Who Is the Top Ventriloquist in the United States?

Image of Jeff Dunham Ventriloquist

Photo of Comedian & Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, by Cameron Yee

Asking a question like this could get you different answers, depending on who you talk to.

If we were talking “top artists” of all time, you’re going to get an array of opinions. Some may like Van Gogh, others Da Vinci, others Picasso..

Top Comic Ventriloquist:

So when we’re talking comedian ventriloquists, there’s some that lean more heavily toward stand-up comedy. Others would prefer a ventriloquist show that sounds more like a broadway musical.

I’ll do my best to explain who I think is top, and why..

I believe Terry Fator is the top Ventriloquist. This is simply because he was listed in the #3 spot of Forbes’s 2016 list of highest paid comedians (just behind Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock, both of whom receive a large part of their income from TV show syndication royalties).

Jeff Dunham has been in this same spot in years past, and I believe wasn’t too far behind.

So if Fator is pulling in the highest income among ventriloquists, it is a good indication he’s doing something right..

When evaluating show business, it’s important to remember it’s not just a show, it’s also a business.

Terry Fator must have an incredible show for enough people to keep coming back for more, and/or new people need to like what they see in the marketing/YouTube videos.

Back to Jeff Dunham, who also puts on an incredible, almost out-of-this-world show!.. If Terry Fator is beating him out, it could also have to do with him doing less shows on the road. His new wife just gave birth to twins, and maybe he’s gained some insights about how much he needs to be around now that his first marriage ended in a painful divorce. I’m merely speculating.

So it’s not to say that Dunham couldn’t be in the number one spot if he was willing to forfeit his paternal and marital duties, but it’d be the same in a sales organization: The top sales person is the person who hits the highest sales number at the end of each month. If the #2 person is #2 because they’re helping bus their kids to pre-school and sports, they’re still in the #2 spot even if they might be able to beat out #1.

I believe hard-core Terry Fator fans would say he’s the best, and they might not care much for Dunham. The reverse would also apply. A Dunham fan might not take to time to go so Fator. They are both incredibly talented – and it’ll be interesting to see if I can beat them out. 😉

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