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What's scarier than a ventriloquist dummy? A ventriloquist dummy's mugshot.
July 19, 2011 8:50 AM   Subscribe

Vaudeville Ventriloquist Dummy Portraits. Don't miss the mugshot of The Great Lester, who is noted to have "a wonderful way with the ladies."
posted by scody (31 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome... and horrifying. I feel a strange compulsion to write online dating profiles for each of these.

Good with my hands.
posted by mean cheez at 8:54 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Crow: Oh, you're an ugly little dummy, aren't you Mike-o. An ugly, smelly, horrible little dummy, stuffed with sawdust. A dummy who would never have ham. Certainly not unless he gets it himself. A dummy who would never drink wine. Yes, a horrible, smelly, ugly, stupid-

Mike: Crow, what's going on? Why am I in a cage? Why am I dressed like Hugo?

Crow: Not only can't you have ham, you can't have any luncheon meats. Not bologna, not even salami. Why? Because luncheon meats make the sawdust in your stomach explode.

Citizens, as you may notice, I'm wearing pants.

posted by The Whelk at 8:59 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Aaaaaah

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

aaaaaaaaaaaaah
posted by little cow make small moo at 9:00 AM on July 19, 2011


We once ran a live contest on public access TV. Judges were in short supply, so we brought up our friend Justin... and his dummy Slappy.

Not only had Justin written fantastic one-liners for himself, Slappy was primed to jump in with any number of well-placed zingers. He never did.

It was a thing of beauty.
posted by Madamina at 9:03 AM on July 19, 2011


Creepy.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:04 AM on July 19, 2011


Terror, racism, smoking, bad hair, inappropriate use of Bible verses... there is something here for everyone!
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:05 AM on July 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


i see chucky's great grandfather third one from the top.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 9:07 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


The stuff of nightmares.
posted by jsturgill at 9:08 AM on July 19, 2011


From the comments: "the second from the top is the great radio comedian Fred Allen".

I can't make a joke about a ventriloquist on the radio that's any better than the one you are currently composing in your head.
posted by penduluum at 9:11 AM on July 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


I wonder if Evangelist John Bishop or Mrs. Evangelist John Bishop was the ventriloquist?

Or maybe the ventriloquist was really . . . Timmy!!!
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:15 AM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


More Ventriloquist tomfoolery: Mr Show's "East Coast vs. West Coast Ventriloquism War"
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 9:18 AM on July 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


pendulum - are you not familiar with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy?

"The popularity of a ventriloquist on radio, when one could see neither the dummies nor his skill, surprised and puzzled many critics, then and now."
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:19 AM on July 19, 2011


"I can't make a joke about a ventriloquist on the radio that's any better than the one you are currently composing in your head."

Actually, Fred Allen was known as one of the best comedians of the era, with or without the dummy. You'll note that the quote was "great radio comedian" not "great radio vantriloquist"
posted by tomswift at 9:20 AM on July 19, 2011


i need an edit window, I really do... aarrg. "ventriloquist"
posted by tomswift at 9:21 AM on July 19, 2011


Yeah, I know about Charlie McCarthy. The line you quoted, that's kind of the rub, isn't it?
posted by penduluum at 9:26 AM on July 19, 2011


Good old-fashioned nightmare fuel.
posted by theredpen at 9:39 AM on July 19, 2011


Well, ventriloquist dummies usually creep me out, but it can't be that b--OH MY GOD!
posted by xedrik at 9:45 AM on July 19, 2011


Eeek! I opened the link, saw one picture, and had to run away immediately. And yet, I am about to click on the link again.....
posted by chatongriffes at 9:59 AM on July 19, 2011


Holy moly, Fred Allen WTF? I had no idea.

These are ubercreepy. Kinda wish I could delete the memory of those pics from my brain...

Also, the Evangelist not only has an icky dummy, his wife looks like a (pretty bad) transvestite. Double win!
posted by kinnakeet at 10:06 AM on July 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


#3 was the winner in my book. There's some family history here. Seems the guy married his stage assistant (who was 34 years his junior).
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:18 AM on July 19, 2011


I've got a pain in my sawdust /
That's what's the matter with me /
Something is wrong with my little inside/
I'm just as sick as can be
.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:04 AM on July 19, 2011


Great googlymoogly, that is some straight-up high octane nightmare fuel.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 11:17 AM on July 19, 2011


until I saw this one I was determined not to make yet another fisting joke
posted by idiopath at 11:27 AM on July 19, 2011


I grew up walking distance from The Fox Fun n Magic Shop in downtown Detroit. I went as often as I had enough money to buy a new trick, and every time I went I was enthralled by the vent figures. I really, really, really wanted one, and wanted to learn ventriloquism so badly. But they were several hundred dollars (in the late 60s), far, far out of my price range.

Every time I see anything to do with ventriloquism, I am now SO THANKFUL that I was too poor buy a figure.
posted by The Deej at 11:58 AM on July 19, 2011


Also, the Evangelist not only has an icky dummy, his wife looks like a (pretty bad) transvestite. Double win!

Yeah, I can kinda see that.
posted by xedrik at 1:25 PM on July 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


One and three look like the dummy is wearing a human skin mask. One is starting to decay. Time to put on a show, boys and girls!
posted by Splunge at 1:32 PM on July 19, 2011


Holy shit, this exists. Why does this exist? There is no reason for this to exist. Please don't exist anymore. This comment is just part of a bad dream- a dream where each picture is more horrific than the last.
posted by Krazor at 1:33 PM on July 19, 2011


That's Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney third from the bottom. They were big TV stars long after vaudeville died.

(No one has mentioned Magic yet.)
posted by CCBC at 3:21 PM on July 19, 2011


The female ventriloquist...it's driving me crazy because I recognize her face, but damned if I can figure out why, or from what. I've spent a large part of my life with black and white movies running in the background, so perhaps she was also a character actor in comedies of that era...but it's driving me mad that I can't place her. I'm almost positive that she's a contemporary of Imogene Coco...but my googlefu is failing me.

The Evangelists....yeah, the reason that the one on the right looks so nervous, is he's just gotten a look at his wife and realized that the bride and her brother have taken this bachelor party prank just too far.
posted by dejah420 at 7:31 PM on July 19, 2011


dejah420: That's Annabelle Short, ventriloquist-stripper (or not -- see here).
posted by CCBC at 8:20 PM on July 19, 2011


Dummies are nightmare fuel, but the gent with his hand up the puppet's butt in the first picture was an appropriate for his era hottie. Rawr.
posted by dantsea at 1:11 AM on July 20, 2011


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