Funnier still was that everyone seemed to think they were the only one that had them and that they were hilarious. I can't tell you who many of my dad's uncles and cousins insisted I shoot myself in the face with water by pulling the little tie. I was just grateful if they forgot to fill the water bowl so I didn't get wet.
My friend picked up one recently and got it working again. He said the first time it played the laugh it sounds like something out of hell, but after it getting the dust out it started sounding mostly normal. These things are battery powers but mostly mechanical on the inside. They have a water bowl that you need to keep filled for the squirting to work.
Basically you pull down the tie and they open their eyes and squirt water at you then begin laffun. This is pretty low humor I think there is a larger application of it in Austrian Hellbrunn palace. As you can see there are a variety of figures from Santa to a Wizard. I think the hobo was the most common. They had a new edition by Jobar in the 80's with a bit different head design.