I haven't decided on a wig style/color yet. I'm thinking gray hair - if you have suggestions, I'll listen. The finished figure will be for sale - hopefully within just a few days.
For Vintage 1970 Ventrilo-ett Click Here
For the 2010 Ventrilo-ett (black jacket) Click Here
This body is designed for the Knee Pal with a "drop through" neck, so be aware of that. The hands are missing, but you can order a pair from Mike Brose. I've listed this body on eBay auction where it is available now. Click Here
I have no idea of the value of this specific book today, so I've listed it for auction on eBay with an auction starting at 99 cents with free shipping. Click Here
Here's another out of print comedy dialogue book (#21) that was first published in 1974 by Maher Ventriloquist Studios. Multiple authors contributed to this book: Sports Minded by Dave Garrison; Karate by Robert Klase, Jr.; Argument by Tony Molesworth; Relatives by Pamelyn Whipple; Plain Horse Sense by Harry W. Anderson; The Shutter Salesman by Tommy Windsor; Double Vision by Lynn Chapman.
The used copy of this book being awarded today to Mike Horner was provided by Bob Abdou. But if 5 or more of you would like to purchase a new copy, I'm willing to pull the original master from my file and print new copies of NAAV General Dialogue Book #21 for $10 each, postpaid.
*As long as my supply lasts.
America has set aside this day for a time of giving thanks for all good things. Adelia and I pray your day and every day is filled with such blessings.
You certainly are on our list of reasons for giving thanks and with that in mind I thought it appropriate to give several of our personally signed Maher Studios "World of Thanks" awards today. And the winners are: Kenny Croes, Cherie Self, Harris Deutsch, and Joel Papcun.
(And I thank Keith Surana for donating this item for today's drawing!)
Published in 1974, this book contains four original comedy ventriloquist routines written by Fred Maher, founder of Maher School of Ventriloquism (1934). Each routine a full program. This Book has been out of print for many years, but thanks to Bob Abdou I have this copy for give-away. It has been used and the previous owner even marked some of his or her favorite jokes.
V: So you're a football player?
F: Oh sure, I play football.
V: Know much about the game?
F: Know as much as the COACH of our college knows.
V: Oh, now look - that's carrying it a little TOO far.
F: Well, it's the truth.
V: You know as much as the coach! How do you figure that?
F: Well, I do. He said so himself...he said it was IMPOSSIBLE for him to teach me ANYTHING!
Congratulations to Roy Hurlstone, winner of this book in today's drawing.
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Mrs. Maher sold Fred's routines for $5-$35 each in the 1960's. That's approximately $35-$250 each in today's dollars! Can you imagine? And this book contains FOUR of those routines: Guys and Dolls (Dating, Marriage, In-laws, etc.); In A Doctor's Office (A complete act packed with laughs); College And Football (College comedy and football frustrations); Country Boy (Comical farm life and country living). I have four NEW MINT copies of this book for sale: $10.00 each postpaid. firstname.lastname@example.org
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From Mr. D: All I can tell you is that for me personally, my hand gets less tired with the traditional headpost figure. But I've used both types for extended periods of time. I think everyone is individually unique. As are the puppets and figures. For example, some Axtell puppets are easier for me to manipulate than others, and what's easiest for me might not be your first choice. It takes a bit more practice to create life like movements with the head post figure since mechanics are involved. But certainly no great "learning curve" to fear. And you may very well find such a figure less strenuous to operate...it's certainly worth a try.
Here's Jack Dill (Mr. Gadget) with the Jerry Mahoney I upgraded for him. I love working on the Jerry's - such a great figure and so many memories since I got my own start in ventriloquism during the Paul Winchell days on TV. Jack even has Jerry outfitted in an original suit!
One of the distinctive features of the figures sculpted by Madeline Maher were their big eyes with black marbles inset as the eye pupil.
This one came in for resanding and repainting.
Last year some schools asked me if I had a "Bully show" and I said, "No". Why? As a comedian, I did not want to mix comedy and fun with the topic of Bullying. Well, the summer made me rethink my decision, and I spent over $1000 in NEW puppets, spent over $700 in stage props, spent 2 months finding quality material, spent hours on the phone talking with professionals (like Andy Mrkvicka from Colorado), and spent hours at night writing, writing and rewriting a new script for a "NO Bully" show.
What was the outcome for all this work and money? - My new "No Bully Zone" show is complete, I performed the show 6x in October and another this month. (Not bad for a new show just created during the summer!) I am sure more shows will book once the word gets out. Here is what one school wrote me after a show
"Dear Mr. Puppet, Thank you so very much for coming out to our school! From the moment you walked on stage the students were glued to you! Everyone loved your performance. I have to tell you that I had just returned from a training session on good character and anti-bullying strategies and I was amazed at how perfectly your show addressed all of the key points on anti-bullying. The strategies that you shared with our students are the strategies that we promote and you did it in such an entertaining way that the kids are still talking about you. I highly recommend your show to all elementary schools. The kids were so enthralled with you that they didn't even realize they were learning...but they did, and it shows. Awesome show."
My hard work has paid off. Is this topic easy for others to do? NO, this HOT topic is not to be taken lightly. I have found ways to make this a serious show with a serious message with a twist of humor. (That is my tagline for the show.)
My special-order ventrillo-ett in his tuxedo arrived safely today, and he's more than I could have wished for. How you built and sent him on his way to me so quickly is amazing. He became an instant hit, as the customs people had written "Puppet" on the box. The receptionist noticed it, and urged me to open the box right at the front desk so she could see it. I did, and found the stick and finger control so immediately familiar-feeling, that he began chatting with the receptionist right away. Before I knew it, there was quite a gathering around, and there I was, in the midst of an impromptu performance with a figure who still didn't have a name! The "oohs and aaahs" all around helped me to wrap up the debut, with the promise that he'd be back to see them all soon. The ventrillo-etts could well have a sub-title - "instant success". My sincere thanks.
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From Mr. D: I don't have a good solution to the request for bare arms on the ventriloquist figure. I have seen cases where the cloth sewn portion of the arm has been painted flesh color, but that was not fully satisfactory, in my opinion. Or, the hand is made with an extra long wrist length. Somewhat unnatural - and no wrist joint. I'm wondering if one could find a large doll at a thrift store that we could scavenge a pair of arms from. The hands on dolls are often "babyish", but maybe they could be replaced and just the arm used... If our readers have other suggestions, I would welcome them.
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From Steve at The Dummy Shoppe: Go to your local Hobby Lobby. They have a whole section for doll makers. I believe that you could purchase just the arms (maybe even cheaper than thrift stores) and surely in better condition. I've seen all those baby and doll parts several times, but I never had a use for them. That might help you.
Another possibility would be to buy some "Chenile" pipe cleaners. They come in every color in the rainbow, and some of them are pretty bushy. Also they are bendable.
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From Philip Gecian: Maybe arms from a display mannequin.
Try these people. I've bought a couple of heads from them for theatrical prosthetic construction. They're always having sales. http://www.roxydisplayinc.com/
"I don't know if this is possible, but can you make me a ventrilo-ett version of a tarsier? I love your ventrilo-ett and I thought of owning one with a very distinct Filipino design, using a tarsier."
Something about the challenge of creating such a unique character intrigued me, so after some thought on how such a real-life animal could be translated into a ventrilo-ett puppet, I accepted the challenge. You see a photo of Ono holding the resulting puppet below:
From Ony: "The Philippine tarsier (endangered species endemic to my country) ventrilo-ett you created for me just arrived today and I must say he looked great! Initially I thought it's impossible but you proved me wrong. The mouth control is smooth as silk, the workmanship is quality all the way. I named him 'Teroy' and I will use him to teach children about ecology, specifically the endangered species of animal. Your interpretation of the tarsier is a cute, wonderful creation! Thanks, Clinton!"
Note: Additional images of the tarsier puppet are posted on my Ventrilo-ett Photo Gallery.
While I was creating the special order nurse for Mr. Columb (see post that follows), I decided to make a female nurse Ventrilo-ett puppet as well, and here she is, ready to make her rounds, providing vital services and injecting humor into serious situations. $44.95 each postpaid. Contact Mr. D.
F: I can't believe teacher gave me a failing grade in World Geography!
V: How did that happen?
F: Each student had to answer just one question.
V: Easy enough.
F: Teacher asked Maria to go to the map and find North America.
V: And was she able to do so?
F: Sure - she pointed it out perfectly. Then it was my turn.
V: You had to locate another continent?
F: No, teacher asked me "Who discovered America"?
V: Did you know the answer?
F: Sure - it was MARIA! (pause) But teacher didn't like my answer.
V: Hmmm. And I'm not sure I like the fact that your knees are dirty.
F: I had to get on the floor to do my multiplication.
V: Why are you doing your math multiplication on the floor?
F: Teacher told me to do it without using tables. And then teacher asked, "How do you spell 'crocodile?'
V: How do you spell "crocodile"?
V: No, that's wrong.
F: Maybe it is wrong, but that's how I spell it.
That's as far as I got with the rewriting. Here's the rest of the jokes if you want to take it from here:
TEACHER: Donald, what is the chemical formula for water?
DONALD: H I J K L M N O.
TEACHER: What are you talking about?
DONALD: Yesterday you said it's H to O.
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TEACHER: Winnie, name one important thing we have today that we didn't have ten years ago.
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TEACHER: Glen, why do you always get so dirty?
GLEN: Well, I'm a lot closer to the ground than you are.
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TEACHER: Millie, give me a sentence starting with ' I. '
MILLIE: I is..
TEACHER: No, Millie..... Always say, 'I am.'
MILLIE: All right... 'I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.'
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TEACHER: George Washington not only chopped down his father's cherry tree, but also admitted it. Now, Louie, do you know why his father didn't punish him?
LOUIS: Because George still had the axe in his hand..
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TEACHER: Now, Simon, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?
SIMON: No sir, I don't have to, my Mom is a good cook.
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TEACHER: Clyde , your composition on 'My Dog' is exactly the same as your brother's. Did you copy his?
CLYDE : No, sir. It's the same dog.
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TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher