From Tuesday, April 19, 1938, through Friday the 22nd, ventriloquist Howdy Reynolds of Honolulu, with his puppet G-Man Joe, made appearances in all of Kauai’s grammar schools, imparting a sense of wonderment and joy to schoolchildren and teachers alike.
And, on Friday and Saturday of that week, Reynolds also served as the main announcer at the 9th annual Kauai County Fair.
Reynolds and his sidekick were back on Kauai the following month to stage several skits at the Pono Carnival held in Kapaa on May 14-15, which drew an estimated 10,000 spectators.
The comedic duo was later present at the 1940 Kauai County Fair, and in March of 1941, patients in every hospital and students at all schools on the Garden Isle marveled at Reynolds’ skill and G-Man Joe’s antics.
Born in Canada, Howard Arthur “Howdy” Reynolds (1907-1985) started off in show business as a magician in high school, but switched to ventriloquism after receiving his puppet as a birthday gift from woodcarver Frank Marshall (Marzalkiewicz), the creator of Charlie McCarthy, the famous ventriloquist Edgar Bergen’s puppet.
After moving to Honolulu in 1937, Reynolds, with G-Man Joe at his side, was for many years an announcer at all county fairs in Hawaii, and for decades, he and his impertinent dummy entertained at schools and hospitals, and prison and youth correctional facilities throughout Hawaii.
During World War II, Reynolds — more than anyone else — put on shows for military dependents and war survivors stationed on Oahu, taking G-Man Joe with him, of course, accompanied by an eight-piece band, dancers, magicians, comedians and ventriloquists.
Throughout the years, he also visited Kalaupapa, Molokai, where sufferers of Hansen’s Disease loved him for the happiness he and G-Man Joe brought them, and at Christmastime, he made it a point to play Santa Claus at various island hospitals.
A real estate broker, Honolulu radio personality and restauranteur by profession, “Howdy” Reynolds was married to Myrtle Reynolds and had a son, Howard Arthur “Bud” Reynolds Jr.