Flint, Michigan: Muffler Man - Happy HalfwitFiberglass, gap-toothed goof version of a Muffler Man stands outside an antique mall. He wears a Hawaiian shirt and made a cameo appearance in the movie "Semi-Pro." Bonus: In the mall, a 1980s Ford trade show quiz robot.
Visitor Tips and News About Muffler Man - Happy Halfwit
The Muffler Man continues his outdoor vigil at Flint's Dort Mall. Despite a large auction a year or two ago, Dort is still full of antiques. Inside, there is a robot that was a Ford new car quiz booth at the Detroit auto show in the '80s.[Larry C., 02/01/2011]
At the beginning of 2007, an ad appeared in the local newspapers that a Will Ferrell/Woody Harrelson movie was going to be filmed in Flint and Detroit, Michigan about a fictional basketball team called the "Flint Tropics." The film is set in 1976 and the producers were looking for 1976 and older vehicles to set the tone. My friends and I submitted pictures of our cars and were selected for the filming. We got fitted in 1970's attire and were asked to go to the Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit on May 7th.
You can imagine my surprise when arriving to find the Half-Wit from Flint in his original Hawaiian shirt standing guard over the old coliseum! With no Coliseum still standing in Flint (you can see it being imploded in the film "Roger and Me") they used the one at the state fairgrounds and decked it out not only for Flint but for the finals when the Tropics win the championship.
The movie is based on the American Basketball Association, which did exist, so in the film the fictional team from Flint plays against the real teams. We were there until 4:00 AM! The movie is called "Semi-Pro" and will be released in February 2008. I am anxious to see how these pieces we saw being filmed go together.[Richard Weiss, 07/24/2007]
The Muffler Man stands outside of the Dort Mall in Flint Michigan. I went inside to ask if there was any information available about him and all the clerk at the store could tell me is that he is "Howdy Doody." They don't know for sure, but owner Bob Perani, a local hockey celebrity, may have the giant Red Ryder B-B Gun someplace among his vast collection of antiques.[David Carrick, 08/12/2006]
I found my first Muffler Man without even trying! I was cutting through a parking lot in Flint, MI, and there it was -- an empty-handed "Happy Half-Wit" wearing blue jeans and a yellow Hawaiian shirt with palm trees. He stands guard outside the Bargain Hunterz discount clothing store and is surrounded by an eight-foot tall chain-link fence.
Ironically, there is a muffler shop less than 50 yards away around the corner (Discount Mufflers & Brakes, I think, although the name of the business isn't too apparent from looking at the facade), and neither the shop nor the Half-wit seem to acknowlege one another.[Wright Wilson, 07/22/2002]