beaumont's muffler man

Happy Half Wit 

Muffler Man in BeaumontInspired by the famous MAD character, Alfred E. Neuman, Happy Half Wit stands about 25 feet in height and makes his home outside Ken's Mufflers (830 South 11th) in Beaumont, Texas.

Happy is one of four muffler men purchased by Ken Johnson for his muffler shops in Dallas, Texas. While two still remain in their original Dallas locations, one has gone missing and ours has made his home here in Beaumont for quite some time now. Happy Half Wit is unique for a couple of reasons. For starters, he's a half wit, which is one of the less common variations of muffler men you'll find scattered around the United States. Secondly, he's holding a muffler. Considering the name, this is surprisingly rare when it comes to muffler men. Today, most aren't holding anything. Others can be found holding a variety of items including an ax, a hot dog or a baseball bat, among other things.

Standing 18 to 25 feet tall, Muffler Men is a term coined for these human-like giants that dot U.S. highways. They were originally designed to promote various businesses around the country and are usually made of fiberglass. Muffler Men made their first appearance at the Paul Bunyan Café on Route 66. Built in 1962, a statue of Paul Bunyan was constructed for the Flagstaff, Arizona café. Shortly after, muffler men began to pop up around the country and have been grabbing motorists' attention ever since.

In the world of muffler men, you'll find an assortment of sizes and personalities along the highways. These include original Muffler Men, Half Wits, Bunyans or Lumberjacks, Vikings, Pirates, Indians or Native Americans, Uniroyal Gals, Cowboys and miscellaneous personas such as Mr. Bendo, Big John, Pecos Bill and others.

Half Wits in Texas: 

Ken's Muffler & Brakes Services - 830 S 11th Street, Beaumont, TX
Ken's Brakes & Shocks - 4212 N Central Expressway, Dallas, TX
Ken's Muffler & Brakes - 3537 W Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX

Learn more about Happy Half Wit and where you can find other muffler men at RoadsideAmerica.com, a site dedicated to mapping America's muffler men. 

insiders guide
Spring Soirée: McFaddin-Ward Community Picnic

Spring in Beaumont means getting outdoors and enjoying the beautiful weather. Bring your blanket and pack your favorite food for the annual McFaddin-Ward House Spring Picnic. It’s a popular event at the historic mansion that includes live music, games, food trucks and plenty of other family friendly entertainment. The best part..it’s free! “People from all walks of life are now…Continue Reading

Easter in Beaumont

It’s not Easter in Beaumont without an egg hunt or visit with the big bunny, but there are other ways you can celebrate the season. The Southeast Texas Faith Trail  recognizes the significant places of worship in our area. These are beautiful buildings with eye catching architecture and notable historical significance that you may drive past all the time without taking time to stop,…Continue Reading

5 Ways to Enjoy April in Beaumont

Spring is one of our favorite seasons in Beaumont (and for good reason)! Mild temperatures means two things: It's crawfish season and events are in full swing. From carnival rides and cowboys to art exhibitions and weekly trail runs, April is full of things to do with events the whole family will enjoy. Here are 5 ways to enjoy April in Beaumont, Texas. 1) Things to Do with Kids YMBL…Continue Reading

Big Thicket Spring 2017 Ranger-Led Programs

The staff of Big Thicket National Preserve invites everyone to explore the thicket by taking advantage the many ranger-led programs being offered in the months of March, April and May. From canoe trips on the Neches River to a black bear presentation and night hikes through the thicket, park ranger will offer a variety of free programs. Some programs require participants to pre-register, and…Continue Reading

What's Your Rodeo IQ?

Spring in Southeast Texas means the start of rodeo season! This year, the YMBL South Texas State Fair and Rodeo runs March 30 - April 9th, 2017 at Ford Park in Beaumont. From tickets to parking and all the events, we’ve got everything you need to know about this year’s fair! But first, let’s have some fun! It’s time to test your Rodeo IQ with a few random rodeo facts! Q.…Continue Reading

10 Ways to Enjoy March in Beaumont

From dancing and dining to carnival rides and Cowboys, March in Beaumont is packed with plenty of things to do! Whether your idea of a perfect time is enjoying art or relaxing with the family at an old fashioned movie experience, you don’t have to go far to find fun. We’ve got your Top 10 List of events and experiences for March 2017! Beaumonts Farmers Market Every Saturday 950 Langham…Continue Reading

Family Entertainment: What's New in Southeast Texas

It’s a question that plagues every family. “What are we going to do?!” There are several new family entertainment options in the Beaumont area and exciting updates to a few favorites! From an escape room adventure to an up close and personal experience with animals, we’ve got great ideas for entertainment in Beaumont and Southeast Texas! Cinemark Tinseltown: Luxury Loungers…Continue Reading

Big Tex Brings Big Changes to Gator Country

Gator Country’s most well-known resident, Big Tex, is getting ready for his first spring season at the sprawling ranch off Interstate 10 in Beaumont, Texas. And there will be a lot more new things to experience when you make a visit! You may remember, the nearly 1,000 pound gator gained worldwide attention last fall when he was rescued from the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge in…Continue Reading

Top 10 Things to Do in Beaumont this February

We want you to enjoy every single thing Beaumont, Texas has to offer. From festivals to movie nights and plenty of family friendly events, there is so much going on in our great city! Each month we aim to provide you with a packed list of “must do” events and experiences to try out. Check out February’s list of our top 10 things to do in Beaumont:  Events Boomtown Film and…Continue Reading

National Park Service Announces Fee-Free Days for 2017

Combine great scenery and history with great savings and visit the Big Thicket National Preserve for free during the 10 fee-free days in 2017.  The 10 entrance fee-free days for 2017 will be: January 16: Martin Luther King Jr. Day February 20: Presidents Day  April 15-16: National Park Week Weekend April 22-23: National Park Week Weekend August 25: National Park Service Birthday…Continue Reading

Get Moving: Places to Workout in Beaumont

It’s a new year and the number one resolution for many is to start a new workout routine! Exercising can be as easy at getting out the door and walking or taking up a new hobby. From full-service gyms to smaller studios and even free workout stations around town, here are plenty of options for working out in Beaumont! CrossFit CrossFit style workouts have gotten more popular in recent years.…Continue Reading

Harlem Globetrotters Return to Beaumont in 2017

The world famous Harlem Globetrotters , featuring some of the most electrifying athletes on the planet, will bring their spectacular show back to Beaumont in 2017 during their 91st Anniversary World Tour. Event Details: Harlem Globetrotters January 24, 2017 - 7:00 pm Ford Park Event Center 5115 Interstate 10 South Beaumont, TX 77705 Purchase tickets online through Ticketmaster here . New this…Continue Reading

Where to See Holiday Lights in Southeast Texas

One of my family’s favorite holiday traditions is to drive around town looking at holiday lights and decorations. We put on our PJ’s, pile in the car, crank up the Christmas music and head out! But where are the *best* places to see lights in the Beaumont area and beyond?  Here is a great list to get you started! Beaumont St Elizabeth Hospital 2830 Calder Ave Beaumont, Tx…Continue Reading

Beaumont's December Event Guide

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! You better not pout or cry because December is the time of the year to get out and enjoy the holidays with your family! We have a complete list of 20+ holiday events and activities going on in Beaumont just this month. Share with your friends, mark your calendars and let us know about the fun you have!  Shopping Main Street Market Thursday,…Continue Reading

Top 7 Family Photo Locations in Beaumont

Family photos are something we love and something we sometimes dread. It’s not always easy to get everyone to cooperate, but getting that perfect picture is really something to treasure for years to come. It is even more special when you can take the photos in a place that really represents your family and where you live.  We talked with several photographers in the Beaumont area to…Continue Reading

Beaumont's November Event Guide

Fall in Southeast Texas is in full swing! Now that the weather is (sometimes) cooler it is time to get out and enjoy all the fun happenings going on in Beaumont. From chili dinners to football and happy hours galore, you don’t have to make a trip out of town to have a great time. We’ve got a great list packed with 15+ events going on in November in Beaumont, Texas! Family and Kids St.…Continue Reading

Classic Movie Nights: It's Showtime

It’s not very often that you get the chance to go back in time and enjoy something unique from long ago. At Classic Movie Nights at the Jefferson Theatre you can! The complete movie experience is a blast from the past for people in our area and it’s so popular there are now more chances for you to go. The historic theatre is back in business and booming with activity! “People…Continue Reading

Beaumont's Record-Setting Gator Has New Name

Beaumont is home to a new resident and this big guy is getting a lot of attention! A record breaking alligator is now living at Gator Country off of Interstate 10 in Beaumont, Texas. The catch is attracting national attention and thanks to people in the community, he NOW has a new name! “We are the only ones that take alligators out of the wild and give them a place to…Continue Reading

Beaumont's October Event Guide

From a popular haunted Halloween tour with family to Classic Movie Nights with friends, there are plenty of events going on in Beaumont this fall to keep you busy! We’ve got your complete guide to October 2016 including ideas for family fun, arts and entertainment, date night and even a few things that will get you moving! Don’t be afraid to eat a bug, try out yoga on the lawn or…Continue Reading

Coming Home for LU Homecoming

Homecoming at Lamar University means football, food, festivities and, of course, friends. While it’s a time of celebration for the current events going on at the University, it’s also a time for big reunions for people near and far away! People from student organizations, fraternities and sororities, athletic teams and more join together to celebrate BIG RED!  As a former member…Continue Reading