Senor Wences 2012-A Hall of Fame Coin

Born in Spain in 1896, Senor Wences was one of the highest paid vaudeville acts in the entire world.  He came to America in 1936 (the year of my birth) and with his signature characters "Johnny" (formed from his hand), and "Pedro" (the torso-less head in a box), he was an instant hit on television.  And it was on television's 'Ed Sullivan Show' where I first saw Senor Wences perform.  In fact, he was the first ventriloquist I ever saw perform anywhere, and that is one of the primary reasons I selected the legendary vent for set 2012-A of the Hall of Fame coins.  I will admit, however, as a youth, I was more fascinated with his comic and skillful plate spinning act than I was with the ventriloquism portion of his show.  It was not until after we purchased Maher Studios and I began to study the history of the art, and correspond breifly with Wences, that I began to fully appreciate his very creative ventriloquist act which was carried on long after the plates were retired motionless to storage.  Johnny was never fully retired and was frequently seen onstage and off until nearly the last days of Wences life when he died at his home in New York City in 1999 at the age of 103.


  1. got a story to share, when I went to the Vegas convention in '97 to see Paul Winchell, I had a front row center seat, the best in the house, I put some of my stuff (books, things for Paul to sign) under my chair. I got up to go the bathroom when I got back, some old lady was sitting in my chair, I first though "hey lady, get out of my chair" but in reality I let her have it. I went over and got my stuff from under the chair and walked away. Some guy who was sitting next to her got up and followed me. I thought I was in trouble or something. He stops me in the back of the room and says "thanks for giving up my seat for this lady" I said "ok, she deserves it more than me" and proceed to sit in the last row, this fellow then tells me "do you know who she is?" I said "NO". He says "that's Mrs. Senor Wences" WOW, good thing I did not make a scene and tell her to get out of my seat. I later met her and had some items sign in honor of her husband.

  2. Anonymous8/01/2012


  3. Anonymous8/01/2012

    I'll always appreciate you informing me of the testimonial luncheon Al Getler organized & held in new jersey in 1989 for Senor Wences. The chance to meet my big idol of vent is something i will always treasure! And there was a young vent there who performed along with others, in honor of Wences. Al Getler came to me with this young man in tow, & said he heard i had a room for the night there, & that i was the only attendee that did, so could this young vent change his clothes in my room?. Well, that event means i can tell you first hand, that jeff dunham puts his pants on one leg at a time just like the rest of us! LOL! All the best, Bill Smith

  4. Yes, Jeff does puts his pants on one leg at a time but his butler helps him with it (that's a joke folks,

  5. Anonymous8/02/2012

    Close de door!