Double Talk 2012

Vent Haven Museum presents
“Double Talk 2012”
PARK HILLS, Kentucky (February 28, 2012) -  Vent Haven Museum is thrilled to announce Double Talk 2012, a family friendly public show featuring  professional ventriloquists.  The event will be held at the Notre Dame Academy Performing Arts Center, Park Hills, KY, on Saturday, April 21st, with two shows at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  The venue is a 400 seat recently constructed theatre and is located at 1699 Hilton Drive, Park Hills, KY 41011, about a mile from Vent Haven Museum.

Double Talk 2012 will feature four of the finest ventriloquists in the business.  Megan Piphus began ventriloquism at the age of ten and just a few years later was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show.  Mike Hemmelgarn incorporates magic and juggling with ventriloquism to create one of the most unusual acts in the business.  Kevin Johnson is most recognized from his 2006 appearance on NBC’s show America’s Got Talent.  He also recently appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman. Tom Ladshaw, the Double Talk emcee, is a veteran of numerous shows and has shared a stage with Regis Philbin, The Smothers Brothers and Roger Moore, to name just a few.  
This show will serve as a fundraiser for Vent Haven Museum while promoting the art of ventriloquism to local people and raising awareness of Vent Haven Museum in the greater Cincinnati area.
For more information about Double Talk 2012 or to purchase tickets, go to http://www.ventshow.com/ or call Vent Haven Museum at 859-341-0461


Shop talk



Ventriloquist Stand for sale

From Animated Puppets:
Folding Ventriloquist Stand for sale, eBay, "Buy It Now":

From Germany...

From Jack and Luggi:  Three years ago we bought a really pretty puppet from you because I started as a ventriloquist in Bavaria. The success is fantastic and I never thought that people are so keen on watching that show. I have much
fun with my puppet, so I have one question to you:

Is it possible to send an instruction (manual or a document) to me about how to repair my puppet if it unfortunately breaks one time?  The photo here is of Luggi and me during my Bavarian show!  Kind Regards from Germany.
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From Mr. D:  I'm sorry, I do not have a "repair manual" for the figures.  Should he ever need repair, I am available for advice.  Every figure is uniquely different, but when repairs are needed I usually can give instructions needed via email.  My son, Kevin, is available for that assistance as well  (animatedpuppets@charter.net).  Fortunately, the need doesn't arise often.
I can tell you Luggi's wig is only glued around the edges.  Should the head need to be opened, I start at the nape of the neck cutting the wig free where glued using a Xacto knife with curved (convex) blade (carefully!), working from the nape upwards toward the top of the head, just far enough to expose the "door" in the back of the head.  The door is glued in place.  I use the same knife to cut through the glue seam to remove the "door".  Mechanics are quite simple, and most repair procedures are self-evident.  If not, and the need arises, contact me.


Super Evan

From Wilson Kindred

I am a Canadian ventriloquist.  My wife Sharon, and I travel across Canada doing many different Ministries in churches, schools, prisons, hospitals and nursing homes. These include music, magic, ventriloquism, full Vacation Bible Schools, etc. On the road, we live and travel in a converted school bus. We do everything on a volunteer, donation basis.

Our school presentations have so far have mainly been for high school students (Anti drinking and Driving etc) due to my years of experience as a paramedic.

We are currently embarked on a three month Ministry trip through Newfoundland. A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by a Pastor who wants me to go into their local public school to do an 'Anti Bullying' presentation, while we are in Newfoundland. I told him that this is certainly not my area of expertise. He said that he understood, but that he really would like me to do this. Perhaps foolishly, I agreed to do the presentation.

I have done much research on the subject of 'Bullying' and have come up with what a appears to be a pretty fare PowerPoint presentation.

I asked my daughter Amy, to make a 'Super Evan', action hero's outfit for my vent figure, 'Evan Hardwood Kindling'. She did an amazing job. I designed a Super Evan crest on the computer and we printed it on a t-shirt. My Daughter made him a mask and a cape. Of course, he wears tights and shorts. Everything is color coordinated. I think that he looks great!

I am working on a skit, in which Evan thinks that he is going to 'take care' of all of the bullies. The skit will show that we cannot use violence or become 'bullies' ourselves to eliminate bullying. However, we can all be heroes, by reporting bullying, supporting the victim, etc... etc.

I have also been asked to do a 'Drug Prevention 'presentationfor the junior students.  I was wondering if your readers would have any material that you would be willing to share with me.  I want to thank you and your readers for your help with this. Thank you for such a wonderful blog, Mr. D.

Wilson Kindred


Coin comment

"Clinton, I wanted to thank you so much for allowing me to purchase a bit of vent history! The coins are just what I had been expecting from you. The quality is great and I can hardly believe all the detail in each one. One day, they might be worth a great deal, monetarily. But, that's not why I bought them. I'm proud to own a piece of my history, since I grew up watching three of the men, engraved on the coins, on a black and white television. Edgar Bergen, Senor Wences and Jimmy Nelson all played a part in my life as I was growing up and their vent skills are a happy bit of my childhood that helped me become the man I am today. Looking at the coins, it brings back a lot of happy memories. Thanks again for your part in this historic project!"  Danny L. Jones

Have you ordered your set?  http://hofcoins.blogspot.com

Female character?

Question:  I am looking for a female ventriloquist figure to add among my community programs for the Norfolk Sheriff's Office school programs   It doesn't have to be new, second hand in good shape is okay.  Do you have any figure in your shop available?  Bob
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From Mr. D:  You are the third person in as many weeks to ask about a female figure.  I do not have a female character ready to offer, but I'm going to give it some serious thought.  Maybe I can look through my file of Miller illustrations and see if there is a character there I might use as inspiration...I'll put it on my shop "think-about" list
*  *  *  *  *.
Since sending his original inquiry, Bob was able to purchase a figure I built in the '80s (right).  I am pleased to see her in good hands and back in action! 

In the photo below you see Bob's new team photo with the girl figure he calls "Mary Sue".


Coins Comment...

"I just received my coins today and I have to add my thanks and gratitude for your wonderful 'labor of love.'  Anyone involved with ventriloquism or puppets should have a set of your coins framed and hanging on their wall. The coins are truly a prized addition to my vent memorabilia collection."    Dale Brown

Mark Wade Writes

An old Greek adage was to "know thyself", but I will go a bit further with this by saying you should "also know well your market area".  This is especially true if you are considering doing it full time.  In this age of specialization we can no longer just throw advertising at our prospective clients to see what "sticks".  It is a process now of trying to get inside the head of our buyers so we can fulfill their needs.
Since school shows are my specialty, I have made it a point to study the buying habits of elementary principals and others. When I say "others" I mean parent groups, school counselors, or anyone else in a decision making capacity.  I have many principal friends that I contact on a regular basis that tell me what the new "hot button" is for their group.  Maybe it's anti-bullying, although this topic is being overdone and many are already saturated..I'm told, or maybe it's test taking for those spring or fall
tests that are important.  The thing is...you need to find out and do a show the CLIENT WANTS, not what YOU WANT.  That's not saying you can't make it fun for yourself and the kids...you can...but the most important thing you can deliver is what the schools want and need.

Also the approach in advertising changes.  Years ago you could send out a flyer with a cover letter and a business reply card and get tons of cards back brimming with shows.  Today the elementary principals are different and they don't respond to regular mail the way the older principals did.

I wish I could give you all a magic formula, but it's a trial-and-error process when it comes to reaching educators.  And just because one campaign may bring results is not an indication you've found the formula. You need to keep working and researching.  To me it's a challenge and I am UP for a challenge to find what works.  I hope you are also!  Best of luck in your endeavors!!



Voice from the past...

From Joy Gray:
Hi Clinton: I had the privilege of meeting you at two FCM conventions way back in 1978 and 1979. My name then was Joy Stone and I came to the convention with a little pink mouse hand puppet named, Miss Squeaky.  She was a simple little thing, but I ended up using her in ministry for a number of years.  In 1984, a gal I also met at the FCM convention who made these incredible, lifelike gorilla puppets, Nancy Adams, made a professional Miss Squeaky puppet for me to use.
Although my ventriloquial adventures tapered over the years, I still occasionally pull out Miss Squeaky. Unlike me, she still looks young as ever.
Here is a few photo of Miss Squeaky in action in recent years – visiting with orphans in Ukraine.  (It was quite an experience doing ventriloquism with an interpreter!)
I still have the coursebooks and cassette tapes I purchased from Maher Studies way back in the mid 1970s. God bless you for helping so many aspiring ventriloquists over the years, and especially those of us who used our training for ministry purposes.


Shop Talk

The two wigs in these photos are only partially styled and fitted.  They are not attached to the head, but they are pictured here to determine which is more appropriate for the character.  (Eyelashes will be glued in place later.  Wait until I can post the before and after photos of this character - there's a surprise awaiting.)


Hall of Fame Coin Comment

".....the featured coins I received are absolutely stunning !. What a beautiful collection; hope there will be more of these featured coins in the future ! All Ventriloquists should be ordering these coins; they truly are keepsakes . many thanks,"  Bob Isaacson
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"Run, do not walk, and get a set of these magnificent coins. If you can't do that, simply email Clinton for a set. You will not be disappointed."  Donald Woodford

Writing Humor,,,

From David Nickell
A new comment on the post "Tips on writing funny material":
Lee:  Good stuff. As obvious as the first one is, I think a sharp sense of humor is truly a gift that not everyone has.

I have written a humor column off and on since high school -- and that was more than 40 years ago. I am currently writing a how-to book on fiction, and I devote an entire chapter to humor. A lot of writers, I think, shy away from it. Or else they are pathetically bad at it.

My No. 1 rule in writing humor is whether it makes ME laugh. And I'm not talking about grinning or smiling. I'm talking about laughing out loud. When I create it in total isolation, I am the only audience. If I don't laugh, that means I've got to fix it.

I also love self-effacing humor. If you can turn yourself into a well-meaning Homer Simpson, that can make the audience comfortable in that they too have done some stupid things, but not THAT stupid.

Ventriloquism is perfect for such self parody. You can play straight man trying to get a moral point or an interesting story across, and the dummy can harass you, saying things like, "Who's going to believe some toothless bald man?" You could then become defensive, saying, "I'm not toothless." And the dummy replies, "I got news for you. Five doesn't count."

And so on. The dummy can bring out that inner voice inside you, the one with the doubts and fears that you can exploit to best advantage.

The most important thing, I think, is to find the rhythm. That is the cornerstone of humor. It has to sound natural and effortless and have a cadence to it. And like I said, it's got to make YOU laugh. Out loud.


Doll repair: bands or springs?

Question: The mouth rubber bands in two of my vent figures were replaced, but within 3 months they broke again.  I was hurt.  Is there a more "permanent" rubber band for my "Simon Sez" and "Danny O'Day/Jerry Mahoney" figures?  How much for repair? I use them in my free visits to nursing homes.   I really don't want to charge for my fun.  I am 77 and will soon go to Assisted Living myself. Fred

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From Mr. D:  Both Simon Sez and Jerry Mahoney were designed and manufactured with rubber band returns on the mouths.  When the original bands break, the standard repair is replacement of the rubber band with similar.  That in itself can be a difficult job.  Ideally, one would prefer a more permanent repair by replacing the broken rubber band with a metal spring.  Doing that through the mouth is least invasive thus the least costly but always presents unique challenges.  I'm willing to try.


A FUN visit to the dentist!

From Joy (Stone) Gray

This photo of Miss Squeaky in the dental chair was taken when my husband and I were on one of many mission trips to minister to orphans and their caretakers in Ukraine.  The dentist in the photo was a tireless lady from El Salvador that joined our team.  She had been working all day in a makeshift dental office at an orphan camp.  Towards the end of the day, Miss Squeaky and I slipped into the waiting line and took a seat in the makeshift dental chair.  When the dentist turned around and saw us, she laughed until she nearly cried.  She laughed and talked about examining Miss Squeaky for the remainder of the trip.  


Coin Comment

"I received the shiny, beautiful coins! I'm looking forward to eventually buying the whole set! My grandchildren live in Italy and when we Skype they enjoy visits from my vent characters/puppets, too. During our next visit, I will show the coins and use them for teaching tools as we learn about famous ventriloquists. My coins will be handed down to the grandchild(ren) that will learn the craft!"  Karen Hostetler, Wichita, KS

Progress report

 When you last saw this broken up fellow, the few shattered pieces had been reassembled, but he was still going topless" (left).  Today he is pretty much complete, including inner mechanics.  I still have to do a lot of final surface finish work (sanding, etc.) where the broken prices were glued together and where the new casting joins the old.  By hand sculpture I've started crafting a pair of appropriate ears.  My goal is to begin the painting process by the end of the week.

Coin Comment:

"Hi Clinton, Thank you for sending the 3 framed sets of ventriloquist coins to me so quickly. I love them!!!! The quality is fantastic!!! They look great in the frames with the black background. I love all the fine detail on all of them. I really like the head in the box on the Senor Wences coin. I can't wait to see and buy the next set of coins!!    Thank you very much."   Chester Crowl Jr.


Thank you, Lee!

From Lee Cornell:

I received my set today of the first four coins and am simply in awe of the superb craftsmanship in these large 34mm golden bronze coins.

I sent out my email blast tonight to my 1200 newsletter subscribers and also posted the same content on my blog here:

I hope the message helps you sell more sets so you can keep the series alive.


Family mentoring

From Bill Matthews: 

Stephen, my 10 year old son, is SOOO excited. If he completes the Maher Course (with me along with him to keep him on track) and he works with it, then I'm planning on getting him his own regular figure, instead of the modified Willie-Talk doll I did up for him.  Stephen's working hard and practices whenever he can. Larry's putting up with a lot, but even a dummy has limits. . . :-)

"So THAT'S how they do it!"


(Created by Michael Casey)


Now here's a figure you can get a lot of mileage out of...just think of the versatility.
Uh...well...um...maybe birthday parties?
Sure the kids can relate to "The Exorcist"!
Load her up with a hose and pea soup...and let her fly!
Comments by Doug Pries  
(Dummy by eBay seller: haunt-master)
From Mr. D: I'll bet somewhere Carol C. is cringing at the sight of this!


Not for the faint-hearted!


The pieces came to me rattling around in a box - I wonder what my postman thought?  When reassembled, more was missing than in hand.  Can it be restored?  Yes, but not overnight.

If you are like me, you are wondering what tragedy befell this Poor fellow.  I do not know, but I can tell you that whatever took place, it was not an accident!

To be continued...


Family Tradition

Question:  I'm 14 years old and I just finished my Dad's Maher Course of Ventriloquism.  My dad has a few ventriloquist dummies.  He gave me his older one, and I'm working on a good voice for him.  My Dad finished his course when he was 13 and he has been doing ventriloquism for about 25 years.  My question - do you know any inexpensive places to get clothes for my dummy? Daniel Hatchett         
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From Mr. D:  You can purchase clothes at Wal-Mart, JC Penny, etc., but my favorite are the thrift stores such as Goodwill and Savers.  They have many choices at very reasonable prices.

How exciting to know you will be carrying on your family's ventriloquist tradition! I love it when a parent passes on his or her ventriloquist skills.  Send me a picture of yourself and your vent figure (with your dad, too?) sometime, and I'll post it right here on my blog.


From the artist

From Dave Miller:
I received the coins last night and I can't tell you how pleased I am with them. Your decision (and I'm sure it was a hard one to make) about using a modeling die as opposed to a brush die, (like the convention coins)  made all the difference in these beautiful coins.
 I am very impressed with the OSBORNE COIN PRODUCTIONS workmanship. They took my designs and improved them to show such things as teeth, (look at FARFEL and Fred Maher) slot jaws on the figures (to show they are Dummies), lines to show hair lines on the heads, the detail in the glasses (see the Fred Maher coin) even the little rose on Charlie's lapel, and the knuckles on Skinny Dugans hand and much, much more.
The coins are superb and have wonderful depth and dimension.
 I am very proud that you let me play a small part in this project and in your dream.



Big, bright, beautiful!  Collect, show, display, gift, and enjoy!

Low prices; priceless value!

Order for yourself; tell your friends!

Click here for full details, prices, and photos, plus customer comments:



Hesitant to talk!

Question:   I recently purchased Clyde/Skeeter Lovik figure.  I am having problems with his mouth sticking a little, I thought it may have been the humidity here in Florida but it is not getting any better. Any thought or suggestions would be extremely helpful Thank you.
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From Mr. D:  It appears the mouth is very tight along the sides of the mouth.  Humidity may be a factor, but probably not a major one.  I suggest you insert a metal fingernail file into the slots along side the mouth and file in and out at any spot that feels extra tight.  This should solve the problem for you.  If not, you can send the head to me and I'll fix the problem for you.


Course in figure repair?

Question:  If I can swing it, would you ever offer a crash course in how to fix head mechanics in an emergency? I do not have the skill to build a head or design workings inside the head. I think it would be worth a trip to Colorado. RW
*  *  *  *  *
From Mr. D:  Most figure repairs are pretty basic and self-explanatory once the head is opened.  And in some cases, opening the head is not necessary at all.  I frequently give such advice and direction to people via email.  For me repairs are pretty much "create as you go" - figures vary so much.  With your Danny and the broken rubber band to the mouth, (which I just received), because it is the older model doll manufactured in the US - the mouth pulls out from the head.  My task will be to find a way to fasten a spring to it (rather than rubber band) working through the mouth opening to do so.  As I write this, I really don't know how I will do it, but I'm fairly confident, using wire hooks and needle nose pliers, I'll find a way.  :-)


Size comparison

I was asked for a size comparison photo of myself with this blonde haired, 34", unnamed figure, finished a few days ago.  So I thought I would share it with you as well.  To see more photos of the figure itself, check out my page of figures in stock and for sale: http://www.mrdsfigures.blogspot.com/

Searching for his roots...

Question:  Recently, I  purchased a vent figure from eBay that was listed as a Lovik. I assumed he was made by Keith Lovik, but now I'm not sure and hope you might know who built this handsome li'l feller. I've looked everywhere and can't find a signature. He is approximately 39 inches and came with "Care and Use of Your Ventriloquist Figure" instructions and an official Ventrilo-buck from Maher Studios. Any info you can provide would be very meaningful. I call him Cody, but would love to know if he came with a name.  Gina from San Francisco
*  *  *  *  *
From Mr. D:  Your vent figure was designed by Craig Lovik, but likely built by Craig's son, Keith.  Sold by Maher Studios.   (The "Ventrilo-Buck" was my design, a result of several can't-sleep-so-well nights.  :-)

While not 100% positive, I do believe the catalog name under which your guy was sold was "Steve".  But Cody fits him very well.  I know he, with your help, will "win many friends and influence throngs of people!"


Molds for wood dough heads

Question:  I'm curious on the wood dough heads you use to make.   Did you use a mold?  What was it made of?  I'm just curious as I'm experimenting with different mediums to make figures.  I'm going to be attempting a carved figure as soon as my wood arrives.  My concept draws are showing to be pretty cartoony (I like Ken Spencer style).  - Godsey
*  *  *  *
From Mr. D:  Mrs. Maher provided me with well worn molds made of plaster of paris.  Maybe for one or two casting they are okay.  But not for multiple castings.  This material disintegrates bit by bit too easily.  Mrs. Maher's instruction to me was to grease the mold with Vaseline, press the wood dough into the mold, let dry and remove.  When the plaster chipped she used modeling clay to fill the hole.  It got to the point where the molds showed more clay that plaster!  Her molds had very little detail (no ears, lips, or nose definition).  Such features had to be added by hand to the casting by sculpting/carving wood dough as needed.  It was very labor intensive, but that's how I got started.  I have never carved a head from wood.  For me, lacking carving tools and experience, that would be even more work.


Bargain figure?

Question:  Do you mind if I ask your professional opinion on something? I received an email the other day from someone selling an unused Tim Selberg Professional Ventriloquist Figure for $950.  Would you say that is a steal that I should take advantage? Or am I better off buying a few cheaper puppets first and see how that goes?  Byron
*  *  *  *  *
From Mr. D:  I wouldn't call $950 for a Selberg a "steal" although it might be considered a fair price for what it is..    However, I would really only advise you to consider it if you are stronly attracted to the character and believe it is the fellow you would be proud to be seen with in public for a few years to come.  $950 is a bargain only if it's the perfect fit character.  Otherwise it may not be the best investment and you'll be offering it for sale yourself at some point. The first and most consideration when purchasing any puppet or vent figure is the amount of attraction and appeal that character presents to you.


A bit a blarney

 From Ed Golick:  Here is a link that may be of interest to you and your readers on Mar 17. It's a copy of a script that Ted Lloyd wrote and performed with Skinny Dugan* every St. Patrick's Day.  (Also photos)
*  *  *  *  *
From Mr. D:  *Skinny Dugan was the figure Fred Maher used until his death.  Mrs. Maher then sold the figure to Ted Lloyd, television kid show host known as Sagebrush Shorty.  Skinny Dugan (a McElroy masterpiece) is now owned by Jeff Dunham.

Extra head only?

Question:  Just for future reference -- what would you estimate the cost to be for just a head for use with the same body as my figure?
*  *  *  *  *
From Mr. D:  Generally speaking, the cost of a head only is about 2/3 the cost of a complete figure.  Or, conversely, the cost of a body only about 1/3 the cost of a complete figure.  (Over the years I've actually sold more extra bodies than extra heads...extra bodies are used primarily for quick and easy change of clothes - one simply moves the head from body to body.)


34" Super-Supreme Figure

Just finished today...


From Jeff Brown

The birth of a vent figure!!!

Okay, for those of you who asked "what" it was, here she is - her first
public photo, and still unnamed...

Ventril-o-ett still a hit

Comment:  I just received a wonderful puppet in the mail yesterday. Catching it on E-Bay I was able to purchase your Pilgrim Lady.  It is wonderful!  I can't believe the detail. The teeth show in your photos, however, it is just not the same as looking at them up close. Eyebrows, hair, everything.  I am so impressed and pleased. IF, you decide to start making more I hope I catch the news and can get in on it.  You are a Master Craftsman. Well Done, Sir.  John H.
*  *  *  *  *
And another:  I received the male pilgrim ventrilo-ett a few days ago I purchased on ebay. Even though I now see the size is posted on the page you have for them, not having noticed that before, in the pictures they always impressed me as being much smaller, but they are actually pretty good size, and really neat little novelty figures – I like it!  Dave B.
*  *  *  *  *
From Mr. D:  The Ventril-o-etts will always be one of my favorite vent puppets.  And they do show much better in person.  I have no plans now to build more - but who knows... 

PS: You don't have to wait on me, however, as I have just learned there are several of my custom ventril-o-etts on ebay right now.  To find them easily, do a search for seller: revron2


Tiny Tux

If you are looking for a small size Tux outfit, I can from experience recommend http://www.tinytux.com/ .  This company has dozens of styles and color combinations.  Complete sets, including shirts.  From size 6mo all the way up to Boy's size 20.  Reasonably priced with very prompt service.  The figure here is a 38" figure and is wearing size 3T. 

My thanks to Canon John Jordan for alerting me to this source for children size tuxes.

Class Project

From Craig McKee

I pulled my old friend "Avery" out for the first time in more than 25 years. He looks just as good as the day I bought him from you.  My 10 year old daughter, Samantha, had a class project where she needed to interview a character from the book 'Holes' (by Louis Sachar). So we dressed Avery up in some clothes to resemble the book's character, Stanley Yelnats.  She did the project/interview in front of her class this past Thursday and received an A+ on her presentation!  Her classmates got such a kick out of the whole thing..
P.S. I still have all the instruction booklets, etc. from year's ago...many memories!  I mentioned to my wife it would be fun to use him within the schools or just neighborhood kids, we'll see what happens.  Thanks again for agreeing to appear in that NBC story so many years ago and sparking my imagination, you influenced me in a way you never knew.


Ancient Ventriloquism

"Chuck" Kern and "Pardner"
In a article titled Ancient Ventriloquism (Oracle, No. 6, 1953), writer Charles "Chuck" Kern  creatively goes through the pages of the Bible, pointing out times and places where voices are heard from a distance.  Not suggesting all are instances of ventriloquism, he does prepare the mind of the reader to glimpse the art expressed in various manners throughout the old world continents of Asia and Africa, progressing into New World Europe and America.  It all leads up to these final two paragraphs:

"Home at last.  A missionary approaches...he wanted to know where to get material to use with his figure in the pulpit.  In a deep throated chorus we yell, 'the Bible is full of it.'  If given proper attention real productions can be gleaned from the scriptures.  And by dressing in different wardrobes your figure can move to any country of history to meander around in the past.  This could be most appealing to children.  Yes, the grownup too will stay awake until the sermon is over, have no fear of that.

"Along Biblical lines we venture a word of caution:  Stay away from serious scripts.  Keep the figure human.  After all, the Bible was written about the lives of down-to-earth human beings; sinful ones at that.  So in this setting don't make a reverend out of the figure.  Keep him a clown on jester in the king's court.  The children will love him for what he is and it is surprising the amount of Bibleology retained in their minds because of this." 


For Paul Winchell fans

This 1998 TV Guide's theme for the week is Kid's TV.  Among performers featured is one of our favorites, Paul Winchell.  With pictures.  That alone is the reason this magazine made it's way into a collection of ventriloquist memorabilia.  eBay now:  http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260970714166

This book comes with a warning

Breaking Down The Walls of Show Biz
By Ventriloquist Ken Groves
2001, 78 pages

Warning from author:
Practicing the ideas in this book can make you a better entertainer or performer.
This book could make you a better business person.
This book could improve your self worth.
The combination of all the above could make you more money and that could put you into a higher tax bracket.

For sale here:  http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260970703030

DUMMY DOIN'S by Charles Ising

From THE ORACLE Vol. XII, No. 6 1953 (page 19) Publlished by The International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists

Maher Course Student Comment

From Robert Rothe:

Just thought I'd let you know that your ventriloquist course arrived here safely in Germany with nothing missing or broken. Thank you very much. To build up the tension we put it under the Christmas tree and - wow! - what a surprise it was to open the package! I couldn't wait to get started and charged right into the material and really got carried away. In the meantime I've already moved on to Lesson 3. I use a little frog hand puppet with a big wide mouth which suits me perfectly for the beginning. I enjoy reading the amusing and positively supportive tone of your course, admire the fitting illustrations by David Miller and have a great time practicing the phrases - it really is a pleasure to do this course and am I looking forward to the future lessons - but, I agree: it does take quite a bit of practice, especially with the Ventril-o-aid, but with all the help, support and detail you give in this course I'm sure that the final result will definitely be rewarding!
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Complete Maher 30 Lesson Ventriloquist Course details:  http://www.mahercourse.blogspot.com


Vintage 1953 THE ORACLE

28 pages of fascinating material!  I've listed titles and authors of all articles on my eBay listing for this newsletter.  Here is the listing link followed by a copy of several items from this issue.

 This ad by figure maker John Carroll featured Vicky Taylor and her figure, Ronnie Lee, which I assume was a Carroll creation.

 Do you recognize this teen ager?  Yes, Jerry Layne with "Lester O'Reilly" (a Turner figure).  Jerry had appeared on Paul Winchell's "Best Kid Vent" contest and judged by Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney as fourth best kid vent in New York, sixth ranking in the US.  (Jerry Was "Tenn Vent of the Month" in this issue of The ORACLE.)

First Ventriloquist Session at the 1953 Texas Association of Magician's Conclave. 
First row L-R: Bob Warden, Donald Smith, Byron Boothe, Fred Olson.
Second row from left: Mr. Zuko (Logan Pritchett), Joe Donnelly Jr., N. B. Ausburn, Chester LeRoy, Frank Clauder, Great Chesterfield.
Back row from left: Joe Barnes, Phil Tilden, Nick Hill.

Newly completed

Figure #268 - 34" tall.  See details and additional photos here: http://www.mrdsfigures.blogspot.com/

Aging dummy

Question: I been wanting to do something with my Dummy for a few years.   What would it take for you to turn him older....little gray...you sold him to me 13 years ago.  Emmitt
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From Mr. D:  Changing the wig to a gray or "salt and pepper" is easy enough.  But I'm thinking the head should also be repainted so I can eliminate the freckles and paint in a few "aging" lines.  Maybe we could fit him with eyeglasses as well.  With a change of wardrobe, and if he has no objection, we could add decades to his appearance overnight.  (Maybe not overnight,,,but within a few days. :-)


Such a deal!

My question is "When did the 32" Semipro Danny O'Day stop being produced?  The Juro model factory made with hollow body and head on head post?" Steve
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From Mr. D:  I believe it was early to mid 1970s.  I do not know the exact year.  I bought all the extra heads Juro had on hand when the semi-pro Danny's were discontinued.  $7 each. 150 or so as I recall.
  I do wish I could find another deal like that!