The Floppy Show

The Floppy Show was an American children's TV program starring actor Duane Ellett, broadcast on NBC affiliate WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa from 1957 to 1987. Duane created Floppy in early 1957 to help teach people how to take care of their pets on the TV Show "Pet Corner", before moving on to their own show.

Duane Ellett delighted children for three decades. He entertained them with his puppet friend Floppy, a high-voiced beagle dog that enjoyed riddles and let kids beep his nose for luck. Ellett had carved Floppy himself from balsa wood, and brought him and his other puppet characters to life through self-taught ventriloquism.

Duane Ellett and his canine friend Floppy went on the air in 1957. Prior to the show, Ellett had served in the U.S. Army in World War II. He had planned to become a lawyer when he started attending Drake University, but a class in radio journalism led to a job with WHO radio in 1947.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the half-hour show consisted of short sketches with Ellett's puppets, a segment in which children asked Floppy riddles, and the airing of vintage Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry cartoons.

Thousands of Iowans outside of Des Moines discovered the duo in their performances at the Iowa State Fair. Ellett also took Floppy on 200 personal appearances every year. They visited countless sick children in hospitals.

On August 30, 1984, WHO-TV canceled Ellett's afternoon show because of faltering ratings, and there was a public outcry. Ellett and his sidekick continued to appear on WHO's noon news and on weekend mornings.

In May 1987, Ellett, Floppy, and their fans celebrated their 30th anniversary of entertaining together. Ellett died of a heart attack a month later while exercising.

In 1994, a special display honoring Ellett and his puppet was exhibited at the Iowa Historical Building, where Floppy now resides. The Iowa State Historical Society has presented the "Duane and Floppy Film Festival" the past two years during the winter(2009 & 2010). There are currently two DVDs released in the Duane and Floppy Series.

For the past few years on Christmas Eve, WHO-TV has aired the Floppy Christmas Special produced in 1966. The special features the adventures of Floppy escaping the daily grind of his afternoon show. Floppy can be found singing with two Des Moines church choirs. Duane Ellett sings a special Christmas tune at the end of this special.