Charlie Mccarthy The Most Famous Ventriloquist Figure

Charlie McCarthy for more than 60 years was without question the most famous ventriloquist figure known. Of course with the popularity of Jeff Dunham over the past decade Charlie’s reign may be coming or has come to an end.

We do have to bow to the popularity of Walter, Jose, Bubba, Sweet Daddy, Melvin and Peanut because their names are the names we hear everyone talking about today but will they eclipse that of Charlie Mccarthy?? I doubt it but would like to hear your thoughts on it.

In talking about Charlie McCarthy I thought it would be nice to share this picture, which I believe is the first picture of the original Charlie McCarthy.

You can see that the Theodore Mack influence is certainly evident in this figure. I just thought it was such a good early picture of Charlie that everyone would love to see him as he was when first made.





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 2009 by Dan Willinger

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5 Responses to Charlie Mccarthy The Most Famous Ventriloquist Figure

  1. LeeDean says:

    Vent is the art of arts. It is all-encompassing: sculpturing, painting, clockwork, sewing, clothing, writing, music, dance, acting, and all the visual and performance arts in one, not to leave unmentioned magical misdirection and juggling of voices. If Macks made Charlie it did them in the year following. Walter and the others are not like Charlie who looks so real, and who with the wide eyes and mouth, in a wide head, fine brows, can only be the work of Frank Marshall. I expect that Marshall living alone talked out loud some, and to his creations. I bet he was an excellent vent.

  2. Phil Nichols says:

    Charlie forever!

    Ventriloquists are indeed the who arts and science of theatre in one performer.

  3. Nick Ortiz says:

    Jerry Mahoney,Howdy Doody etc.
    There has been a few figures in history who were close to being as famous as Charlie McCarthy. In my mind and im sure in other minds out there McCarthy will forever be the king of ventriloquist figures and the king of comebacks in our field. I am very sure Jeff’s figures will be famous but will be added in that list of characters who came close. McCarthy will sure be king for a very long time.

  4. Bob Conrad says:

    Jerry Mahoney was the Charlie McCarthy of my youth , but Jerry ,even though he made quite an impression on my generation, came and went, and Charlie is still king. Jeff’s characters are great , but he has so many that no one Character really stands out like Charlie did. Jay’s , Figure Bob is something special, and Terry Fator is doing some very impressive stuff right now. But in the long run I think Charlie will hold on to his Throne.

  5. bill smith says:

    I noticed even BEFORE Jeff & the others hit it big, that when I mentioned Edgar & Charlie to people, most had no idea who I was talking about. It may just be the unfortunate occurance of passing time taking them from peoples memory. We revere & remember because we love this art & it’s masters, but the general public has other things on thier mind. How sad! Great performers like Bergen & his pals should NEVER be forgotten. Thanks for that GREAT photo!

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