"I'm No Dummy"

This DVD is available in your retail stores as well as online sources and I recommend you purchase a copy. As the cover indicates, the documentary by Bryan Simon, features ventriloquists Jeff Dunham, Jay Johnson, and Lynn Trefzeger which in itself makes it entertaining viewing. But it is much more than that with some wonderful vintage clips of Edgar Bergen, Senor Wences, Jimmy Nelson and others. In some ways I had the feeling I was watching a screenplay version of "Dummy Days" by Kelly Asbury with the addition of the contemporary vents featured.

The producers tout this work as "an insightful documentary about ventriloquism." I feel it would be more accurately described as a "ventriloquist themed documentary". Simon did an excellent job with what he brings viewers, but there are facets of the art missing. And how can you gather interviews at the ConVENTion without even making mention or showing a clip with the convention chairman? A serious oversight in my opinion. But as documentaries go, this is the best one I've seen. I'm awarding this copy to Ron Havens.
Contact Mr. D to claim your prize.


  1. Ashley4/19/2010

    This is such a great documentary. I really enjoyed seeing Lamb Chop in it and the vintage clips from past ventriloquists.

  2. I've ordered it and let you know when I've watched it.

  3. Winkle and Wags4/19/2010

    I rejoiced in seeing the vintage clips; especially of Gentleman Jimmy Nelson. Still hard to believe the Queen of Vent, Shari Lewis, was left out of this. Save for a snapshot at the end, where is she?

  4. I agree with Ashley! Lambchop was probably my favorite part of the entire documentary... This dvd was such a good find. Brought back a lot of memories.

  5. Anonymous4/20/2010

    Winkle & Wags, Shari Passed away from cancer several years ago unfortunatly. I did enjoy this film, but agree that she WAS a biggie, & WAY too important to be left out. Her daughter Mallory is the one who did lambchop in this film. She performs with her now. I just wish a documentary on vent would get done that could compare with the GREAT one done on the history of MAGIC some years back called "the story of maic" Narrated by Ricky Jay! Basically it would take a film version of Valentine Vox's book. THAT'S the doc I'M waiting to see!! & Clinton, I also agree with you! W.S.

  6. Winkle and Wags4/20/2010

    I should have expressed myself better. Yes, Anon, I knew that Shari left us in 1998, as did other special favorites of mine; Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Buffalo Bob Smith. I was referring to older film footage, such as was featured with Messrs. Bergen and Winchell. I'd have loved to seen film footage of Shirley Dinsdale, too. I understand she was the first televised vent and she, along with 'Judy Splinters', were instant successes.

  7. Anonymous4/20/2010

    First Emmy ever awarded went to Shirley Dinsdale, at a time when Edgar Bergen headed the Academy, and sometime later he to receive the only wooden one.

  8. Anonymous4/20/2010

    My mistake, Bergen's was an Oscar. LeeDean

  9. Anonymous4/20/2010

    Or Bergen's Oscar may have been awarded earlier than Dinsdale's Emmy, I'm not sure. LeeDean

  10. Very well done, worth seeing, and having a copy of your own. From what I have read several hours of interviews and performances were filmed and edited down to 90 minutes, so unfortunately many made the cutting room floor, but all in all it is a very worth while project.

  11. I thought Bryan Simon did an excellent job. Yes, he probably had centuries of history to work with, but 90 minutes is a short span to fill.

    The "old school" segment featuring some of the greats of ventriloquism was a good representation of that history, even though some were left out. I feel like Shari's daughter Mallory's appearance was a a nice hat tip to Shari's legacy that Lambchop lives on despite Shari's passing.

    Personally, I could have seen a version with 60 minutes devoted to Jay Johnson and the other 30 minutes devoted to everyone else with a slightly larger chunk going to Senor Wences. Now, if we can ever convince Jay to film and distribute Two and Only on DVD; I'll be on a street corner "barking" to sell that DVD to any one who'll stop long enough to hear me out.

  12. Winkle and Wags4/21/2010

    Shirley Dinsdale won the Emmy in 1948, while Edgar Bergen won an Honorary Oscar - a wooden one, with a movable mouth - in 1938.