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Ventriloquism for Fun and Profit

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Ventriloquism for Fun and Profit
Winchell
1954

 

Submitter: I am not sure ventriloquism is as popular as it once was. If it is, I would think a newer book would be more helpful for a modern public library. One of the attached photos says “on a recent television program” since this book was published in 1954, not too recent! I loved that last drawing in the book. For some reason, it reminded me of Jennifer Lopez.

 

Holly: Most libraries can safely let go of this one! It’s an interesting skill of by-gone years, but I’d be very surprised if it circulated much (or at all). I’m intrigued by the history of ventriloquism mentioned on the cover as “sorcery to TV,” though. I agree with submitter that an update

 

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22 Responses to Ventriloquism for Fun and Profit

  • Paul Winchell was the voice of Tigger for the Disney version of Winnie the Pooh from the 1960’s to 1999, and he did voice work and live acting for a bunch of other roles and shows, so he definitely went beyond ventriloquism during his career.

  • There are still ventriloquists that make a living doing what Paul Winchell and Edgar Bergen used to do – one example is Jeff Dunham, who has a collection of somewhat politically incorrect dummies. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Dunham

  • A ventriloquist on the radio….

  • Ventriloquism is alive and well!

    My son is 20, and he checked this title out over and over and over again in his youth, into his teens, before we moved to a community where it is not available. We have old VHS editions of Paul Winchell, and a lot of his “The Paul Winchell Show” on tape too.

    Paul Winchell was a wizard! He could “throw” his voice like no one, then or since. Amazing talent. He also invented quite a few things related to the health field.

    Edgar Bergen, on the other hand, was a terrible ventriloquist! My son did have several of Bergen’s characters as puppets, and we have fond memories of the time he set them in the backseat of our car, at night. My daughter was always freaked out by them, even in the daylight, so just imagine the reaction when she went to get in the car and they were staring at her!

  • I loved Paul Winchell when I was a kid, and would love to have this book for nostalgia. But (however sadly to me) no, most public libraries today would not find it relevant.

  • My brother has a ventriloquist dummy, he has dressed in a matching outfit, that he will take out to mortify his teenage children (my niece and nephew) in front of their friends.

  • I will never understand why ventriloquists on the radio was such a popular thing.

  • That last talking hand reminds me of Senor Wences…

  • Mr Marbles, is that you?

  • I think the submitter’s idea that the sketch looks like Jennifer Lopez reveals her/his South Park viewership, particularly the episode in which Cartman’s hand is “haunted” by J-Lo, back when she was with Ben Affleck. When they were Bennifer.

  • Holly: Looks like your last sentence got cut off there.

  • A 1950s ventriloquy book is like a 1950s magic tricks book — it might well have decent basic how-to information, but it’s got nothing to do with the current state of the art. Ventriloquism is making something of a comeback, and a good modern book with information about present-day acts might be welcome.

  • I’m intrigued by the history of ventriloquism mentioned on the cover as “sorcery to TV,” though.

    Just to say, this is entirely accurate. Ventriloquism began in classical times as a secret method used by oracles to make an apparently divine voice emerge from their bodies. (The word means “speaking from the belly”.) In medieval times it was thought to be a form of witchcraft. It was only with the rise of music hall in Victorian times that it became an entertainment, and it took a surprisingly long time for anyone to come up with the idea of a talking doll or dummy. Before then, the acts featured scenarios like “man in a trunk” or “child climbing up a chimney”, with a squeaky muffled voice.