Favorite Ventrioquist?

Question: Who is your favorite ventriloquist?

Mr. D: Oh my, I've been asked this question often over the past 40 years, but I have yet to answer it with a single name - there is just no way I could pick one favorite.

Question: Then who are some of your favorite ventriloquists?

Mr. D: The list is LONG - do you have a couple hours? Unfortunately, I don't. So here's what you can do...name YOUR favorite ventriloquist - I'm quite certain that person will be on my list, too! Similar to ice cream, I enjoy all flavors - just give me some of each!


  1. Jeff Dunham for me. I believe his name will appear many times here.

    I just cant forget his "I Keel YOU !" friend.

  2. Anonymous1/13/2011

    Here's MY list. First off, my idol, Senor Wences, Along with my other inspirations, Jimmy Nelson, Edgar Bergen, Shari Lewis, Paul Winchell, Jim Henson {not a vent, but VERY worthy of inclusion!}, Ronn Lucas, Jay Johnson, Willie Tyler, & More recently Jeff Dunham, Terry Fator, And last but not least, Clinton Detweiler!!
    -Bill Smith -

  3. Anonymous1/13/2011

    Edgar Bergen and Ray Alan

  4. some of the greatest vents never make the spotlight, back when Jimmy Nelson and Paul Winchell ruled the air waves, other vents made an impact, just not on the grand scale. Today with Dunham and Fator, others continue making their mark as pros, they might not have the money power or worldwide fame but applause is applause in any language, My vote is for David Turner of Tennessee, funny funny guy and characters are one of a kind unique.

  5. Winkle and Wags1/13/2011

    Well, if Mr. Letterman can have a "Top Ten" list, so can I. So, in alphabetical order: Edgar Bergen, Don Bryan, Jeff Dunham, Jay Johnson, Shari Lewis, Ronn Lucas, Jimmy Nelson, Lyn Trefzger, Willie Tyler ... and Paul Winchell.

  6. Anonymous1/13/2011

    Mr. Puppet is probably one of the funniest I've seen.

  7. I have to go along with Mr.D., I love ventriloquism and just about everybody that does it. Of course we all love Edgar Bergen, Paul Winchel, Jimmy Nelson, but there are so many other great vents out there: Dan Horn, Mark Wade, Bill DeMar, Sammy King,Jim Barber, Jay Johnson,Micheal Harrison, Bill Boley, Kevin Johnson, Nina Conti, Paul Zerdin, Todd Oliver, Dale Brown the list is endless. So I won't make a list I like them all.

  8. Anonymous1/14/2011

    Clifford Guest was my favorite. LeeDean

  9. Thanks for your comments! You prove my point - and I could easily add another 20-30 names to those you've rightfully presented.

  10. From Jim Maurer

    "No doubt Terry Fator and Jeff Dunham have heightened the interest, fame and enthusiasm of ventriloquism in this modern Youtube/dvd digital age. And I am a fan of both. In the 70's (those were some lean years) Willie Tyler and Jay Johnson, both of whom are amazing, helped get me through. That being said, I have always been blown away by the lip control and comedic timing of Russ Louis. I also can't get enough of Bob Abdou, Pete Michaels, Dave Turner and Jerry Layne. I guess the truth is, any time I see a performer with a dummy or puppet, whether it be on TV, a movie or show, or any Youtube search, a certain thrill runs through me and I am almost always impressed and pleased. Fan the flame fellow-vents, keep up the great work. Jim"

  11. Must say that if it wasn't for Terry Fator popularizing vent on AGT it could still be waiting tito be rediscovered by the younger geration.. When I was growing up in the 50s and 60s there were a few that kept it in the publics eye Paul Winchell was one of them and as Mr. Winchell has said many times that he was a student or the great Edgar Bergan, I would also think that Jimmy Nelson, was similar, while there was also Ronn Lucas, Shari Lewis..Keeping Vent alive as we moved into the 70s and 80s were the likes of Jerry Layne, Willie Tyler...to continue the trend in the 80 to current we have the likes of Dan Horn, Jay Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Jeff Dunham and Terry Fator...Who will be added to this list in this generation...lets keep the ball rollin...

  12. Anonymous1/19/2011

    I guess I ought to chime in here and make it an even dozen comments. While I have not seen many of the fellows mentioned above, and I expect all are, and were terrific, I have to add one name not seen above and that is, Bob Rumba a very multi-talented fellow, and then there is the master of manipulation, who I happened to see and attend his class at the 2010 Vent Haven Convention...Don Horn. I even got his autograph and a cartoon of his side-kick, Orson. What a gracious fellow! And what a fantastic talent! Terry Fador, of course, and yes, Jeff Dunham as well. The all time top banana has to be Edgar Bergen and his sidekicks, who I remember as a youth way back in the first grade. Holy Cow! I am not sure that having this much fun is legal!? God Bless, and Many Thanks to all these great talents, and the folks they inspire to the art and craft of venting! Joe Radle aka Capt. Joe
    P.S. I was the guy with the Dracula Puppet in the casket and his side kick, Renfeld at Vent Haven 2010. JBR