VENTRILIQUISM Definition of VENTRILOQUISM (Webster’s Dictionary) 1: the production of the voice in such a way that the sound seems to come froma source other than the vocal organs of the speaker 2: the expression of ones views and attitudes through another; especially :such expression by a writer through a fictional character or literary persona Or in other words…Performance
HISTORY Ventriloquism first noted in a historical context in ancient Greece, andthought to be a religious, mystical practice (they thought it was the voiceof the undead speaking through the mystic) Seen as a kind of witchcraft during the middle ages Now seen as a kind of comedy or vaudeville act with creepyundertones…
C E L E B R I T I E S, V E N T R I L O Q U I S M & THE ART OF THE PUPPET Charlie Chaplin With puppet
In the early 20th century, ventriloquism and magicians becamequite fashionable, especially with the Hollywood crowd Interestingly about the same time that American and Europeaninterest in mysticism and séances also became very trendy.
Edgar Bergan and Charlie McCarthy Paul Winchell and …??
CINEMA & THE CREEPY FACTOR With Movies, the ventriloquist theme was always used to play onaudience fears (and still is a reoccurring theme) TV shows like the Twilight Zone, and films like the British horrorfilm Dead of Night and many more kept this performance art in thepublic consciousness through fear.
Images from the Twilight Zone TV series
Dead of Night (1945)
C H A N G I N G FAC E O F T H E A RT ? ? Thanks to more kid friendly entertainers like Jim Henson, theMuppets, and many other children’s shows, the art of ventriloquismand puppetry have at times combined and flourished under thisrelationship. Jeff Dunham is considered by most to be the most commerciallyaccepted and financially successful ventriloquist artist of all time.