In Reply to: Jimmy Riddle posted by ESC on February 11, 2009 at 13:13:
: : I have a vintage hand puppet (can't say how old but has heavy sign of wear patina) it has a smiling man's face with a little hat (like a clowns pork pie hat) perched on one side of his head. It is not sad or cheeky like you would expect of a clown but more like a characterization of a person. It has it's own original box with the name Jimmy Riddle written on it. Was Jimmy Riddle an old comedian? or personality? Anyone know??
: I looked on Ebay and found Jimmy Riddle items -- "African adventure" books and what looks to be a blues 45. Continuing the search...
This phrase has an entry on this site by Gary Martin (http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/211900.html). He concludes that Jimmy Riddle probably wasn't an historical character (though many names used in Cockney Rhyming sland were).
But the phrase has been around for a while, and a comic might well have appropriated it as a stage name. Indeed, there's one around now in the UK (http://www.onstageregister.com/jimmy-riddle.aspx). He's been doing the rounds for 20 years, he says, so unless your hand puppet could be less than 20 years old, he's probably not your man (there's a picture on his site, though). But he may not have been the first to "borrow" the name. (GC)