Multiple Ventriloquist Bodies

In the midst of a negotiation recently I was asked if ventriloquists use more than one body. Well for me, as a collector, it is hard to give a definitive answer but I certainly think that some ventriloquists have in fact done this.

It certainly would be an easy way to do a quick dress change for the character and I guess if the bodies were of different size the characterization of the figure would also change.

So I guess if I were going to be a ventriloquist the idea of having more than one body to go with a single head certainly makes sense to me.

What do you think or do any of you out there already use more than one body with a single head?



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 2010 by Dan Willinger

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2 Responses to Multiple Ventriloquist Bodies

  1. Gary Koepke says:

    Well at this point I have not, but I have thought about it for years and plan to make at least one more body for my main figure(s). The initial reason was for costume changes… believe I read about Bergen doing that for Charlie perhaps in Candice Bergen’s book?

    Another use for it I got thinking about after the conVENTion this year. Dan Horn said you could do the arm rod manipulation with a hard figure by lengthening the arms and using rubber hands. I would hate to do that on any of my vintage figures, but a second body could easily be made with the longer arms and rubber hands. Just a thought.

    Hope all is well at Ventriloquist Central.

    Gary Koepke

  2. Bob Conrad says:

    I have also read that both Bergen and Winchell did that for costume changes. Puppeteer Bil Baird did it with marionettes when doing a TV series back in the days of live TV. He did it to change facial expressions . Heads were designed to come off the marionette by pulling a pin. The control bar for the head which contained triggers for mouth and eyes was attached with a wing nut to the main control. Heads could be switched without having to restring the marionette. The Muppets are designed that the head can be switched for costume changes as well.

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