Radio: Southern Charmer

Edgar Bergen waltzed onto the floor of Las Vegas' Desert Inn last week with blonde, willowy Podine Puffington, who "speaks" with a syrupy Southern accent. Though only five feet tall, Podine has a 32-inch bust and 19-inch waist. Because of her light plastic construction, she weighs only 25 pounds.

Ventriloquist Bergen ordered the new $3,000 puppet because he suspects that tall puppets might be more successful on television than knee-sitters like Charlie McCarthy, who originally cost $75. Podine is also more mechanized. Charlie and his stablemate, Mortimer Snerd, are controlled by broomstick handles' in their backs; pushbuttons under Podine's hair make her...

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