ding was a crow and therefore black. Wing Ding was as a result seen as a caricature of an African-American by a certain over-imaginative sector of the American populace and thus politically incorrect. You couldn't have that kind of thing on prime time TV, now could you? So at some point Shari bowed to parental or network pressure and had Wing Ding put down. Yes, truly a very sad, cruel and tragic ending to a beloved TV character from the fifties.


After The Shari Lewis Show's run ended in 1963, NBC unaccountably taped the 1964 Democrat and Republican national conventions over The Shari Lewis Show tapes thus destroying them! I wonder how much that cost NBC and Shari Lewis in lost future syndication revenues?

Though long gone from the airwaves, Wing Ding still survives in the hearts of fans since his noble visage continues to adorn many Shari Lewis collectibles from the early sixties:

Including these from my own collection:

This is by far the most bizzare post I’ve seen around here.

Sorry you miss your mildly offensive 70 year old bird puppet so much.


I pecked out the above post yesterday evening in response to a question on another forum and reposted it here for any interested parties. Count me gratified to learn that you’re not among them.

Incidentally, show me something, anything, you’ve written here (or anywhere else for that matter) with as much literary merit as my post above.


…using your wing ding sock puppet?

Well you got me there. I don’t think I’ve ever put that much effort into a post on here.

If I write something, I do it right - anywhere!


I have NEVER EVER in my life thought of ANY animal as a racial creature. What would we do with a Zebra ?

Bring back Wing Ding ! Bring back Wing Ding ! I’m with you Baltic. Start a petition.

Seriously, I remember Wing Ding but I had no idea what happened to him. Thanks for the info ! Great post.

It just shows how stupid and bizarre the PC crap really is.

I was in love with Shari Lewis when I was a youngin.

You should have seen what how terrible it was like here before Big Brother came bouncing along to censor protect everyone...Maybe censor protect isn't the correct word because the verb means to suppress or delete anything that is objectionable and much of the deleted material was very objective and intelligent dangerous and subversive. Regardless, it is a dangerous wonderful power given to a select few. Who do you trust ? Big brother is watching who I trust.

Big Brother edit: :slight_smile:

Not surprising!

  1. Shari Lewis was the consummate mistress of ventriloquism:
  1. She had a charming supporting cast of puppets.

  2. But she was smoking hot in her early TV days as well:

Back in 1960 though I just thought she was a very "nice" lady!


In 1960 I was also in love with Marilyn Monroe…still am !

The movie star that had caught my eye even then was Brigitte Bardot:

It may have been due to seeing the movie Doctor at Sea in which her cleavage had been on prominent display!


One of my favs. There is a pic of her that is pure sensuality and i can’t find it.

Natalie Wood
Hanoi Jane when she was young (Barbarella, Cat Ballou)

One of my favourites still is Jean Simmons. I could look at her all day.

Yes, the aptly named Natalie Wood!

Must be this one then:


Oh yes Natalie Wood. Those eyes! :slight_smile:

Brigitte Bardot and Claudia Cardinale portrayed the Old West as it really was in LesPétroleuses:


She really was the best of her generation of ventriloquists. Check out this show of hers in Vegas circa 1970:

Not the same Wing Ding actually, but I’m not complaining.


At 1:32 I thought they are doing a homage to the Shari’s Crow wing ding . :smiley:

Hey wait a second Sheryl Crow .