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 May 3, 2005
Mourners relish memory of hot dog spokesman Little Oscar at funeral
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MERRILLVILLE, Ind. A funeral was held Saturday in Indiana for the man who portrayed the Oscar Mayer spokesman, "Little Oscar," for more than three decades.

George Molchan, who died Tuesday at 82, traveled from town to town in the company's Wienermobile -- appearing in parades and at supermarkets.

Before priests said the final prayers over Molchan's casket, about 50 mourners sang a chorus of the jingle, "Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer wiener" and then blew short blasts on miniature, hot dog-shaped whistles.

Elmer Molchan says his brother was a bookkeeper for a soft drink bottler when an actor who portrayed a "Wizard of Oz" munchkin persuaded him to try out for the role of Little Oscar. The character was created in the 1930's by the company's founder.

The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was parked near Molchan's grave.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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