Skip to Main Content

Lake Ozark, Missouri: Ozark Halfwit and Chief Bagnell: Muffler Men

"Chief Bagnell," formerly known as Injun Joe, was successfully restored and returned to his old spot on August 13, 2016. "Ozark Halfwit" was shipped out for restoration in 2013; returned on May 1, 2024.

Visitor Tips and News About Ozark Halfwit and Chief Bagnell: Muffler Men

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Country Bumpkin.

Big Indian and Happy Halfwit

These are some pictures from earlier this week of the mutant Muffler Men near Bagnell Dam (a.k.a. Lake Ozark), MO. The halfwit's identified location in the "defunct Dogpatch" may or may not be right, since in March, everything there looks defunct ... but may just be waiting for the arrival of Ozark spring. There appears to be at least one viable roadside attraction behind him, the Old Time Photo place, whose sign helpfully explains to those not acquainted with the genre that the old time photo is, in fact, "Of You." The noble savage is across the highway, in "Two Bit Town," which also boasts a fiberglass gorilla, though it is also closed at least for the season. The half wit has a bumper sticker on his back, advertising adult temporary tattoos, with the motto "From Fantasy to Flesh." I think "From Fantasy to Fiberglass" ought to be the Official Muffler Man motto. P.S. I think the Muffler Man spotter t-shirt is excellent.

[Dave Vander Velde, 03/21/1999]
Muffler Man

The Half Wit and Indian are standing directly across the street from each other. Both have arms raised either in greeting or for a "gate" effect, and the Half Wit's raised arm looks scarily Naziesque. His pants are replete with patches and he has little to no iris coloration. He no longer holds the lantern; it's at his feet. Must've been too heavy. Or maybe he tired of playing Prometheus. Kind of.

[Kendal Obermeyer, 11/30/1998]
Muffler Man

I determined to stop at their version of Dogpatch, which used to be along the main strip at Bagnell Dam. While some of the gift shops are still there, the hillbilly image is now discouraged, with the minor exception of the ever popular "Ozarkland" and Walnut Bowl Factory chain of gift shops. Dogpatch proper is no more, but the abandoned and overgrown buildings still stand, including the famous talking outhouse, sans hillbilly. If you are able to peer through the rubbish left by unappreciative tourists you can still capture the glory that once was in your mind. Out front though, if I recall correctly, still stands what I believe to be a "Muffler Man" in disguise. It is a smaller variety, and is in what I would call a Tom Sawyer motif [RA: a Happy Halfwit?], complete with plaid shirt and straw hat.

[Jon Isaacson, 06/10/1998]

Ozark Halfwit and Chief Bagnell: Muffler Men

Address:
1508 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Lake Ozark, MO
Directions:
The Halfwit is on the west side of US-54 BUS/Bagnell Dam Blvd at its intersection with Castaway Drive, a half-mile north of its intersection with Horseshoe Bend Pkwy and a mile south of the Bagnell Dam. Chief Bagnell stands across the street from the Halfwit.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Cup Tree and Shoe FenceCup Tree and Shoe Fence, Gravois Mills, MO - 13 mi.
Bridal CaveBridal Cave, Camdenton, MO - 15 mi.
Ruins of Ha Ha TonkaRuins of Ha Ha Tonka, Camdenton, MO - 17 mi.
In the region:
Bronze Beetle Bailey, Columbia, MO - 54 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Missouri Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

National Ballpark Museum, Denver, Colorado (Jul 15-21, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings