From Steve Meltzer – Ventriloquist Jay Johnson


The Los Angeles Guild Of Puppetry is honored to present this film reviewing Mr. Winchell’s remarkable career. A pioneer of early television in the 1950s and 60s, Paul Winchell was a major star along with his characters Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff. Winchell went on to create many familiar voices in animation, including Tigger for Disney’s Winnie the Pooh, Dick Dastardly, Gargamel and many others.


After the film we will have a rare personal visit with ventriloquist Jay Johnson. Jay has long been considered one of the best ventriloquists working today. His first success came in the 1970’s on the ground-breaking comedy “Soap.” He shared the stage with Edgar Bergen on the now legendary “Vent Event” special on HBO. Jay won a 2007 Tony award for his Broadway tour de force “The Two and Only.” Jay will speak about Winchell’s influence on puppetry and his own career.

It all starts at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 23 at the Santa Monica Puppetry Center, 1014 Broadway (between 10th and 11th) in Santa Monica, 90401.

Tickets are $5.00 for L.A. Guild Members, $10.00 for Non-Members. Space is limited, so please call (310) 656-0483 to make your reservation.


Thanks, Steve for letting us know.



Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. His collection of ventriloquist figures now numbers over 100 figures of which there are over 50 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 2008 by Dan Willinger

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