This Muffler Man at Magic Forest in Lake George, NY was originally installed in Danbury, CT. When the Danbury Fair closed in 1981, Magic Forest bought this statue and a few others from the owners. This statue has been modified a bit. It has a painted beard and an Amish style hat. These International Fiberglass statues were promoted as “Mortimer Snerds.” However, they are more commonly called “Half Wits” since that’s the term RoadsideAmerica.com came up with before the history of these statues was unearthed. It’s not known how many were produced but there are only about 15 left. In addition to this one, there are four in New Jersey, three in Texas, one in Missouri, one in California and five in private collections.
These statues have the same body as the other Muffler Men but a different style head. These heads were apparently modeled after Alfred E. Neuman, the Mad Magazine character. Some of the Mortimer Snerd statues have the Paul Bunyan type pants tucked into the boots. Others have the longer Cowboy pants. The statue in Missouri has a Paul Bunyan body – but the raised right arm normally used for the Indian models.
This Lake George statue is the only Half Wit left with what appears to be the original axe. Not far from him another Muffler Man axe can be seeing laying among the tree’s. Perhaps it came from the Pecos Bill statue. International Fiberglass offered many accessories for their statues. The three Half Wits in Texas hold giant mufflers which appear to be original.
Thanks to Debra Jane Zeltzer for editing and reviewing this article and to Magic Forest for allowing me to photograph and film their Muffler Man collection.