Mr. Twinkie is a three foot long foam puppet character created and performed by Jeffery C. Johnson and best known as the acerbic, foul-mouthed, booze-swilling side-kick on the Chicagoland cable television show Color TV which aired from 1990-1995.
In 1989 Mr. Twinkie debuted at a show hosted by writer/performer James Finn Garner called the Theater of the Bizarre at the Elbo Room Bar in Chicago. Mr. Twinkie was then known as "The Smartest Twinkie in the World" and would take questions and then verbally abuse the audience.
In 1990 Mr. Twinkie was featured on the Chicago cable TV show entitled Color TV. The show, hosted by Jim Toth featured a varied group of Chicago musicians, celebrities and odd guests as well as character comedy skits. Color TV aired throughout Chicago and it's suburbs becoming a cult hit. Mr. Twinkie was the co-host and the show's most popular character.
Mr. Twinkie, who was inside a small puppet stage to the side of Toth's interviewing desk, would come up during an interview and either interact with the guests or tell stories about his own life. Some of Mr. Twinkie's interactions included verbal sparring with Chicago radio personalities Steve Dahl & Kevin Matthews, actor David Koechner, Olympic swimmer Nelson Diebel, Chicago TV icon Jan Gabriel, Chicago Bulls mascot Benny the Bull and musicians Slash, Cathy Richardson, Ralph Covert and The Drovers.
In 1995 Television critic Joel Brown, then with Chicago's Daily Southtown newspaper called Color TV "Cheerfully Twisted" and stated that Mr. Twinkie was the shows "Biggest Star".
1. Brown, Joel, "Local Cable's Colorful Duo", Daily Southtown, March 15, 1995
2. Heinrich, Anne Shaw, "Cable's 'Color TV' has funny focus", The Hinsdale Doings, November 15, 1991
3. Costa, Mike, "Cable Show from Hell", Columbia College Chronicle, May, 18, 1992
4. Christiansen, Kelli, "Cable Fans Eat Up Mr. Twinkie", Press Publications, April 9, 1992