Last week on the Ventriloquist Central Fan Page on Facebook we asked this question….
Who is your favorite ventriloquist of all time?
We got quite a few great comments so thought we would ask the same question here…..(leave your comments below).
(By the way, if you’re on Facebook, be sure to “Like” our Ventriloquist Central Fan Page, click here)
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: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Copyright 2012 by Dan Willinger
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Bergen, of course…
While I became aware of his work only a few years ago, the late, great Ray Alan is my favorite. His technique, lip control, manipulation, timing were all perfect. But his strongest skill had to be his characterization. The inebriated, aristocratic Lord Charles is one of the most original and unique vent characters in history.
Historically, Bergen and Winchell. Present day, Jay Johnson — for his talent and his appreciation for the history of the art.
It is extremely hard to pin it down to one. There are so many great vents that have influenced me. In the beginning it was Paul Winchell, he started the spark that made me become a ventriloquist. Today there are so many Jay Johnson, Dan Horn, Ronn Lucas, Terry Fator, Willie Tylor and of course Jimmy Nelson. They have all played an important part in my life as a vent. But Winchell started the ball rolling.
Bergman: for his character development and manipulation, not so much on lip control
Winchell: character development, ingenuity, manipulation and lip control
Ray Alan: character development, ingenuity, manipulation, lip control and how he aged his character as time went on
Jeff Dunham: ingenuity, character development, manipulation and how he has increased the popularity of ventriloquism and adapted through out the years
Terry Fator: character development, manipulation and how he has increased the popularity of ventriloquism
Gosh that’s a tough question Dan :) I can’t say I have a particular favourite but there are definitely those who influenced me as a kid like Jay Johnson in Soap. Jeff Dunham is a current vent who I really enjoy watching perform.
Personally, my current favorites are David Turner and Taylor Mason.
Now THERE’S a loaded question. Old school, I’d have to say Bergen, Winchell, and Nelson. All had great character development, innovation, and manipulation. They were all technically superb! Edgar Bergen takes a lot of heat for his periodic lip movement, but that was sort of his trademark. He had above average lip control when he wanted. Today? Geraldine Regan, Terry Fator, and Jeff Dunham. All for the same reasons as above. All are excellent ventriloquists that are par-excellence. Geraldine may be the lesser known of the 3, but she is one of the best Gospel ventriloquists that are out there (which to me is quite important, since that’s what I am).
My favorite ventriloquits are:Paul Winchell,Jimmy Nelson,Shari Lewis,Angela Martin and Tony Thomas.