Ventriloquism's past and present


When I was a kid there were a lot of ventriloquist’s acts on TV, like the delightful Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahony. I finally got a book from the library on the topic so I could learn the secret of throwing my voice. I was shocked to lean the entire art is talking without moving your lips, with a bit of breath control. It was a gyp! But as I came to realize, the secret is not so much vocal trickery as it is a specialized form of acting. the ventriloquist gets you to believe the dummy is talking, and he provides the soundtrack for your consensual fantasy.You know its a fake, but you enter into the act.


For anyone who’s a fan of puppets and ventriloquism, I recommend trying to catch Joel Hodgson’s (of MST3K) one man show “Riffing Myself”. Check his site to see if he’ll be in your town anytime soon.

TV appearances exposed his limitations as a ventriloquist, as his lips were frequently seen to move.

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