Friday, March 5, 2010


PAUL WINCHELL was the first artist to get me to fall in love with puppetry. I learned to talk without moving my mouth when I learned to talk.
There have been ventriloquists since the beginning of time. It was vents who were the SHAMANS that made the STONE IDOLS talk. Great trick that.
My friend and legendary Kids-TV Producer CHET DOWLING (Chuck McCann Show, Let's Have Fun, Zacherle) has recently sent me some WOW from his collection of memorablilia. Below is a ventriloquist I never heard of. . .
Here's CHET:
(This is) a very rare Vaudeville ad from around 1900. It is for a Vent named Ver Valin. His specialty was Animatrons. His Father was a Clock Maker and built these life-size characters that were used in the Act. The pictures are amazing when you zoom in on them. I understand they actually got wound up and walked onstage. It must have been incredible back at the turn of the (last) Century to have a five foot four figure walk out on stage with one leg and a pair of crutches. I've been checking to see if any other collector has further info on old Ver Valin.
If anyone has any fill-in-the-blank stuff, please let us know.
Chet sent some other great "ventamabilia" which I'll post soon.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Craig,

    I've also never heard of Ver Valin either..but?

    His work as a ventriloquist is really amazing.

    He really knew how to amaze and amuse his

    audiences with puppets that were able to walk &

    talk under their own power onstage.

    Thanks to you and to Chet for sharing this

    rare piece of ventriloquial history,