Follow Up on Ventriloquist Canfield Smith

The other day I did a blog about a Frank Marshall ventriloquist figure made for Canfield Smith (here’s the blog if you missed it).

I received a couple of emails with some additional information. The first one came from one of our friends “down under”, Colin Williams with this clipping:

Hi Dan,
I hope you are well. I thought you may find this interesting? Obviously the Marshall you have would have been made later than the figure shown in the photo (1951). Isn’t it amazing how many of these ‘old’ vents claim to have carved their own figures!!!
Ron clearly remembers seeing him perform in Australia- he said it was a great act. He had one routine where ‘bits’ kept falling off the figure. Ron said it was visually very funny.

Best wishes,


The next bit of information came from my mentor and good friend Bob Isaacson:

Dan…..I read your blog & I thought I would mention this fact to you. John Schiebley as far as I know he originated the ” arm falling off” bit. It happened accidentally during the 20’s ( think so). After John got so many laughs, he rigged the arm so he could drop it at any time he wished. Thought you should know this.


Thanks guys for this great bit of information.



Have you seen the Frank Marshall Tribute DVD, click here


Ventriloquist Central is the brainchild of Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst. Dan 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. Steve is a ventriloquist as well as builder of ventriloquist figures. He also has a background in sales, marketing, building websites and computers. Because they both love the art of ventriloquism, the website Ventriloquist Central was born. For more information about the website, go to:

Copyright 2014 by Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst

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2 Responses to Follow Up on Ventriloquist Canfield Smith

  1. Bob Isaacson says:

    Thanks for the wonderful article about Canfield Smith sent by Colin Williams. Also , I must make a correction….In haste I mispelled John Schaibley’s name. Anyone who has not read John’s book, should obtain a copy…”Memoirs of a Ventriloquist”.

  2. Marcelo Melison says:

    Tom Ladshaw knows quite a lot about Smith and Snodgrass, and I think he told me that Smith really did make his figure Snodgrass himself (molded or carved, I can’t remember). The funny thing is, Snodgrass is still around! His name is now Sylvester and he is used by ventriloquist Jerry Goodspeed. You can see them in action here:

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