S. Earl Statler and Old Man Rene Ventriloquist Figure

rene old man 011

When I acquired this rare old man Rene ventriloquist figure I post that the original owner was S. Earl Statler. I received an email from him with the “rest of the story”….

I had Rene’ make the custom figure in 1972 for a vent character I created with an old friend Edger Bergen while in rehearsal for a West Coast musical premier of “Happy Side of the 30’s” starring Donald O’Conner, Marylyn Maxwell and Edger Bergen. The show was a flop and Charlie, Effie and Mortimer were as usual a hit!

Senator Phil A. Buster’s first form was a Rene’ marionette orchestra conductor just as you see him (waist-up). Rene added the lower body and legs. At that time neoprene and cylastic were popular molding materials in the studios and Hollywood prop houses. The figure was heavy and so was I (LOL) so his weight was no problem then.

His debut was at the Hollywood Magic Castle and a subsequent performance contract was cut for West Hollywood’s Studio One Backlot Cabaret’. My competition there and at various night clubs around the country was Wayland Flowers and Madame. Wayland and I were good friends so I stayed clear of the West Coast dates and concentrated on my other business as a Technical Director for a plethora of stars and venues across the country.

The Senator sat in retirement until Dan Payes saw one of my night club posters for sale on E-Bay and I traded the Rene’ figure for two new Payes figures, Senator Phil A. Buster and his wife Eylayle Balls Buster. I am happy to announce that their daughter was married at their GA Plantation “Peckerwood” last June to the famous gynecologist, Dr. Robert Hyman…making her, Ina Mae Buster Hyman.
The Senator is thinking of runnin’ for President in three years, he has now thrown his hair piece in the political arena. So far his sponsors are Depends & Geritol!
S. Earl Statler,
America’s Raconteur

Thanks for sending in this email Mr. Statler.

Click here to see photos of this Old Man Rene Ventriloquist Figure


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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: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com

Copyright 2013 by Dan Willinger and Steve Hurst

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