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Who Should Be in D.C. Wax Museum?

Madame Tussaud's wax museum is coming to Washington, to the old Woodies building downtown, and at least so far, there are no plans to include Marion Barry, Monica Lewinsky or Michael Jordan. Not the Squire, not Danny Boy, not Mr. Pollin. No Newt, none of the Supremes (neither justices nor singers), not even Dick Nixon.

When the wax museum opens--this fall, the proprietor hopes--it will be Tussaud's third showplace in the United States and seventh on the planet. The emphasis here will be on politics--both Bill and Hill, GW and TJ of course, as well as celebs along the lines of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (whose Washington connection is, um, a bit opaque, waxy even.)

Washington had a wax museum for many years, the National Historical Wax Museum, which, according to Michael Schade, the great chronicler of life in Dupont Circle, first opened in 1958 at the old Heurich Brewery site, now home of the Kennedy Center. In 1965, he reports, the Wax Museum moved to 5th and K streets NW in Shaw, and again in
1978 to Southeast, to 3rd and E.

As I recall that museum from my seventh grade trip to Washington--this is when the museum was at 5th and K--it was heavy on presidents, with an extensive emphasis on FDR and JFK. That museum was not ashamed to include Supreme Court justices, lesser presidents and other figures whose names may not be immediately recognizable to folks who might shell out $25 to hit Tussaud's after a day on the Mall. Pocahantas, John Smith, Winston Churchill, Lewis and Clark, and Caroline and John-John were the stars of the old D.C. wax museum.

This time, you can expect less history and more bling, which is too bad, because the Spy Museum has shown that even Washington tourists spoiled by the free admission policy on the Mall are happy to pay for high-quality history. Attendance at that privately-owned museum has been well above all projections from its opening to today.

But the Tussaud's production is in development, so there's still time to add some figures. Who should be encased in wax (plastic, really, but don't tell)? Come ahead with your nominations of characters and the setting in which they should be depicted. I'll start:

--Marion Barry in the Vista, pipe to mouth.
--Danny Snyder, chopping down trees along the Potomac.
--Mr. Tony, an overstuffed hero sandwich in one hand, a microphone in the other.
--Larry King, surrounded by dots...
--Howard Stern, bobbing in the icy Potomac amid the crashed ruins of the Air Florida jet...
--Willard Scott, toupee in hand, weather map behind him...
--George Clinton, with "Chocolate City" playing in the background...
--Chuck Brown, holding the little slips of paper on which fans have written down their neighborhood name for him to call out...
--Duke Ellington, at home on T Street, or playing at the Howard...
--a hall of scandals, a roomful of Senators (diamond and marble), and now you add yours....


By Marc Fisher |  March 6, 2007; 6:51 AM ET
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We're missing the obvious.... Monica Lewinski and Linda Tripp (before the massive cosmetic surgery), mud-wrestling.

Posted by: Hillman | March 6, 2007 7:24 AM

Root Boy Slim should be in the Wax Museum - in his stage clothes of course, with his music playing (Boogie Till You Puke, Dare to
be Fat, I Used to be a Radical, I'm Not Too
Old for You, Christmas at K-Mart etc)

Posted by: Muddy Lee Perkins | March 6, 2007 7:41 AM

Let's get some more music in there:

Charlie Byrd
Patsy Cline
"Pretty Boy" Don Covay
John Duffey
Todd Duncan
Lillian Evans-Tibbs (Madame Lillian Evanti)
Danny Gatton
Marvin Gaye
John Philip Sousa
Charlie Waller

Posted by: Mike Licht | March 6, 2007 7:55 AM

Duke Ziebert, The Squire, Wibur Mills, Fanne Foz, Elizabeth Ray, Wayne Hays (am I dating myself or what?) George Preston Marshall, Warren, Berger, Rehnquist, Thiesmann, Doug Williams, Green, Monk, Pat Fischer, Sonny.

Posted by: Stick | March 6, 2007 7:55 AM

Marlene Chalmers Cooke, behind the wheel of her Jag with a male companion clinging to the hood.

Posted by: FrenchyB | March 6, 2007 8:32 AM

Jack abramoff

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 8:38 AM

Duke Ellington
Henry Rollins
Minor Threat
Fugazi

Boss Shepherd
James Farmer

Ben Bradlee
Woodward & Bernstein

Posted by: Greg | March 6, 2007 9:08 AM

If the nominees themselves are actually going to be encased in plastic, then my list is a long one. But if they are only going to be reproduced, not so much.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 6, 2007 9:14 AM

In all seriousness aren't they missing something if they don't include a Hall-O-Presidents, or better yet Hall-O-Vice Presidents (HOVPOTUS!). I would pay $25 to see Dan Quayle, Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon and John Tyler.

Posted by: DAJ | March 6, 2007 9:39 AM

1. A blank wall in honor of all the anonymous people who post to blogs.

2. A hole in the floor to honor the DC potholes. Make sure it is by the entrance so we all can trip and fall in.

3. Make sure the entire floor leans to the left, just like DC

Posted by: SoMD | March 6, 2007 9:44 AM

William Howard Taft...Oh, wait, there wouldn't be room for anyone else.

Posted by: mikes | March 6, 2007 9:45 AM

I think we need a hall of assassins - I mean, who doesn't want to see Charlie Guiteau in plastic? And maybe we could work in Jodie Foster that way if they really want celebs :)

Posted by: MB | March 6, 2007 9:47 AM

Dr. Cecil Jacobson, surrounded by a bunch of babies that look like him.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Jacobson

Posted by: Lindemann | March 6, 2007 9:51 AM

DAJ:

Would the Hall-O-Vice Presidents have a sign saying Dick Cheney's statue has been moved to an undsclosed location?

Posted by: Mike | March 6, 2007 9:54 AM

FUGAZI
FUGAZI
FUGAZI

Posted by: steve-0 | March 6, 2007 10:09 AM

It's a shame no one thought to preserve the contents of the Vista Hotel room that Barry got busted in. That'd make for a perfect exhibit. Plus, the Barry statue could made of actual cocaine.

Posted by: Hillman | March 6, 2007 10:22 AM

For some reason, I associate the modern version of Tussaud's with sleazy tourist traps like Ripley's Believe It or Not. In other words, a place you visit simply for the freak value. I went to Ripley's once and I felt dirty after the experience. Part of the problem is that the wax dummies look nothing like their real-life counterparts. Usually, the dummies have expressions of discomfort or anguish.

Posted by: Tonio | March 6, 2007 10:33 AM

Oliver North and Fawn Hall testifying.

Posted by: BF | March 6, 2007 11:01 AM

Ronnie Mervis

Posted by: LEX PK | March 6, 2007 11:07 AM

In memory of The Washington Star -- The Ear!

Posted by: Cosmo | March 6, 2007 11:14 AM

-Fannie Fox in the Tidal Basin, Wilbur Mills watching.
-Oliver North and Fawn Hall on a cold Washington street, burning copies of the Constitution to keep warm.

Posted by: Steve | March 6, 2007 11:28 AM

A truly DC Wax Museum has to have:

Ben Ali serving a half-smoke with chili
Duke Ellington swinging to his music
John Riggins rumbling
Darrell Green smiling
Langston Hughes writing
Woodward and Bernstein at a desk with Ben Bradlee
MLK, Jr. speaking on The Mall
Sarah Grace McCandless writing one of her books
Abe Pollin, doing something
Marion Barry, sweatin' to The Oldies


Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 11:30 AM

Ronnie Mervis!!! HAHA

Posted by: YestoRonnieMervis | March 6, 2007 11:34 AM

How about statues of Jhoon Rhee and Nils Lofgren shown in a Tae Kwon Do match, with Lofgren's recording of "Nobody Bothers Me" playing?

Mike Licht already named my choices, Danny Gatton and Marvin Gaye.

Posted by: Tonio | March 6, 2007 11:35 AM

Don't forget Walter Johnson, Josh Gibson and Frank Howard.

Posted by: Vincent | March 6, 2007 11:58 AM

Vincent, I had gotten used to thinking of Josh Gibson as a Pittsburgh hero, because of his seaons with the Crawfords and because the Grays split their time between Forbes and Griffith. But he still counts as a D.C. hero to me.

Posted by: Tonio | March 6, 2007 12:15 PM

Woodward and/or Bernstein should be in a parking garage with Deep Throat

And I think Pierre L'Enfant deserves a spot but I'm sure they'd consider that too geeky.

Posted by: me | March 6, 2007 12:17 PM

How about the Founding Fathers...spinning in their graves....

Posted by: gitarre | March 6, 2007 12:18 PM

one of the pandas from the National Zoo, of course!

Posted by: KDH | March 6, 2007 12:18 PM

Jim Henson!

Posted by: Ritch | March 6, 2007 12:24 PM

They better get Tai Shan to pose quick before he has to leave. A nice little wax fuzz ball would be great.

I went to the one in London and the place is fairly entertaining, it has loud music and flashy lights all over for sections with celebrities and then a quieter more formal area for politicians. You could also dress up in a few places and get your picture taken with some waxies like the Darkness and Prince William, or they even had a Karoake area where you sing on a stage with wax figures of the judges from The X-Factor (British version of American Idol). Shame it cost almost 40 dollars to get in (20ish pounds) and that was after haggling with the cashier down about 4 pounds.

Posted by: Rob | March 6, 2007 12:27 PM

John Quincy Adams nude on the bank of the Potomac giving an interview to a female reporter.

Posted by: Edward | March 6, 2007 12:27 PM

Marian Anderson and Eleanor Roosevelt in front of the Lincoln Memorial

Posted by: reispace | March 6, 2007 12:27 PM

Oh yeah - Gilbert Arenas yelling 'Hibachii'

Posted by: reispace | March 6, 2007 12:29 PM

John Philip Sousa, Joe Gibbs, Boss Shepherd, Helen Hayes, and Woodrow Wilson (the only president to retire to D.C.)

While we're doing scenes and backdrops and such, why not one of the Beatles, playing their first U.S. concert in the old Washington Coliseum?

Posted by: Mike | March 6, 2007 12:56 PM

For the musician list: John Denver. A lot of his early career was spent at The Cellar Door.

I loved the old Wax Museum. My father used to work down there (for FPA/FERC), and once a year or so he'd take me to work with him and in the afternoon we'd always go to the Wax Museum. John Smith's chest heaving as Pocohontas pleaded for his life, and the thunder and lightening while Ben Franklin made his experiment were the best exhibits. We took one of my friends with us once, and she was terrified by the lightening.

Posted by: GJ | March 6, 2007 12:59 PM

J. Edgar Hoover in drag
Elvis with Nixon
White House pets
Sonny Jergenson

Posted by: lwright | March 6, 2007 1:18 PM

Great suggestions above. You all stole my thunder. So, just to endorse those ideas . . .

Woodward, Bernstein, Bradlee, and Graham
Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson--an inspired suggestion
Definitely Tai Shan

Posted by: THS | March 6, 2007 1:19 PM

Red Auerbach, holding court at the China Doll

Abe Pollin with a cake

Riggo dancing with Sandra Day O'Connor

Freddie Adu sitting on the DC United bench

Posted by: Bob | March 6, 2007 1:54 PM

No one has mentioned all of the great comedians from the D.C area:
Lewis Black
Dave Chappelle
Martin Lawrence
Tommy Davidson

And we can't forget musicians like Dave Grohl, and Little Feat, who called D.C. home for a while.

Actors like Shirley Mclean and little bro, Warren Beatty...and Sandra Bullock.

But I really want to immortalize the creator of the greatest sitcom in many years, Greg Garcia.

Posted by: mocoboy | March 6, 2007 2:02 PM

Does DC have any famous crooks? I'm thinking Al Capone-type crooks, not Richard Nixon-type crooks.

Posted by: THS | March 6, 2007 2:12 PM

Since everyone has fond memories of the old wax museum, how about some acknowledgement of the Uberman family that owned and ran it hands on?

Posted by: biolad | March 6, 2007 2:22 PM

Marion Barry --- You could put him next to the Coke machine.

Posted by: Tupac Goldstein | March 6, 2007 2:26 PM

How about we start with some of these folks.

Nancy Pleosi
Harry Reid
Chucky Shummer
and there's plenty more.

I'm not talking wax mock ups either!

Posted by: Robert | March 6, 2007 2:27 PM

Don Geronimo and Mike O'Meara.

Posted by: Tonio | March 6, 2007 2:50 PM

Chuck Brown cause he is my dad!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 6, 2007 3:01 PM

I am a native. So here goes
Walter Washington
Vernon Jordan
Wes Unseld
Ron Brown
Thurgood Marshall
Sam Bankhead
Josh Gibson
Toni Morrison
Ralph Bunche
Just to name a few.....

Posted by: AJ | March 6, 2007 3:20 PM

John Kerry (eating a philly cheesesteak w/ swiss cheese)
Jim Traficant and his pet hair
B2 Bob Dornan
Helen Thomas
Bono (so he will be a permanent fixture in D.C.)
The prototype skintern

Posted by: Ex cap | March 6, 2007 3:21 PM

Jim Leach

Posted by: Jane Cabrier | March 6, 2007 3:26 PM

The Seldom Scene
The Nighthawks

Posted by: b | March 6, 2007 3:49 PM

A sullen, angry CVS clerk.

Posted by: DC Nice | March 6, 2007 3:58 PM

How about the *real* Marion Barry? Gets him off the streets and saves a lot of otherwise useful wax.

Posted by: Larry | March 6, 2007 4:02 PM

Marc Fisher holdin' his Dippin' Dots!

Posted by: Tomcat | March 6, 2007 4:03 PM

Harden and Weaver
Trumball and Core
Grandy and Andy
Other geezer radio people ?

Posted by: jmsbh | March 6, 2007 4:04 PM

What about all of the Hafts ?
Great hair !

Posted by: John H | March 6, 2007 4:05 PM

- Mr. Woodward
- Mr. Lothrop
- Lenny Skutnik sp)Hero of the Air Florida crash
- Any panda
- A million men/women/families/etc marching
- Montgomery Blair
- A train-car load of Metro riders all squashed down into a sardine can
- A tourist in uniform (T-shirt with the name of a bar on it, shorts, fanny pack, camera, etc)

Posted by: Indy Ave | March 6, 2007 4:14 PM

a tourist is the greatest idea. Well done Indy Ave.

Skintern would go nicely as well.

how about a comuter who doesn't pay taxes in DC?

Maybe even a section called "Hollywood for Ugly People" with busts of the ugliest presidents and politicians.

Posted by: bri | March 6, 2007 4:32 PM

Anne Coulter with an apple in her mouth.

Posted by: Oink | March 6, 2007 6:33 PM

Lorena Bobbit holding a butcher knife.
Dan Snyder planting a tree.
Marion Barry arguing with a cop.
A cigar.
A metro kiosk worker having a cell phone conversation and ignoring the customer.

For real though:
The Exorcist steps.
A Bayou sign. (that was in Georgetown for all you young whippersnappers)
The real "Smokey the Bear" (an American black bear) who lived at the National Zoo after being rescued from the New Mexico forest fire.
"Ham", the chimpanzee who flew in the 1961 Mercury space capsule, who also lived at the National Zoo.

Posted by: My 2 cents | March 6, 2007 7:07 PM

Some great DC born headliners:

Al Jolson - the original Jazz Singer, from SW DC
Frederick Douglas
Kitty Kelly for writing those fabulous bios
Dolly Madison for truly creating the role of "First Lady"
Boss Shepherd
Matthew Brady - had his second photo studio @ 6th and Penn NW
Katherine Graham (don't consider this pandering, wp.com!)
Edith Bolling Galt Wilson - married a President and before that the owner of what was the oldest jewelry store in the US - Galt's
J Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson

and the dark side of DC...

Kim Philby who worked at the UK embassy here while spying for the reds
Maybe you want to add J Edgar Hoover to this side of the list?Richard Berendzen former Prez of AU who quit after it was found he made all those perverse (yet strangely fascinating) phone calls to a woman
I am sure there is a lot more to be added from the seedy sex side of DC.

and this list would not be complete without
Albert Fish the notorious serial killer/cannibal that was born at 2nd and A St. NE

Posted by: Hillster! | March 6, 2007 9:05 PM

Some great DC born headliners (I'll try not to repeat what was posted before)

Al Jolson - the original Jazz Singer, from SW DC
Frederick Douglas
Kitty Kelly for writing those fabulous bios
Dolly Madison for truly creating the role of "First Lady"
Boss Shepherd
Matthew Brady - had his second photo studio @ 6th and Penn NW
Katherine Graham (don't consider this pandering, wp.com!)
Edith Bolling Galt Wilson - married a President and before that the owner of what was the oldest jewelry store in the US - Galt's
J Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson

and the dark side of DC...

Kim Philby who worked at the UK embassy here while spying for the reds
Maybe you want to add J Edgar Hoover to this side of the list?Richard Berendzen former Prez of AU who quit after it was found he made all those perverse (yet strangely fascinating) phone calls to a woman
I am sure there is a lot more to be added from the seedy sex side of DC.

and this list would not be complete without
Albert Fish the notorious serial killer/cannibal that was born at 2nd and A St. NE

Posted by: Hillster! | March 6, 2007 9:07 PM

Someone suggested homegrown movie stars Shirley, Warren and Sandra. Nice idea, but let's get Goldie in there, too.

Posted by: Vincent | March 7, 2007 2:21 AM

More music history:
Link Wray, Danny Gatton, Connie B. Gay, Tom "cat" Reeder, Chuck Brown, Ian McKay

How about the real power in D.C. from the 60s to the 80s--developers, et.al.
Til Hazel, Oliver Carr, and Bill Regardie, the latter of whom did some very cool journalism in the 80s.

And then the uber-lobbyists:
Clark Clifford, Tommy Corcoran, Jack Valenti

Posted by: bmcneill | March 7, 2007 9:29 AM

DC Nice, how about a People's Drug clerk instead?

Posted by: Tonio | March 7, 2007 12:08 PM

The Gallaudet student who made a arse of herself on Marcs chat a couple months ago.

Posted by: Wax | March 7, 2007 12:24 PM

How about one of those top notch t.v. 'Killer Winter Storm' reporters who stand in the middle of the street at 5:00am with a 12-inch ruler measuring slush?

Posted by: Dwight_Shrute | March 7, 2007 12:54 PM

A scene at Eastern Market.
Youngsters rolling Easter eggs on the White House lawn.
Tai Shan and his mom.

Posted by: My 2 cents | March 7, 2007 1:13 PM

jmsbh:

You suggest "Other geezer radio people."

If the museum has statues that don't really resemble their subjects, and visitors can't figure out who they are, Tussaud's could just re-identify them as old radio people. Who would know the difference?

Posted by: Mike Licht | March 7, 2007 2:02 PM

In the musician section, don't forget Roy Buchanan.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2007 3:36 PM

Smithson, the man that founded the Smithsonian.

Posted by: 2 more cents | March 7, 2007 7:17 PM

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