I often forget that doing ventriloquism is incredibly unique…
Since I see it / do it every day, I take for granted that most people have never seen a “live” ventriloquist perform.
After years of seeing myself make a puppet talk without moving my lips, the “newness” of it wears off and isn’t such a big deal anymore; however, 99.99999999% of the population has never even seen a ventriloquist.
Obviously, things have changed with the advent of the fast Internet at sites like YouTube. People have now at least been exposed to some viral video of a comedy ventriloquist making an audience member talk, or Comedian Jeff Dunham with Achmed the Dead Terrorist, Walter or Peanut.
It’s a “win” for me that these videos are out there. Why? First of all, it’s great marketing. Right now, it’d cost a lot less for an event planner to hire me to bring my cast of comedy ventriloquism characters to do a show for their audience than it would to bring in Jeff Dunham and his posse. So it’s as if Dunham is doing marketing for ventriloquists like myself, as well as himself (of course) when he does his show.
Secondly, even if people see it on YouTube, they still want to see it performed “live.” We’re so used to big Hollywood special effects, plus insanely amazing video games, so there’s something in the back of peoples’ minds saying “is that person really making that puppet talk?” Or…is it just a high tech illusion…
Of course it’s real, and people pay to see it in person.
It’s a lot of fun, and I guess it’s a great delight to see people so excited to see a live comedy ventriloquism show.