Danny O’Day and Donny O’Day Ventriloquism Manipulation

After my last post, the video of me showing Donny and his functions, I was chatting with Bob Isaacson and he pointed out to me a most interesting fact about Jimmy Nelson and his manipulation of Danny O’Day.

Now you will have to go and watch some of the old videos, but then you will see that Jimmy very rarely uses the side to side eye movement. You will see that Danny’s head move to face the audience and then back to Jimmy.

Jimmy always has Danny moving so unless you really watch you never would have noticed this great manipulation. Jimmy does , on occasion, use the single winker to give Danny that sexy look. But that is not very often.

When Bob did his tribute to Jimmy at the ConVENTion he made sure to manipulate Donny in the same manner as Jimmy. Man Bob is really great. He really did capture the voice and style of manipulation of Jimmy Nelson.

After Bob saw the video I posted showing all the functions of Danny , he called me and told me this information. I just had to share it with all of you folks.

Thanks again Bob!!



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: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com

Copyright 2011 by Dan Willinger

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This entry was posted in Dummy Collecting, Frank Marshall Figure (Dummy), Ventriloquism/Ventriloquist, Ventriloquist Central, Ventriloquist Figures. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Danny O’Day and Donny O’Day Ventriloquism Manipulation

  1. Gary Koepke says:

    I remember Jimmy doing a lecture on manipulation at the 1975 convention and he said he used the moving eyes as an effect… only when needed for a specific look. Interesting as opposed to how most vents, including Winchell, used it. Just a different point of view, but equally impressive.


  2. Ony Carcamo says:

    Interesting info. Now, maybe Dan W or Bob I or anybody who knows may answer this: We know Bergen and Winchell used non-wood replicas of their original figures most of their performing lives… But did Jimmy Nelson ever use (or does he ever have one?) a replica of Danny O’Day in performances?

  3. bob isaacson says:

    Jimmy told me that many years ago he used his Frank Marshall duplicate Danny (wood of course) once. That duplicate is at the VH Museum and has several other movements that the original doesn’t have. Jimmy had to use the duplicate Danny; due to the fact that the original didn’t get back to him in time for a show. Danny had been to Frank’s shop for a little “touchup”. Other than that occasion, Jimmy has always used the original Danny.

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