Ventriloquism And Variety Shows

This came into us and instead of me expounding my thoughts I decided I would post it as it came in to me. I am from the Northeast and so I was exposed to a few shows in the 1950’s & 1960’s from the Boston area which included Community Opticians which featured a ventriloquist we all know and love Harold Crocker and also there was Big Brother Bob Emery although I do not remember seeing a ventriloquist on his show.

But here is the question or I should say topic and please feel free to send in your memories of shows that showcased ventriloquists.

You requested a topic to discuss Well I have one that might be of interest…In the 50’s and 60’s there were many variety shows on TV in fact the TV became the stage where vaudeville left off..on the topic of Ventriloquism..what Variety shows had what Vent acts and what did they do ? Many many children’s shows across the country also used ventriloquism acts and talent scout shows presented new and exciting ventriloquists.

Its neither about variety or kids its about both lets discuss.


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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 2012 by Dan Willinger

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One Response to Ventriloquism And Variety Shows

  1. Bob Conrad says:

    Of course we all saw a host of ventriloquists on the Ed Sullivan TV show, the Statler Brothers had a show on CMT-TV that featured variety acts and quite a few ventriloquists. I first saw Ronn Lucas in the Broadway show “Sugar Babies”, and latter on the TV show “The Smothers Brothers”.

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