More Words of Wisdom From Ventriloquist Bob Abdou

Here’s more great information from Bob Abdou (Mr. Puppet):

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“You’re Horrible!!!”

As performers, we live to hear audiences laugh and clap. Sometimes the money is not the important thing ( note: sometimes) especially when you have the audience eating out of your hand. This feeling comes often to some entertainers and to some, it is
an occasion that only happens in a lifetime. Whenever it happens to you, cherish it cause it doesn’t happen every time.
This brings me to my point, what would you do if you did a show and the client told you that you were ‘horrible” and they told you why? What would be your response?

1) Apologize and give a discount

2) Apologize, take the check and leave quick

3) Don’t apologize, demand a check, leave quick and don’t look back

4) Don’t apologize, demand a check, leave quick and spit on their lawn as you leave

5) Apologize, ask for the check, leave quick, don’t look back and never let anyone ever tell you those 2 words again

This actually happened to me many ( many many ) years ago but I learned a valuable lesson from that show….. I might not be as good as I think I am. Have you ever thought about that before??? I have and I think about improving after every show. It saddens me when I watch a new vent ( what is worse someone who has been doing vent for many years) at the convention performing on open mic or the senior contest and they are not very good. After their performance the audience claps as a kind gesture, but what goes thru the vents mind when they hear the clapping after a poor performance??? You can draw your own conclusion but I won’t sit and watch a vent think about continuing a poor performance. I will approach this vent and maybe give some suggestions or even write some funnier material for him/her. They don’t have to take my advise, that is their decision but I make it my business to try and help them realize that after the convention comes the “real world” and the ‘real world” will not clap when they watch a poor performance. A poor performance is followed by no clapping, booing or even worse someone tells you that you were “horrible”
I often think about the many many vents that have dropped out of the business, do you think this is one of the reasons??

There is nothing worse then hearing “You’re Horrible” after a performance, well maybe that you’re dog died and your 1st wife wants a divorce. That actually happened to me but that is another story. My point is this, watch for these key points to see if your performance is worth watching. (this suggestions are for comedy vents)

1) the audience laughs when you bring out your puppet and you haven’t said one word yet

2) You are into 3 minutes of your routine and the audience still has not stopped laughing yet

3) You are smiling, giving eye contact to the audience and love performing for them and they realize that

4) After the show all you hear is how “terrific” you were and want to book you for a party!!

My response was #5 above and if you saw me spit, I had to cause I had a cold :)

Bob Abdou


Thanks as always, 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:

Copyright 2009 by Dan Willinger

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2 Responses to More Words of Wisdom From Ventriloquist Bob Abdou

  1. bob abdou says:

    Hey Vent Central.
    wow, another good advise blog, I still believe the same thing now as I wrote that sometime ago. Help the community to become better so ventriloquism becomes a respected form of entertainment. Heaven knows we need it and Terry & Jeff can’t carry it all on their shoulders.

  2. LeeDean says:

    Back in the 1950’s I had client say to me just before I went on something like, you’re not going to do dadadada are you? I’ve never forgot it, and on that one occasion with what person had said was POed in my then juvenile way, being only around 16, and I did this bit where dummy imitating Elvis, where I held figure with right hand at control post and left hand at bottom board, and all of sudden in middle of dummy singing Hound Dog song came the happy accident, women squealing with laughter, men laughing at them, when I looked down at figure and noticed my thumb of left hand had moved forward slightly, showing, and so you know what that suggested. The man who had said what he said before show before I left said, now that was really good. I thought to myself, heck with him. You know I never did that thing aqain, maybe should have, but didn’t.

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