Created for the landmark television show "Soap," which premiered on ABC in 1977, "Bob" — please do not call him a dummy — will join the museum's collections chronicling the evolution of the sitcom, including the Bunkers' chairs from "All in the Family" as well as Charlie McCarthy, Jerry Mahoney and other ventriloquist figures.
Johnson recently starred on Broadway with "Bob" and ten fellow characters in Jay Johnson: The Two and Only!, which was Tony-nominated May 15 in the category of Special Theatrical Event.
"Bob is a culturally important addition to the National Museum of American History's collection, as the first ventriloquist figure to appear in a sitcom and a pioneer in showcasing the accessibility of ventriloquism and puppets on television," stated Dwight Blocker Bowers, museum curator.
Johnson performed on "Soap" for four years, with "Bob" always by his side. A national tour of The Two and Only will begin in October.
For more information, visit the museum's web site at http://americanhistory.si.edu.