Joel's Toy Chest circa 1981
The following is a photo of Joel taken just as his stand-up career was taking off in late 1981. Here he is showing us some of the props he used in his act. Below the photo I've included some pictures of each item so you can see what was in Joel's toy chest.
Danny O'Day ventriloquist dummy. Joel had a ventriloquist act as a kid and perhaps this is one of his vent figures still paying his dues in Joel's comedy routine. Of course now you can see that Joel has spliced two dolls together to create a Siamese-vent figure he called Danny O'Danny.
Danny O'Day and his canine friend Farfel were the creation of Jimmy Nelson. This particular version of the doll came out in 1964. (Although in the 1981 picture I think Danny is wearing fellow vent figure Charlie McCarthey's tuxedo jacket.)
|B & C:
In the 1960's Mattel produced this "space age communicator" called the Sonic Ear. It is an honest to goodness, battery operated spying device for kids. What a great idea.
(By the way, this is identified as items B&C on the photo above because when I added the letters I thought the ear piece was a different toy.)
This item was used by Joel through most of his standup career, including all of the Agent J years. This is a 1964 Mattel Agent Zero M Radio-Rifle. By day it folds up into a normal transistor radio, but by night it pops open to supply real fire power. The original boom box one might say. (Sorry.)
Stadium Checkers have been sold by the Schaper Manufacturing Co. from Minneapolis since the early 1950's. This set came out about 1971. (Schaper was probably more famous for their Cootie bug game.)
This is a 1965 Space Checkers game by Pleastantime. This futuristic game was actually used in an episode of the original Star Trek series (The Naked Time).
Is he a dream? Ahhhh. Or a dud? Ohhh. Another 1965 game, this time put out by Milton Bradley. Perhaps the white tuxedo Joel wore in his early act was an homage to the old TV ads for this game?
This popular Milton Bradley game came out in many editions, but I believe the one in the picture is from 1963.
In 1964 Ideal put out the slaphappiest game ever, Hands Down. After all it featured Slam-O-Matic action.
Schaper created Don't Break the Ice in 1969. The idea of the game was to not break the ice.
Pop him, pop him, pop pop pop! 1964 saw the birth of Ideal's Kaboom balloon busting game. Truly minutes of fun.