Ventriloquist John Hopman

ventriloquist john hopman jack coats figures

I received this email and great picture from one of my friends, ventriloquist John Hopman. You’ll notice in the picture a couple of nice looking Jack Coats figures.

Hi, Dan. Thought I would send you this latest picture. If you want you can change the one showing now. Pictured are two coats figures. One is Leroy, ( named after Jacks real name) and the other is the duck that Gary Koepke mentioned on the live interview. I hope to make it to the vent convention some day in my life.

Regards. John Hopman

Click here for the link to the interview with Gary Keopke that John mentions.

Thanks John for sharing this with us.



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 2011 by Dan Willinger

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4 Responses to Ventriloquist John Hopman

  1. Cheryl Coats says:

    I’m Jack Coats daughter. Thank You for helping keeping the art and my dads name alive. Great Site

  2. Gary Koepke says:

    Still love that duck! And you’re still the vent I always wanted to be!!!


  3. LeeDean says:

    On John Hopman did a fine piece and in it talked about an Insull head that Dan Willinger now has and mentions John Osborne, from Detroit. He says:
    “I have since sold it to Dan Willinger. Bill [Hart] shipped me this head and I repainted it and put the wig on and made my own body on this time I had aquired a few more tools. Herbert as I called him and he was a nice full sized figure worked for me for many years. I also had Detriot Vent. John Osbourne repaint him and John did a marvelous job.” He also mentions Johnny Main, Bill Boley, and many others vents he has met. In 1955 when I went to Pittsburgh convention with W.S. Berger, one of first persons that I met was John Osborne. He took a photo of Mr. Berger, The Great Lester, Doc Sonntag and Johnny Main (before he changed his name to Main) and myself, also both of them wrote to me. I gave the photo and letters to Dan Willinger for his collection, also some photos and letters from Bill Boley who although did not attend the convention I knew him, he being from Kentucky too. In 2004 when I attended convention in Northern KY I was aware that Bill Boley had passed, but wanted to try to find out about Johnny Main and John Osborne. When I got there found out that Johnny Main had passed too, and John Osborne was not there. A year or so later I noticed figure for sale on the internet, with “Detroit” on the headstick. One was in photo ad on Magic Enterprises Productions, showing John Hopman and John Osborne at and that photo figure of young boy with Osborne is the one I saw on the internet. Later on, I saw another figure for sale on the internet, an old man figure, as made by John Osborne who did not make many. Dan, I would appreciate any information you have on John Osborne.

  4. Kevin Peshick says:


    My name is Kevin Peshick in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I have been meeting with John Osborne in a Detroit nursing home to write a biography about him. If anyone has memories and photos to share, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you.

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