Book Review: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ventriloquism by Taylor Mason


I’m sure everyone who reads this blog knows about ventriloquist Taylor Mason. According to his website and Facebook, he is a very busy performer.

A couple of years ago, Taylor had a book published, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ventriloquism.” Since I’m only an enthusiast of ventriloquism and love the art, my partner Steve (who is a ventriloquist) thought he would do a review of Taylor’s book.

Now you may be asking yourself, why are you doing a review of his book two years later? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog for the answer to that question.

Here’s Steve’s review:

This past weekend I pulled out my copy of Taylor’s book, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ventriloquism” so I could write up this review. It was great to go back through the book and re-read this great informational source on being a ventriloquist.

I had the pleasure of meeting Taylor back at the 1997 Vegas Ventriloquist Convention and at that time I remember seeing him quite a bit on A&E’s Evening at the Improv. Now when I say I met him, I guess it would be better to say we bumped into each other in the dealer’s room, but he was a great guy and we talked for a few minutes.

Now back to the book. I have to respectfully say that this book is mis-titled. I’m sure Taylor had nothing to do with that, this would have probably been the publisher’s decision, but it really should be called “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to BE a VENTRILOQUIST”!!!

This book has so much more than just learning ventriloquism. In fact, the book is broken down into five parts:

  • Ventriloquism Basics
  • Talking Without Lip Movement
  • Working With the Ventriloquist Figure
  • Creating Material
  • Ready for Prime Time

This book has almost 300 pages and the “Creating Material” starts on page 113. In my view that’s where the “meat” of this book starts. Not to take away from earlier chapters (because they are essential)….but to me, this book is the most comprehensive book on being a ventriloquist that has ever been written. It takes you from starting out, all the way to writing and performing.

When the book came out Clinton Detweiler stated, “If the publisher, Alpha books, does the proper job of marketing and distribution of Taylor’s book, I predict it will prove to be to the next generation of ventriloquists what Paul Winchell’s Ventriloquism For Fun & Profit was to mine.” Being one of those that grew up with Winchell’s book, I have to agree wholeheartedly.

If you don’t own this book…..shame on you! This should be on every ventriloquist’s book shelf.

Steve Hurst

Thanks, Steve and if you don’t have Taylor’s book, you can click the link below to get it. Also, don’t forget to check out tomorrow’s blog to the reason for this review.

Click here to get The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ventriloquism by Taylor Mason



Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to:

Copyright 2012 by Dan Willinger

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5 Responses to Book Review: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ventriloquism by Taylor Mason

  1. Mike Palma says:

    I agree!! One of the best books on the subject of ventriloquism!!!

  2. Bob Conrad says:

    I agree with both Steve and Mike, this is the most complete book on ventriloquism I have seen, and I have them all.

  3. Gary Koepke says:

    Agree! Awesome book and ventriloquist. One thing I believe is important is that it’s really the first book I’ve read that is written from the stand point of performing today. Although the basics of ventriloquism haven’t changed, performing conditions and style of comedy change regularly. Taylor is a superb comedian! If you have seen his live show, you know ventriloquism is only one part of his show. His standup and musicianship is equally impressive and blends into one seemless show. His section on writing is GREAT!

    Gary Koepke

  4. Bill Matthews says:

    I also completely agree! I’m a Maher Grad and have been doing Ventriloquism for 34 years now and have gleaned an enormous amount from this book. It is well thought out, arranged in an orderly and logical manner, with great attention given to detail. It is very easy and fun to read. Beginners and seasoned pros alike will benefit from this book! (So Dan, now you have no excuse not to learn the art yourself.)

  5. Ben Vee says:

    I don’t usually go for the “Complete Idiot’s” series, but having read reviews before this one I purchased the eBook edition for my iPad. It really is a good book and filled with very helpful tips and information. I refer to this book often.

    Here in Australia ventriloquism has all but died with only a scant few of us left and kids today have no interest in “pretending to make a dummy talk”. It’s good to see people like Taylor Mason sharing the knowledge and keeping this entertaining art form alive.

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