8 Ventriloquist You Need to Know (updated for 2019)

Written by Tim Grable

March 2, 2017

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jeff dunham 7 Ventriloquist You Need to KnowVentriloquism can be best described as the art of “throwing”, or projecting, one’s voice (ventriloquist) in a manner that makes the sound seem as if it is coming from a distance or a source other than the performer. This is most commonly achieved by using a puppeteered dummy to mimic the spoken words and sounds being emitted. It is a stagecraft that has long been part of the Western entertainment industry, the earliest recorded ventriloquists dating all the way back to the 1750’s.

Ventriloquism is a popular form of entertainment which has managed to endure despite its seemingly simple deception, due to the unusual skill and tenacity of its proponents, the number of whom is growing steadily after its recent growth in popularity in the last decade. It is an art that has managed to preserve its mystique and proves to captivate still and fascinate audiences just as it did in its very early days. Growing cynicism has made the job of the modern performer exceedingly difficult, and anyone who engages in this art form must be an extensively trained performance artist who can engage and delight an audience with the charisma and personality that is expected of any comedic performer. Here is a list of 8 talented ventriloquists who have proved that this long-sustaining art is not going to be lost in the shuffle of modern entertainment anytime soon and that even the more traditional forms of amusement can be adapted to modern humor to make performances better than they have ever been before.

Hilarious Ventriloquist: the Perfect Act for Your Event

The search for the perfect entertainer for an event can be a tricky task. In this age of constant information overload, people have entertainment at their fingertips. However, even a loop of comedy youtube videos cannot compete with a professional live show. Audiences of all types and backgrounds will love a funny, engaging, and out of the box performer. They may even forget about their phones for an hour. Also, you do not get further out of the box than a ventriloquist. A hilarious ventriloquist, to be exact. Puppets, people, and even objects come to life under the direction of a skilled performer. Many ventriloquists enjoy keeping their audience engaged through audience participation and numerous props. Although having different methods, acts, and jokes, these talented comedians have one thing in common – the ability to convincingly throw their voice. Of the successful experts, these four are the best of the best.

8 Ventriloquist Who Are Bringing Ventriloquism Back into the Limelight

Terry Fator is a comedian, Las Vegas Headliner and impressionist from Dallas, Texas, who has mastered a purported 100 impressions and incorporates an astounding 16 different puppets into any one of his acts. He is most easily recognized as the winner of season two of the popular reality television series America’s Got Talent. Fator’s enduring success stems from his ability to combine singing and ventriloquism into his acts, and his performances are equal parts vocal as they are comedic.

Paul Zerdin hails from Wimbledon, England, and is the winner of the 10th season of America’s Got Talent, and one of the world’s most famous performers. His commanding stage presence and pop star good looks have a knack for captivating audiences of all ages. The sharp-tongued, sometimes nasty attitudes of his puppets are perfectly balanced by Zerdin’s expressive and well-meaning demeanor, creating a dynamic that is purely audience-gratifying.

At the age of only 12-years-old, Darci Lynne was already one of the famous performers in the United States. That’s all thanks to the incredible skills as a ventriloquist and singer that she displayed during her run on America’s Got Talent, season 12.

As you probably remember, Darci ended up taking the big prize home. So on season 13, Darci and her hilarious puppet pal Petunia returned on stage as special guests to sing the show tune ‘Show Off.’ 

There is no denying the fact Darci’s abilities both as a singer and ventriloquist only improved since she won season 12.  What’s more, her performances are consistently funny, relatable and highly-entertaining.

Jeff Dunham is the “face” of modern ventriloquism, having been spotlighted in some his specials on the Comedy Central television network. His style has been described as everything from “politically incorrect” to “gratuitously insulting and ill tempered”, making his acts very popular with adults who do not mind being occasionally offended. His style of observational humor and dark comedy has captivated audiences from every walk of life, making him the world’s premier ventriloquist.

Taylor Mason is a comedy veteran with a unique act which combines music and ventriloquism, most well known for his uncompromising dedication to clean humor and family-friendly entertainment. Despite those restrictions, he has proven to be a juggernaut in the world of comedy, as his quick wit, flawless delivery, unparalleled  ventriloquism skills and excellent material make him a hit with every audience he performs in front of.  A natural born entertainer and hilarious ventriloquist, Taylor Mason, is known for his comedy and innovative ventriloquism. In the ’90s, Mason won the grand prize on the TV show Star Search and toured the country with his puppets performing in comedy clubs and on college campuses. Mason’s style is sure to keep the crowd enthralled and entertained at any event.

Ken Groves has been a fixture in the comedy business since the mid-1980’s, and has
performed on such shows as “The Arsenio Hall Show” and “After Hours”. The nationally-known artist has been known to involve audience members in his act and can weave and adapt his performances to provide a unique live experience to every audience.  Ken Groves’ experience in bringing the funny to the people is extensive. He has performed on TV, on cruises, at corporate events, and in casinos, and made appearances with celebrities such as Billy Ray Cyrus, Trisha Yearwood, Debbie Reynolds, and Kenny Rogers. He, along with his quirky cast of characters, bring charm, fun, and lots of laughs wherever he performs.

Todd Oliver is a 35-year comedy veteran from Kansas City, Missouri who was featured on Season 7 of America’s Got Talent and amazed national television audiences by incorporating his living dog, Irving, into his act. He is an avid animal lover, and his humor often revolves around dogs and other household pets. His act is the perfect performance for anyone who is a fan of both comedy and man’s best friend.

Michael Harrison is an extraordinarily talented impressionist who has performed alongside numerous acts including “The Muppets” and “Boyz to Men”. His mastery of puppetry and impeccable comedic timing have allowed him to adapt his shows for all audiences. He was featured in Season 3 of America’s Got Talent and has been wowing audiences across the nation ever since.

Steve Brogan has over 25 years of Stand Up Ventriloquist comedy experience as a “clean ventriloquist.” Brogan has appeared on shows like “Good Morning America” and the Fox Network. Brogan mixes his puppetry with audience participation and improv. Brogan still performs over 100 shows a year to the delight of fans near and far.

Ventriloquism has proven to have stood the test of time and remains an enjoyable
past-time for people from a variety of backward. The demand for this unique performance art has never been greater, and the fervor for these artists across the continents shows no signs of settling down anytime soon. These eight ventriloquists are paving the way for the future of entertainment and have ushered in an era for this stagecraft unlike any other.

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