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October 9, 2003 3:53 PM   Subscribe

Ventriloquist dummies...yikes! Lots of kids are scared of clowns, but for my money, there's nothing creepier than these shiny faced little wooden psychopaths. Ahoy, serious nightmare fuel ahead!
posted by MrBaliHai (25 comments total)

 
via The Cartoonist
posted by MrBaliHai at 3:54 PM on October 9, 2003


"Ventriloquist dummies...yikes!"

Exactly.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:28 PM on October 9, 2003


People are scared of such funny things.
posted by rushmc at 4:29 PM on October 9, 2003


AAAH!!

There is a deep connection between ventriloquists dummies and clowns. Its like they both came from the same tragicomic parallel dimension .

After about 10 minutes of consideration, I think its the pasted-on smiles (like those of news anchors) Maybe we have a deep-seated instinct that anyone or thing that smiles that much is really out to deceive us and perhaps even kill us in the middle of the night while we sleep...
posted by vacapinta at 4:35 PM on October 9, 2003


After about 10 minutes of consideration, I think its the pasted-on smiles (like those of news anchors)

Yes. News anchors are scary.
posted by Acetylene at 4:46 PM on October 9, 2003


Oh, MrBaliHai, thanks so much for the future sleepless nights! What a great link.

My mother gave me my own little wooden psychopath for Christmas when I was 8 or so. I couldn't bear to bring it to my bedroom (I knew even then that it was plotting to kill me), and left it in the box in the living room for months. My mother finally got exasperated with me for refusing to tote it upstairs, and she put it on my bed one day while I was at school. I cried for about a week until she gave it the local thrift shop. Hee.
posted by iconomy at 4:51 PM on October 9, 2003


Yes, very. Creepy. I think it's influenced by horror movies like Chucky. It's all that sexual content and brief drug use.
posted by alicesshoe at 4:53 PM on October 9, 2003


Exactly

Yes, exactly. Please note the film's tagline in the post title.

vacapinta, news anchor's hair scares me more than their smiles. Waitaminit, those dummies all have helmet hair too!

AAAH!!
posted by MrBaliHai at 4:53 PM on October 9, 2003


Hey, where's Lester? I hate to play the race card but... RACE CARD! Also, AHHHHHHHH!

Advantage: Terror.
posted by squirrel at 5:13 PM on October 9, 2003


And great story, iconomy. You were lucky to escape with your life.

During sleepovers, my best friend in elementary school would often sneak up in the middle of the night and scare the bejeezus out of me with his Jerry Mahoney mask.

where's Lester?

Hello Dummy!
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:20 PM on October 9, 2003


Ah yes, the fear of ventriloquist's dummies, also known as automatonophobia. Luckily, there's actually a business that can help you overcome your anxiety! ("Our civilization in decline," as News of the Weird puts it.)
posted by thomas j wise at 5:21 PM on October 9, 2003


The picture at the bottom of this page, "bruno and friends", is the scariest of the scary. Especially the dummy on the far left. brrrrr.
posted by carfilhiot at 5:35 PM on October 9, 2003


puppet terror (flash)
posted by madamjujujive at 7:38 PM on October 9, 2003


Especially the dummy on the far left.
It appears to have the arms of a gorilla. Quite disturbing.
posted by nomis at 7:56 PM on October 9, 2003


*runs screaming, mouth-froth streaming into the wind, one moccasin left behind in the rush*
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:05 PM on October 9, 2003


where's Lester?

I've spent the last 20 minutes trying to get Google to cough up some info on the great turn-of-the-century ventriloquist, John Cooper, and his dummy Sam (made by the same company who made Charlie McCarthy - you could say the two were 'cousins' of a sort), but there isn't anything out there to be found. Grrr. Too bad, he's an interesting man and his rise to fame is an interesting story.
posted by anastasiav at 9:09 PM on October 9, 2003


Wait! Not a total loss - there is this page - not much about John Cooper, but an interesting read.

I find it kind of creepy that they call themselves "vents". Also, some interesting reading here, if you can cope with the format.
posted by anastasiav at 9:14 PM on October 9, 2003


I remember when "Magic" came out. I was pretty young, and they had a spot on Entertainment Tonight about the puppet, Fats, that they used in the movie. The bit was supposed to be fun and educational about how he worked, but it totally freaked me out. I wonder where that puppet is now.

*Checks under bed*
posted by squirrel at 11:58 PM on October 9, 2003


I think it would be fun to pal around with one of those little guys, at least until the inevitable showdown.
posted by The God Complex at 1:42 AM on October 10, 2003


But, hey, nobody's scared of Pinocchio - and he hangs out with a big green insect. Yes, I do think it's the horrible fi-fi-fo-fum smile that does us in.



See? Isn't that better?
posted by taz at 3:18 AM on October 10, 2003


I think it would be fun to pal around with one of those little guys

You could go to the vent conventions. Anyway, Charlie McCarthy definitely was king of them all.

Charlie McCarthy, though made of wood, was worth a fortune by mid-1938. He had a stand-in, used for cinema work and for some publicity stills; a wardrobe that included a supply of monocles, two full dress suits, a supply of starchy linen, ten hats size 31/2, including several toppers and two berets; a Sherlock Holmes outfit, jockey silks, a cowboy suit, a French Foreign Legion uniform, a gypsy costume ("It’s the Gypsy in me"). he wore baby-size shoes, spent $1,000 a year for wardrobe and laundry, was insured for $10,000 against kidnapping, loss or demolition.

Plus he hung out with Bette Davis, Ida Lupino, Mae West, Carole Lombard, Claudette Colbert, Marlene Dietrich . . . not bad for a little wooden guy.
posted by LeLiLo at 3:29 AM on October 10, 2003


why do you think they call it a "woody", hmm?
posted by taz at 7:48 AM on October 10, 2003


Here's one more creepy dummy link if anyone's still watching this thread.

Beat me to it, taz!
posted by MrBaliHai at 7:50 AM on October 10, 2003


Truly creepy. The most famous British ventriloquist's dummy of the 1960's was Archie Andrews, who for years had a very popular RADIO show.
No, I never quite got that either.
posted by rolo at 8:31 AM on October 10, 2003


great link!
posted by crunchland at 8:59 AM on October 10, 2003


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