Before there was Jeff Dunham and Terry Fator, there was Wayland Flowers. Technically, Flowers was less a ventriloquist and more a puppeteer, but the basic premise remains the same. He did shows and skits with puppets. One of his most famous puppets was an old hag named Madame. Maybe “hag” isn’t so nice, but, man, was this broad misshapen, particularly in the chin and mouth area. Not only did she have a distinctive look, but she had a distinctive gravely voice as well. Flowers and Madame appeared on The Andy Williams Show, Hollywood Squares, and Laugh-In, and she also had her own sitcom, Madame’s Place. But I know her best from her many appearances on Solid Gold. Like so many things I saw in my really young days, I couldn’t understand Madame and was pretty much traumatized by her. But I don’t find her scary today. At least, not as scary.