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Sunday, November 30, 2008

David Pendleton

David has a cast of 4 characters one funnier then the next...Aunt Tilly, loveable but blunt, who is a 94 year old spinster. Then there is Mack Elroy a trouble maker with a quick wit, Buford the Beagle, sorta slow and lazy and last but certainly not least Vern the Bird, who is a vulture somewhat lost in his own mind.

David got started at the ripe old age of 6 when his grandparents bought him a puppet he was begging his parents for for a year. You see he has this fascination for all puppets like most kids when he was a kid of 4 or 5, the puppets from Captain Kangaroo and Sesame Street. His first puppet was a toy Charlie McCarthy and a record called Instant Ventriloquism made by Jummy Nelson. He sat in front of a mirror and repeated over and over again without moving his lips, memorizing the script that came with the record. In a few years he was feeling ready to perform on a real stage for the cub scouts. His grandmother helped him write his routines, beginning to do shows for birthday parties, service clubs, churches, street fairs and what ever came his way.... At the age of 11 He had his first opportunity to go to Vent Haven Museum. Tell me about this one. Show me that one. Inquisitive minds needed to know, I was still in search of my first professional puppet. He learned about the McElroy brothers. He was so moved by this figure with the moving eyebrows, wiggling ears, moving eyes, hair that stood up ect that he wanted one of his own, but of course by this time the brothers were retired. Time passes and David is now a high school student and made it every year to the student talent shows. He now has a professional figure he named Otis. His fellow students loved Otis's antics about the faculty, when it was time for graduation he really let loose with some zingers and broke up the student graduates. On to college in Ohio and a job at the theme park which gave David the opportunity to sharpen his skills and help his act grow. Aunt Tilly and the Beagle Buford became part of his act at this time. Aunt Tilly's personality was influenced by his grandmother who he was living with at this time. Through Ventriloquism David's dreams were more than met. He traveled all over the country with his show and even more, all over the world. Back to the McElroy, not giving up he kept searching, knowing that the price of such a find would be astronomical, one day met a senior retired person who was in possesion of such a find, this was around 2002. Lucky for him, she was excited about selling him and getting him back on stage and in the hands of a well trained ventriloquist. You see this person's grandfather was a vent during world war two, before and after for 60 years. Well we made an appointment to meet at her apartment the following day, and need I say sure enough it was the McElroy and I was overwelmed and she said that G-D was saving him for me... Tears cascaded from David's

face from excitement. Well he bought him and renamed him Mack McElroy, dressed him in a tux, and he has been part of the act since June 2002. David is still making them laugh, try to catch one of his shows you'll be enlightened when you do.
Hey N Jay, I got to see his show on "Banana Comedy Show" last night.They interviewed him and it was great.He even got a volunteer from the audience to come up and be the "dummy".Love your site too.
Thank you keep comming back always adding something new...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Emmett Kelly Sr.'s Weary Wiley Sweeping the Spot Light

Emmett Kelly, Sr. born Dec 2nd 1898 in Sedan, Kansas a clown for wringley Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus and performed as Weary Willy. But before all that fame came his way he worked as a cartoonist for a silent film company and drew his first tramp cartoon, he was the underdog who could never succeed no matter how much he tried, except just that once in a while he did??? His fame was world wide and because of it was inducted into the Clown Hall of Fame in 1989. In 1967 Emmitt Kelly's Museum was built. Emmett took his dream one step further. He joins Howe's Great London circus as an aerialist and doubling as a white faced clown. He soon joined John Robinson's circus as a trapeze artist..It was here he met fell in love and married his soon to be wife Eva Moore. But still performing his white face clown antics. In 1933 Weary Willie made his appearance and became successful due to the period they were living in, the great depression. He was soon working at the Hagenbeck-Wallace circus lucky to have work, remember the depressions too most of the jobs. 1935 he joined the Cole Brothers and Clyde Beatty Circus. In the late 30s he joined the Mills Circus in England.. He was given the honor of performing for the Queen of Spain and Winston Churchill as well as other major players in the world. His big break came during the war 1942 when he met John Wringling North who hired him for ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. His sweeping of the spot light became world famous ending each show, during the show you might find Weary Willy in the stands playing to the audience, or he might be dusting off the animals or hanging up his laundry. As a child I remember going to the curcus not for the tight rope walker, or the lion tames, yet they were all great, but to see the then famous Weary Willy better known to me as Emmitt Kelly. He was with that circus for 14 years. He popularity spread to the broadway stage, tv and movies, as well as a mascot for the soon to move Brooklyn Dodgers. 1957 he joined the Shrine circus and made personal appearances worldwide. on March 28th 1979 Emmett Kelly Sr. Passed on to the big circus in the sky. Look up every once in a while and you just might see a clown sweeping the stars around.

Emmett Kelly's autobiography, written a few years before his death, containing much information about the creation and performance of his Weary Willie character.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Bill was born Sept.9th 1935, in a house that was then 125 years old. He enjoyed playing in the house due to its tin roof and the sound that was created when it rained. The house was just outside of Sharon Groves, KY. His first taste of the life as a magician came when he witnessed first hand a Medicine man show selling snake oil that was making lots of money from the sales, but his eyes were on the magicians and their tricks. From that moment he wanted to do that too. The Boley's were a poor family, barely able to make ends meet, they had none of the modern facilities of plumbing or electricity, but Bill had a battery operated radio with which he would tune in to listen to Edgar Bergan.
He saw some kids in school getting attention with the girls, because of some magic they performed and he wanted to get some of that himself, so without being trained he spent countless hours till he finally learned to perform some of those tricks himself. Well after learning to do some tricks he finally sent away to a catalog company to order a catalog to but some tricks. The small allowence he was given for lunch was soon saved and Bill went without lunch to get those tricks. Picture this little boy going to his mail box planting himself on the grass till the mailman came with a package just for him. Then the day came when a man and a monkey character were performing on the street getting tons of laughs and not wanting to be left out, ordereded a monkey puppet out of the catalog. Bill put on the show whenever anyone would come to the house, his popularity grew due to his antics with his monkey puppet. Bill met and befriended a magician named Bill Harris who gave him an Abbotts Magic Co. catalog and some other magic magazines.

In one of those magazines was an Ad by W S Berger, Bill wrote him and soon they became fast friends. Bill soon joined the IBV and began receiving the Oracale, so Bill began to correspond with other Vents who were the same age as he was...
Soon Bill landed a job working in a hospital, getting married and lived in the rooms provided by the hospital, soon his wife got a job in the hospital as well, soon Bill began doing some schools, churches, banquets and parties with his magic...soon saving enough money he bought a TV and what do you think one of the first shows he watched? Right Paul Winchell. His wife bought him a Jerry Mahoney vent figure. Bill bought the Winchell book 'Ventriloquism for fun and profit". Bill took the lessons to heart and his practice became a daily routine in front of his mirror. Magic became another venue for him and soon he was spending part of his paycheck each week purchasing magic tricks, and he joined the Brotherhood of magicians. While perfecting his magic and vent he would enter talent contests and either come in first or second with his vent. One of the prizes was a stint on a TV show, which he was asked to become a regular. Soon it was time to get a figure somewhat larger then his Jerry Mahoney, he did, through the Maher Studios, his new figure had 8 movable features, his first Freddy. He got himserlf in the papers for a few different publicity stints such as running for Sheriff, joining the Lions Club, and yet another with Freddy holding his new born baby.

Hey wait Where's Freddy? Freddy was kidnapped, a publicity opportunity was presented him that of the kidnapping. Someone actually stole him and the case out of Bills car and left a ranson note. The wire service picked up on it, reaching papers as far away as New York, infact this story was on the front pages for a few weeks and the kidnappers got a change of heart and threw the case out of the car with Freddy inside in front of a radio station.

Soon Bill was wrestling professionally under the name Charvac in 1958-9, he continued working at the hospital at night and doing his magic and vent during the day.. In 1963 Bill and his first wife divorced and he remarried in 1964... A new theme park opened Kaintuck Territory and Bill got a position there in the summer while doing his school shows during the school season. He did some big name stars of country MC'ing on weekends.

1975 was the first year that Vent Haven Museum held its convention at the Drawbridge Hotel in Ft Mitchell KY and of course Bill was one of the many professionals to attend. 4 years later he was voted Ventriloquist of the year, he was approached by carnival cruise lines to perform for the lines and he excepted. It began with a 2 week stint, turning into a month, then 3 and finally 12 years, working the cooler months and the warmer months he did his schools and the theme park.

Another divorce came upon Bill and while he was performing on the cruise ship, he met and fell in love with Charlene. But she lived too far away for a romance so Bill thought it was over, done, till an agent landed him a job at the Iowa State Fair. The same state Charlene lived in, so while in Iowa, she got him a lot of gigs and that romance turned into marrage.

Soon with the aches he was getting in his feet Bill went to visit a doctor, he had some small growth trimmed away and went back to work, but when getting back home Charlene took him to the emergency room , gangrene had set in, so the doctor had to remove 1/3 Bills right foot. The next year and 1/2 Bill spent bed ridden. He was in a lot of pain and took a lot of medication. In the spring of 1997 he began having serious heart problems. He was very weak and had 4 serious blockages. While hospitalized he recorded what was to become his biography.

In October, Bill held his first annual Bill Boley Magic & Vent Event. The first event was very tiring on him. Bill did a community show to pay for the use of the recreation center which was his first show in a year and a half. Once again, Bill started performing and for the next 2 years despite a few set backs it looked like Bill was going to have some good years ahead of him.
In 2000 Bill's condition worsened. He again began having some heart problems and his strength just wasn't there. He still did a bit in his shop, but not like the previous years and Charlene said that he never talked about performing anymore.

In October, Bill hosted his 4th Annual Bill Boley Magic & Vent Event. He was weak, but rested up the day before so he could attend the night before dinner with everyone at the local Shoney's and be ready for Saturday. Bill had a great time and pruchased still more stuff for his collection. Sunday morning everyone was invited to come to his home to visit the shop and see the Dummyden.

Bill was back in the hospital for the last time on December 11, 2000 and passed away on December 17, 2000 at 8:30 in the morning. Bill Boley was laid to rest on December 20, 2000 at the Green Hill Memorial Gardens in Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


N J: Just a few moments time out to wish all the puppets out there and their ventriloquists partners a very H A P P Y- T H A N K S G I V I N G
JellyBean: To all... and to all a good night (picking up the moment NJ stops)

N J: Wait a moment thats from a christmas song
JellyBean: Then how about G-D- B L E S S -U S- E V E R Y O N E (shrugging shoulders)

N J: Wait a cotton picken moment here thats from.... (looking at JB sternly)
JellyBean: Snow White and The Turkey Dinner (jumping right on NJ's last word)

N J: No No its a very famous Christmas Carol
JellyBean: Oh yeah! Carol Channing (lookng all around at the aud. then at someone directly )

N J: Hey were supposed to be good and nice its the holiday season
JellyBean: I can be nice for $50 bucks (smart aleckie wiggle)

N J: Now stop that JellyBean!! Can't you be like me? (now upset with JellyBean)
Jellybean: Nope (looks NJ up and down)

N J: No!! (firmly) Tell me, why not? (looking him right in the eye)
Jellybean: Because I can't be good for nothing. (pulls back and looks him in the eye)

Sunday, November 23, 2008


The birth of the castle as we see it today began in 1961, by Milton Larsen, a writer from the NBC-TV Truth Or Consequences, Milt met with the then owner of the former mansion, Thomas O. Glover, to talk over arrangements. Milton's late father a recognized magician, William W. Larsen Jr., always wanted to build a club strictly for magicians. So the task was before them to turn a rundown apartment building into its former glorious state. About a year and a half later January of 1963 the doors opened. Today 4 decades after those doors opened, The Academy of Magical Arts calls it home.

The rooms in the castle are as follows:

The Palace of Mystery, the largest theatre in the castle showcasing stage magic and grand illusion. The Houdini Seance Room, this is held for a selected few of 10-12 persons at a time, where Harry Houdini was known to appear to a chosen few. Here a party of 10-12 can enjoy a 5 course dinner as well as the seance. The castle has five dining rooms. The library, one of the most extensive collections of magic and illusion gathered from the five corners of the earth (how's that possible?) A bar named for W. C. Fields, who began his career as a juggler magician. Albert Pillar Theatre, the academy of magical arts classroom, where as a beginner, intermediate or advanced magician can hone his craft. Close-up gallery, where magicians provide close-up magic to the chosen few. The Grand Salon, the grand staircase, where you will find a life-sized painting of one of the founders, Milton Larson. Invisible Irma's Room, a piano room, with the ghost of Irma playing the piano upon your request. The museum, a stage-sized magic and illusion room. Another pub, called the Hat in the Hare. These are the rooms that fill the refurbished mansion. Hope you enjoyed your tour. Let's move on to some more history.

To enter the portals of this castle you must be a member, with a membership card, follow all rules and regulations, and they are strictly enforced. There are dress codes which also must be followed. To make arrangemnets for resevations to dine here you again must be a member and show your card and make those reservations one week in advance. Have a good appetite to dine here, to enter the restaurant cost $20 M-TH-$25 on Fri-Sat per person Sat and Sun Brunch is $15. This is relaxed attire no coat or tie required, but no shorts or sandles either, and those under 21 are welcome. The castle hosts 5 shows in three theaters. Be sure to plan time to explore the art and architecture. Ghosts may arrive as early as 5PM and the castle closes at 1pm. Wanna stay over night at the castle they will make arrangements for you, but be aware of the Piano playing ghost at midnight.

Most of us like a little libation before and during the show, the Hat and The Hare provides that, found in the dungeon of the castle, but if you fear the dungeon there are other watering holes through out the castle, as described above.

The Academy of Magical Arts is the water mark of all Magic around the world. There are a few types of membership to the academy, A Membership, which helps to enhance the knowledge of the world of magic, Junior Membership, given to the younger magician 13-21, they have meetings once a month and have access to the castle where they learn from classes and lectures from some of the most prominate names in the world of magic they perform at the annual Future Stars of Magic, to be a member you must audition. Another membership is the Honorary Lifetime for World famous Magicians who have contributed to the advancement of the academy. Then there is the Associate Membership for those amatuers or friends of magicians who just like the atmosphere of the castle or what magic stands for. Who must be approved by the board. Then there are the Magicians Membership for active magicians, still practicing their craft, as a career or hobbyist, have auditioned before the membership reviewing board. Currently there are over 2500 members living in 25 countries who fit into this category, remember this catagory also includes historians, producers, directors, writers and inventors...

A little more history of the founders, William Larsen was a prominent attorney who was the co- founder of Sphinx magazine and the Ginii which became the most respected in the world. His love for magic was so strong that he gave up his Law practice to take his family on the road as the 'Larsen Family of Magicians'. During WW2 Bill Sr bought the Thayer Magic Co. and opened the Thayer Studio of Magic. In 1951 he formed the Academy of Magic Arts and Sciences. If you had a subscription to the magazine you had instant membership to the academy. For the next few years the academy bestowed fellowhip and recognition to magicians around the world. Bill passed away in 1955 taking with him the academy. Mrs Larsen carried on the Ginii magazine. To carry on from after the building of the castle , Milt was building a clubhouse for magicians...The rebuilding of the academy was in forward motion and put into lifetime presidency was William Jr. All the subscribers of the Ginii were made members automatically. Today that membership is 5000+ strong worldwide. I hope you enjoyed this tour as well as I did and If you are in California make it a point to visit the castle. I am sure you will be glad you did..........


This article was written by Mitchell Ashley for the Converging network, I hope you find it as amusing as I have.
Joe Biden's kind of been left in the dust as Obama's begun putting together his cabinet team. So, I thought I'd put up this little post to brighten all of our days. One of the funniest comedians I like is a ventriloquist Jeff Dunham. His main puppet is an old crotchety guy named Walter. Walter likes to say it like it is, not holding back much. Kind of like...ah... Joe Biden, and he looks like Biden

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Just say the word 'clown' to a kid and smiles as wide as an ocean come across their faces...Many have run off to join circuses, just because they wanted to be a clown, some have been very successful some have made very big mistakes. But some of you have grown up and missed that chance, but have you. Your not ded and you still have that desire to make kids laugh till it hurts. Your not alone, they are many many who still have that same burning yearning need, its awful how much it hurts to want something so bad but you let it slip away...DON'T LET IT HAPPEN. Where would this world be without the clowns who have made us laugh when we were growing up, those who were in the circuses, the clowns who turned into comediand and visa versa...It use to be that every person who dreamed of becoming a clown also dreamed of attending the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Clown College. This was one of the greatest clown schools in the world, it no longer exist, becase we have enough clowns to stock all the circuses, or do we?

Because this school closed doesn't mean there are other schools to learn in, like Mooseburger Clown Camp, even an on line clown school and the California clown school.
Self taught clowns are also out there, they have read books and learned the craft. You can go to your local library and request books on how to be a clown, you can also go to your local book stores and request your very own copy, no matter you can learn to teach your self how to be a clown. What Skills are needed? Many different clowns focus on different skills, like balloon art, magic, juggling and ventriloquism. You will need to take lessons in acting, dancing as well as speech to enhance your skills...

A clown constantly gets their mettle tried, remember one very important thing, kids are not always nice, they will try your spirit. But remember one thing always 'you must be nice to them . Its not easy to be a clown, its demanding hard work. Even if you are dealing with a bratty kid. You must smile and keep the show going... on with the show.

Ok on with the show, who are you? Whats your persona, Do you have a name and a personality, well its time to choose onme. Choose one that is catchy, one that is funny, like SLOPPY POPPY the hobo clown, SILLY DILLY the silly clown, WILLY NILLIE the sad clown. Choose your costume or better still make your own, if you choose to buy one there are many magic and costume shops where you can select the outfit that suits your persona and alter it to make it perfect. OOOPs less we forget the clown face, the make up.. what will you look like? Come up with a style that is you but have lots of fun go to the extreme. .

Ok lets go to work, remember those skills you've chosen to perfect well lets put them to the task, loosen up and relax, slapstick, pratfalls, whistles, horn blowing, try some amusing banter, a wheeze, a froggy voice, you make the choice. Keep your program in the theme of your clown persona. If you have chosen to be a clumsy clown and you do juggling, you’ll want to drop things a few times, for example. Developing a program will help you to remember your skills and your best acts.

Getting out there in front of the kids for some is the hardest part of being the clown, but start small, family or your kids friends, and the kids in the neighborhood will do just fine to begin. See what sort of reaction you get from them. What worked and what didn’t? Learn from them, they are gonna be your barometer, they will laugh at some stuff and not at others, remember which and make a mental not and when you do your act again, omit and replace and constantly do that till you have a well worked routine. Work your way up to the bigger groups as you hone your skills and perfect your routine. Offer to do free shows at places like the library, hospital and children’s homes. As you become more comfortable with your act you can start to advertise your services. You may even find that you will get a few paying jobs from the free shows you put on while developing yourself. Always make sure you have a few business cards or flyers with you just in case.

After you have done all this, you can call yourself a bona fide clown. It is a long, hard road to become a clown but if you have the dedication and dream to become a clown, it will seem more like fun than work.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


A scupter and wood carver who specializes in the worlds best Vent Dummys. Today he is known for his big head one of a kind Dummys. From age 9-17 he was a professional ventriloquist. Some of his acting credits were as the side kick to Conan the Barbarian on TV, in 1998 or you might remember him in 2002 Legend Of The Phontom Rider a movie he wrote and starred in. Or as a guest role on Walker, another TV show.Robert is well remembered for his Australian Croc a funny croc who need not speak a work, but just by the way he looks around and behaves, makes him extremely funny.

The first figure he owned was a plastic Charlie McCarthy doll, he wasn't happy with the face so he began to charge the characteristics. When he turned 16 someone ordered a dummy from him so he cast his first dummy from fiberglass.

Edgar Bergen made a guest appearance on Romper Room and guess what, Robert was on that show as part of the kids group, it was love at first sight...
Soon fiber glass took a back seat to his one of a kind wood carvings, this way each dummy was unique, Roberts feelings about this is that when the Ventriloquist takes the stage he brings with him something no one else has seen before.
At the age of 17 Robert joined the Navy, when his time in the Navy was through he found himself in California, he did what most good looking guys do he tried his hand at acting, well he did more then try, he found success, but not just actihe also found success at casting, producing and writing. He played a good guy at the beginning but once he was cast as Conans sidekick, he got roles as a bad guy and enjoyed it because he got a chance to play with all the mechanical toys.

He begins each character with 14 planks, then makes its shape, based on the discription the client gives him, he shapes the head and gets the feel for that head. Smataleck types might have the nose turned up.. but not till the head is finished does anyone know what its going to look like, not even Robert. He has no set rules to his creations, not set guide lines, he doesn't set out to build thetypical Jerry Mahonewy style, his clients eather speak with him about the temperment or character of the puppet they want or write a few sentences as to discription, and Robert goes to work."The look is exaggerated there's good reason for that. Kids and even grownups are very apprehensive about a ventriloquist puppet when it comes on stage, partly because of their reputation as being evil … the demonic possessed puppet. It even goes back to Egyptian times when they were called belly talkers, and they were always considered witches. So you have a barrier to cross in the first five minutes to get the audience comfortable with the character. My theory is that once you walk up on the stage with one of my characters, the audience already knows the story of the figure ... it's in the carving. It's already funny, so you don't have to go through that buffer zone, and you're already into your act. And kids aren't afraid of the big head, it reminds them of Saturday morning cartoons!"
Sculpting is more the feeling Robert wants then carving, when creating the characters personality. Sculpting can always be altered. Using a product called Magic Sculpt, he feels he can make the characters a little more in-depth than he can with wood.
Sketching is a rarity with Robert, he pulls the figure out of the wood by carving down into it. He uses a Fordham rotary tool to get the basic shape, but then goes to a Dremel for the detail. And each piece is already purchased before he starts. Though he loves working with ventriloquists, about 80% of his work goes into private collections. And many of his customers want whatever he comes up without any input.
"I'm fortunate right now to have a known body of work. People will say, I get your next piece and put a deposit down ... no matter what it is. I like the freedom to let the character develop itself. The more restrictions they put on it, the more generic it becomes. I can do that, I used to be a celebrity caricaturist [working in clay], but I tell them they're taking the fun out of it. When it's done, they say, it is more than I expected and exactly what I needed."
The final step in creating the dummy is painting. You can still change a character's features, Robert noted, with paint. Robert described how characters don't often feel right when he's done carving, but adding paint can change the look and bring a character to life. Which brings him to the best part of the process ... being finished. Like much creative activity, the work can be agonizing and painful, but he loves the results.
For a dedicated, professional ventriloquist, Robert offers a deeply discounted price. The usual range for his puppets is five to eight thousand dollars.

Friday, November 14, 2008


Ad libbing means you make it up as you go along. If an actor leaves the written script and adds their own words. Its short for the latin phrase ad libitum...meaning without constraint. As in performing without a script would be ad libbing, making it up as you go along, catching it on the fly. As Webster puts it--to improvise--which means you have to do something not prepared or scripted. If you find yourself at a loss for words you should come up with something preferringly funny, or even gestures. If your job calls for being in front of audiences most of the time, an ad-libbing skill would come in handy every now and then in tight situations. It means to make up words, phrases, whole lines, even up to or surpassing 6-8 mins in your routine. If you forget your lines in a program or show. The main concept is to be on your toes at all times and ready for anything, like this, should it occure.
First let me clear some misnomer. Comedians do not walk out on stage open their mouths and say the first thing that comes to them, whether it be banter with the aud or a comedic routine.
Comedians do not create their act 100% as they go along. The art is not to make it up on the spot, but rather to make it appear as if everything is made up on the spot. Here's one way to do that.

Sometimes an audience member will ask a question or yell out something and you just happen have a bit in your routine scheduled for later, but that fits in with their comment. Jump immediately to it and do that part of your prepared act. If you have another chunk of material that fits in, do it as well to boost laughs even if you hadn't planned on using it. So if you have a routine that is set, upset it to fit the time. You might have to drop out some of your planned routine to make this work, but you look better for it. And it keeps you in the alotted time frame. With ad libbing loop back to where you left off. Must say that this takes experience, don't attempt this unless your well prepapred to do so.

This sets the pros apart from the beginners, no not the ability to make it up as you go along but to be able to dig into your routine where ever and when ever and be able to resume the routine by working your ad lib to smoothly get back. Its called "In The Moment" and a great comedian Lenny Bruce was responsible for creating this style.

When its possible, answer the audience's questions and ad lid your way back, the important thing here is to respond to the audience. When you get an unplanned comment from an listener and you can respond with a memorized, but appropriate chunk, audience members will leave the venue thinking you are a comedy genius. Because they saw you "improvise" a one, three, six, whatever minute bit in response to an on-the-spot-comment. You had to be "making it up" cause how could you "know" that audience member was gonna say that? The important thing to remember here is no comedian MAKES UP EVERYTHING ON THE SPUR OF THE MOMENT!!Not even the most seasonned...

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Placing a smile on someone's face is worth a lot, both in monetary and artisitic reward, to turn that smile into a laugh is priceless. Oh and before I forget its also healthy for you. Ok where do we begin? Well guess what there are no set rules, suprise. The market is insatiable for skits, dialogue and scripts, because there aren't enough good writers to go around.

There are easy ways, known as fall down slapstick, dressing in a clown costume, big red nose and all, wet someone with a seltzer bottle, or watering flower, but wait, don't you think its just too much work to achive the simpliest thing, a smile a laugh. So then what else can we do, guess again wild minds of the dum dum world....lets write our own stuff, what stuff you might ask oh wisdom genious' of the wonder world. Lets write our own Comedy.

Comedy is dificult but rewarding, comedy is personal. What makes you laugh might not make me laugh, but then again I laugh at just about anything, at this point I am laughing about this material.... Anyone can be funny occasionally, but to always be on target, can be a handfull, wow!! a hand full? Of What? Putting your mind to the task can be most rewarding. Fresh material is always being searched for, wonder if they go out in the dark with flash lights? Imagine 20 or 30 guys out at night with flash lights searching for the joke that could have gotten away.

Jokes fall into various catagories, here they are: Exaggeration, Underplaying, Pun, Twisted clich
Reverse gag, Word association, Truthfulness, The picture /Visual gag, The self-insult, Illogical logic, Insult and Combinations.

Next time you watch a comedy show, write down what makes you laugh, I did and it requires a tomb to collect it all, I will do some of them, well maybe in another writing... look at the catagories and see which ones they fit into. A joke can fit into more than one catagory. A joke must have the audience's undivided attention. It should be easy for them to understand, the audience must be able to devour your material easily, if they have to struggle with the stuff they lose concentration and the comedy disappears.

Where do jokes come from, its a combination of 2 ideas that relate to a point. Think about a few of your favourite one-liners you'll see there are two though. Your mind begins with one idea, which makes you think of another idea and when you find the right combination, WHAMO!! joke meister you done did it again.
The first part is a cliche, the second the punch line is an unexpected interpretation that's realistically literal. When your audience is expecting one thing and you give them something else, the twist, this usually makes them laugh.

Jokes don't always come that easily, but there are many thousands of older ones to choose from, try altering a few that already exist. Take the idea of a joke then reassign it to another issue or venue so that it won't be familiar as the same joke. It's a perfectly acceptable way of coming up with new material. It also provides different views and tangents of where you could spring other ideas.

Now you have an adequate amount of jokes lets put them into a routine, Put them in some sort of order so that the continuity flows, therefore getting you easily from one gag to another. Without going smoothly from one joke or idea to another is like climbing up a ladder and missing the rung, OOOPSIE!! Get the picture? Smile your on KOOKOO camera. Writing gag routines is very difficult, try to make your minds eye see things in a funny way, then write what you see. It becomes easier if you have a recognizable style, if your character is recognizable, which means don't mix up the character with different styles of jokes, unless its meant to be that way. Make your material suit the character, not the character suit the material. If you are a comedian that doesn't have a distinctive style then create one. Anything that makes your comic different from others will help to create his/her own character and style.
Instructions Things You’ll Need: Notebook for ideas Draw Inspiration from Others
Step 1:Watch and read as many comedy sketches as you can . You'll learn what's funny and see what's been done before.
Step 2:Dissect what you found funny about a certain sketch and why it worked for you. Talk to others about what worked for them.
Step 3:Bounce ideas off people around you, or brainstorm with a group.

Step 1:Write down anything that makes you laugh or smile for a week, then pick the best three ideas from your list.
Step 2:Start one page for each idea and write the title at the top.
Step 3:Jot down words, connections or anything you can think of for each subject until your three pages are full. Begin your draft by writing on the subject that had the most ideas.

Start the Writing Process
Step 1:Select an original setting for your sketch, not the obvious. Choose only one location.
Step 2:Work backwards. Start with the punch line at the ending and work out how to get there.
Step 3:Limit the characters to a maximum of three.
Step 4:Write enough so that you have about two minutes' worth of material. There should be a big laugh approximately every 15 seconds of the sketch.
Step 5:Describe the action in detail, and give your characters real names to help with the creative process.

Try Well-Loved Formats
Step 1:Escalate an idea by starting off small and ending in chaos.
Step 2:Juxtapose new with old, big with small, rich with poor.
Step 3:Place your characters in dangerous or improbable situations.
Step 4:Play with language, lists or funny-sounding words.
Q: How many xxxxx does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: The answer revolves around taking stereotypical traits of the group you are referring to, and applying them to the task in hand.
Thus we end up with something like:
Q: How many Israelis does it take to change a lightbulb?
A; Six. Four to storm the room and take control of it, one to forcibly eject the old bulb, and another one to screw in the new one.
Focussing on the Israeli tendency to direct action we use that to change the bulb. A couple of things to note here. Is it lightbulb or should it be light bulb. You say tomato ... I just prefer the former.
The second thing is the 'screw' variation.
Q: How many xxxxx does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
This variation brings in extra sexual connotations, although they still seem to be fairly limited. So this isn't the stuff of the Comedy Store or your regular Open Mike nights. These type of jokes are the sort you tell your friends, or pass by email. However, it is extremely difficult to unearth new ones, hence my blog quest. One angle I am using is turning the joke into more than just a one or two line answer and actually making it into a mini sketch. As there are no hard and fast rules, I consider that's fair. However, I am seeking the perfect one line answer to a new lightbulb joke, and that's my ultimate goal.This one already existed but I like the play on words.
Q: How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Two. One to screw it almost all the way in, and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end. If I can come close to that sort of smart answer I'll be doing OK.
Are you beginning to see the picture..............................

What do I talk about on stage?
How do I get started developing a comedy act?
How can I easily remember my comedy material?
How can I get rid of nervousness before I get on stage?
How can I improve my delivery?
If you have already been involved in stand-up comedy for awhile, you may also have important questions like:
How can I make my comedy material funnier?
How can I add more punchlines to my comedy material?
How do I come up with better jokes?
How can I improve my timing?
How do I handle hecklers?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Some folks have a wider vocal range than others. I have a high to a very low range while others have a VERY LIMITED range. It is your vocal box that determines that. Just check that out with your friends and see what I mean. Most women cannot reach the bass voice a man can, likewise a man cannot reach a high voice as women can. There are exceptions.Wilma Swatrz has an unusual female range. You have to hear her in person to hear it. That is why in singing groups there are various singing ranges within the group. Right?

I started out at a very young age. You do know that a young person has a different vocal range than an older person. It changes in a boy around the teenage period. So my childhood vent was mostly with a boy dummy. When I was in mid life I got Elvira and developed a middle aged woman's voice a well as a young boy's voice. Milton Fried, try as he could, could not develop another voice other than his own. His boy scout did not REALLY have a boy scout voice. I tried to help him at the convention but to no avail.

I do hope to be able to come to the 2009 convention. We'll see.

Bob Ladd, Elvira Nosegay and Bobby Splinters
The Jordontown Hillbilly

I am agreeing with you... I am saying basically that anyone who wants to practice and work at being a vent can achive that goal, weather they achive it is intirely up to them, yes the voice must fit the character and if its something of being un vent worthy then that person is and was in your friends case un prepared, I don't like to criticise those who can't defend themselves....I have the Maher Course, as well as Winchells dvd and Book, Steve Taylors course, various tapes and many many books on vent but still coincider myself unprepeared, I am still a novice, I study vent like a course go to my BLOG and and enjoy all that I have included. I am over 61 with vent as a hobby for now, when I retire from working full time I will be able to dedicate more time and energy.. I will be attending Vent Haven conVENTion in 09 maybe we can discuss this more in detail then, always open to new and better ways to build a better mouse trap...
N J---
Milton Fried had a boy scout figure and the voice of the figure was Milton's not a boy. I don't call that a good ventriloquist my dear friend. A boy's voice is not that of a 40 year old man! Sorry! If you call that ventriloquism then you better get the Clinton Detweiler's course and practice up.

Suppose Edgar Bergen gave Charlie McCarthy or Mortimer Snerd a voice similar to his, would you consider that good? No sir! And he gave a female voice to Effie Klinker.

My Elvira Nosegay has a female voice, and Bobby Splinters a young boy's voice even though I am 80 years old. Not many can do that! (I don't like to brag so I do not...only privately to YOU)

No,not EVERYONE can be a ventriloquist! Likewise, not everyone can be a comedian. Some folks can sing and others are so flat that Nelson Eddy turns over in his grave!

Bob Ladd, Elvira Nosegay and Bobby Splinters
The Jordantown Hillbilly

Just go to a Vent Haven ConVENTion and you will see why I made that statement. One dear friend of mine, now dead, spoke in his voice and could not do another voice try as he might...period. His name, Milton Fried. Nice guy but no ventriloquist. There have been others who attempted but failed MISERABLY! I have been to about 28 conventions there so I have seen all kinds of attempts. Some very brutal and embarrassing. I saw Jeff Dunham when he was just in high school and I knew immediately that he would become a STAR!Bob Ladd, Elvira Nosegay and Bobby SplintersThe Jordantown HillbillyI will be there comming this July I am not the calaber of a Jeff or Terry, and 'maybe he didn't want to do another voice', mimicry is mimicry Vent is Vent. But at my age I don't strive to be more then i should be, I have done well in my life and have no complaints, but if I should put a smile on some kids faces once in a while that would be reward enough for me, I enjoy the world of Ventriloquism and I have a nice BLOG that people from all over the world has gone to visit, so I did what I set out to do with that as well, If in the short time that I can dabble in Vent, well then bravo for me. If you speak of the higher calaber of vent that is difficult for some one over the age of 60 to achive, well then I agree, but if you are saying not everyone with the desire can strive to achive well I beg to differ, again I say if you work at it anyone can become a vent. Practice Practice PracticeN J


Do we ever grow up, aren't we all still kids deep down inside, well the audience wants to believe in the illusion, so have the rest of your partner's body move, not just his or her head. Have him or her shift around while you speak. If your partner doesn't move, he or she will seem unrealistic to the audience.
Use a mirror while practicing to see what you're doing wrong or right. Ask your friends and family for feed back on your skit, the aud wants to laugh, so give them something to laugh at, the illusion should never be broken by either you or your character. Play smart.
One of the major ingredients in your cake mix should be lots of passion, determination, and optimism in order to create the illusion of life. so get ready on your mark , get set GO!!!!!


Ventriloquism is the art of making an inanimate object seem to come alive. For those on a budget who wish to learn the art of Vent, learning to speak without lip movement-
place your finger over your mouth like your trying to tell someone to sush. This will tell you when and if your lips move. recite the alphabet. Wait didn't you feel your lips move on some letters, yes you did, they were "b," "f," "m," "p," "q," "v," and "w" To assist you in preventing your lips from moving when saying words with these letters in them, you will have to substitue other letters. For "b," say "d" or "geh." For "f," say "th." For "m," say "n," "nah," or "neh." For "p," say "kl." For "q," say "koo." For "v," say "th." And for "w," say "ooh". This might seem funny to you when you first begin, because it just does, but by placing the emphasis, the stress on the words on the syllables that don't contain these letters, the words will begin to sound natural.
The tone of your voice should also be changed, does it change to fit the character or do you change the voice then get the character? That is up to you. My choice is to have the voice fit the character. A convincing "vent" voice must be very different from yours. Listen to yourself speak. Tape your voice, play it back, do you have a high pitched, low pitched, do you speak loudly or softly? Fast or slow? Work on making your characters voice contrast with your own. To change your voice, you must use different functions in you body. For example, notice that when you speak and pinch your nose, your voice changes.force air through your nose, not your mouth, or forcethe sound from deeper in your throat, or the diaphragm, pretend your gonna cough, your muscles tighten, now try to talk, you'll get a deeper raspier sound, depending on the sound and personality your trying to produce.
Is your character smart and witty, speak quickly, without stuttering. Is the character
unintelligent or slow, have him or her speak in a low, slow voice. The voice you select helps to amplify your characters personality and helps bring him or her to life.
Bring your new friend to life. Decide what kind of partner you want. You must always make sure that his or her personality is different from your own, to give the illusion that you are not the same person. If you are a kind, responsible person, make your partner a mischievous jokester. Just choose something that will contrast your personality.
Try to find a dummy that will fit that character. For example, if your imagined character is a young, energetic boy, don't pick a dummy that's an old man or a young lady. Make sure to pick the right partner for your needs.
Convince yourself that your partner is completely alive. Once you've done this, it will be easier to convince an audience. Try to make sure that, from the moment you pick him or her up (take him or her out of his case, bed, etc.) and grab the controls, he or she is totally alive. Have him or her tell you stories about what he or she has been up to, where he or she goes to school, etc. Even though you are technically making this up, it will help you believe that there is life in your partner.
Animate your partner properly. There are many different control, a good average one that is excellent for beginners is one with a moving head. The saying no string attached is very important here, they are toys.. you want one where you put your hand in the back, grab a stick attached to the head, or a soft puppet made of latex where your hand operates the head and mouth. When its your characters turn to talk be sure the mouth moves on each sylable ( Joey says'silly bull'). Keep your partner animated, that means moving, but becareful here to, you don't want the character moving needlesslyit looks silly, unless you want it to seem that way. Don't forget to keep him/her moving when you speak as well, its natural that when someone speaks and someone listens, they move. This will make the audience think that he or she is really listening. If he or she is young and energetic, have his or her head move quickly and shake while he or she is speaking. If he or she is an older person or a sleepy child, have his or her head move slowly and not very much. Be sure that the head isn't moving too much while he or she speaks, or this will distract the audience from the actual speech. Try to observe real people as they speak, and have your partner mimic those movements.
Have fun, a major factor in being a good ventriloquist is having passion.Practice..Practice.. practice the art. Practice every day and eventually you will be a fantastic ventriloquist. You don't just practice by sitting and speaking with your partner alone. Play games with your partner, watch TV with him or her, bring him or her to family get-togethers and have others meet him or her. Whether you are taking up ventriloquism for fun or for a career, make sure you are having fun with it. The illusion of life doesn't come easily, you must believe in your friend to bring him/her to life.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Now anybody with just a little common sense knows that you buy your skit from the skit salesman on the corner of lexington and 48th street, your lip control comes from the lip meister at the lip factory, the dummy manipulation comes from hanging around with hum hum hum other dummys, following me so far, sync'ing your lips comes from the sink or the bath tub, and syllables comes from silly bulls (ventrikolists) , I do agree that saying funny stuff takes some doing, first there must be more then just air rushing through your wind tunnel... all of this should take the average maniac some time to put together, but don't give up your full time career yet. Anyone can be a vent, ( not one that just blows air.) Good luck... but most of all this is fun so have fun and if your serious... STOP!!!!N J

Friday, November 7, 2008


Ventriloquist give away their best material to a hunk of wood, or a bag of rags and you, why you play second banana. Now and again we are blessed with the likes of a Jeff Dunham, or a Terry Fator, were lucky we have them both at the same time, which is best or is either one better then the other?

"Learning to speak without moving the lips is learning to speak an entirely new way," "Anyone can learn ventriloquism, and just like learning any skill, the dedication to accomplish the task is in direct correlation with the ability to learn. ... The more you practice, the better you are and the quicker you learn."
The sync'ing the mouth to every syllable, the manipulation of the dummy or the puppet has to be in accord to the topic. After you've learned all of that, the work has just begun.
you might speak using a red-haired, freckle-faced boy dummy named Jelly Bean Joey or an old story teller named Elliot.
You have to master the technique first, You've practiced many long hours, all fun hours, now it's time to take your open out to the public to introduce him to the people and the people to your puppet. But wait, you now have to find a voice that's going to be comfortable to both you and fit the character, is it going to be nasally, high tone, lower, goofy or falsetto among many others, its time to chooce the voice.There is one major advantage to being a ventriloquist, your character through you can say things that could land you in jail if you said it yourself. For example you could bring your figure to work and see your boss in a dress that looks like some one did it and ran, if you said something to her inregards to that you could be searching for a new job, but since your figure said it it would be laughed at and possibly shrugged off, as part of a funny routine. Remember people will always forgive the puppet, but not you.
She is also featured in "I'm No Dummy," a new documentary about the history of ventriloquism. Before there was Jeff and Terry, there were Edgar so who is or was the best, do some research and see for your self.
Ventriloquism dates back at least as far as the ancient Greeks. Read my article on the history of vent and where it origionally dates from It often was linked with the occult, and practiced by mediums and soothsayers who could enthrall audiences by carrying on a "dialogue" with a disembodied voice.
In 18th and 19th century America, ventriloquists on the vaudeville and medicine show circuits often promoted themselves as magicians who demonstrated their prowess by speaking in multiple voices. Edgar Bergan was the first to use comedy trading jokes between figure and ventriloquist around 1937, when ventriloquist Edgar Bergen got his own radio show with dummy Charlie McCarthy.
A ventriloquist achieves the desired effect of a talking dummy through the inability of the human ear to keep pace with the eye. Try to listen for the direction an ambulence is comming from the next time your at a light and hear it, our ears are not good receivers of sound, but when our eyes assist our ears we can at that time know the direction... same works with ventriloquism..."That's why, in your car, when you hear an ambulance, you have to look around.
There are at least five sounds that cannot be made with the lips closed, including the b and p. W in water -- if you're going to say the word water, it's a very visible movement of the lips. The vent would substitute an ooh ahh. He says o-ater very quickly so it sounds like water. As a substitute for the letter 'b,use a "distorted 'D' by flattening his tongue.
It's not enough to make a dummy talk. Both of you must be funny, charismatic and entertaining.
So get yourself a funny skit, learn your lip control and dummy manipulation, synch the lips to the sylables say some funy stuff and get out there and have some fun, really have some fun.

N Jay


Excuse me!!! but i did a google search for those two groups ( Destitute Figure Maker's Assoc., Ventriloquist's Routine Stealers Assoc.) that the money goes to couldn't find this going over my head or am i not entering the names correctly.. in any case if the money is staying with Tom to help advance the museum, which according to the records of Vent Haven couldn't be very much unless private donations are being made...In any event I wish Tom much success with his museum. Lee Cornell must have had a wonderful time while at Tom's home. To view the photos that accompanied this article go to Lee's website, believe me you'll be glad you did.

A Visit to Tom Ladshaw's "Museum"
A few weeks ago I took a drive to visit my friend Tom Ladshaw at his home in Covington, KY.Tom Ladshaw with Stanley Hillman
As you may know, Tom is not only a professional magician, ventriloquist, comedian, author, publisher and creator of tricks and props, but he is recognized around the world as perhaps the most knowledgeable historian when it comes to anything pertaining to ventriloquism.
He has also been an avid collector of ventriloquism related items for over 30 years.
I knew Tom owned a sizable collection (based on the huge quantity of rare collectibles he brings to the Vent Haven Convention each year) and I was very excited to see what other goodies he had in store for me to see at his home.I was nowhere near prepared as to what I was going to see.
Upon entering Tom's home, I first noticed many framed original movie and promotional posters on the walls.
Then we headed down to his basement. Wow. My jaw literally dropped when we got to the bottom of the staircase. Tom's basement has been completely refinished and turned into what can only be called a museum. Everything meticulously organized and extremely well lit on walls and shelves.
He could charge admission to this place!
Walls filled with framed pictures, playbills and more posters. He owns more than 100 vintage and antique posters dating back to 1841.
There are shelves filled with nearly every ventriloquism book, pamphlet and catalog ever published. Tom has over 100 figuremaker catalogs from nine countries dating back to the 1880's and nearly 800 books from more than 20 countries dating back to the late 1700's.
He also owns the original set of the lead-type individual letter mechanicals which were used to hand-set and print Frank Marshall's 1931 catalog.
An entire wall of Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd antique items:
Another wall containing vintage toys, games, hand puppets, records and much more:
Then, of course, there are the figures in Tom's collection. He has dozens and dozens of figures - both on display and in storage.
Figures by Marshall, Insull, Gilmer, Claassen and many others. Tom really searches for figures that are in as near mint of a condition as possible.
Tom's collection also includes Ronn Lucas' very first "Buffalo Billy" (made by Ronn himself) and an extremely unusual and rare Frank Marshall figure with control levers made of coin silver and a body jointed like a humans.
And, just take a look at Tom's collection of Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead puppets:
Vent Haven Museum curator Lisa Sweasy joined Tom and myself for a very enjoyable lunch and then I spent the rest of the afternoon just talking with Tom about great ventriloquists of the past and present.
Tom also has an extensive video library of many performances of vents and we watched several of those.
I was originally thinking I'd be out of town heading for home by 4pm, but we were having such a good conversation that when I looked at my watch it was after 6pm.
It was one of the most enjoyable days I've had in a long time.
Thanks Tom.
posted by Lee Cornell Sunday, October 26, 2008


Steve has been gracious enough to extend the allowed time to go to the end of the month the new date is now NOV. 30th Please if your gonna participate in the contest go to his site by logging on to make a video of your self and your character and maybe in a few months you might find yourself on stage with Terry Fator in Las Vegas...Good Luck....N J

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Thinking about writing some comedy dialogue, well start planning. Who is your Audience, write about things that happen to the group your writing for, they will enjoy it more. What does your audience do, mention at least one important person in that audience, this gives a personal touch.
Whats the theme that your writing, build it around your audience and the event or holiday. When writing put the best part last, the second best part first, and place quick, fast paced lines in the middle. Your character should have short punchy responces for quick laughs., and should get most if not all of the funny lines. Be sure the audience hears and understands everything the Figure says, got something of importance for the audience to hear let the dummy say it. Disagreement should be first thing on your mind when writing the dummys part. The bigger the problem, the more the audience will become involved. The solution to the conflict should come to a surprise finish, when I say suprise I mean a twist, something that is fun to hear. Know your figures character, that basically means know your character as well as you know yourself, to make the figure believable. You want the audience to be on the dummy's side, this is a very important aspect of the dialogue. Be a good actor, remember your playing 2 roles and making them both believable. You need not write blue comedy, keep your lines nice and clean. When writing you are the only one that needs to be humiliated, no one else. Think of good, creative, clean jokes that will follow the theme and fit your character's personality. You can change old jokes to fit the situation. This is very important, be original, don't steal someone else's thunder, but you can recreate the lines and make them your own... but always try to create your own ideas. The audience loves to hear your figure sing so open with a song and or close with one. They don't expect the figure to have a beautiful voice; so if you can't sing well, it doesn't matter. Make the song follow the theme of the dialogue. You can even change the words of a familiar song to make a funny parody. It is extremely important to stay within the performance time given to you. Keep your routine fast paced. Don't let it drag! Try to end your act with your audience wanting more. And then be prepared to give it to them.


David Malmberg - comic ventriloquist, brings many characters to life and making voices appear out of anything.
David remembers the first time he saw Paul Winchell on TV and whamo instint urge. At the age of 13, he began throwing his voice in his classroom, to the confusion of his teachers. At the age of 15 with thought of David's ability of being a fine Ventriloquist, his parents bought him his first dummy. He began performing at Blue and Gold Banquets and other community functions. David went off to serve his country as a member of the US Navy. While in boot camp he continued fooling his fellow recruites with his voice throwing. While serving he was assigned a DJ position for American Forces Radio, in Cuba and Spain. While in Spain he took up the classical guitar studying with the American Guitarist Martinez Serrano, this did him justice, he has recorded 6 Albums to date.
David made music a part of his ventriloquist show, when he returned to the United States. So returning to Minneapolis MN and landing work k102 and WDGY as an operations director for the next 20 years. David received many industry awards during this time including being named one of the ‘Top Ten Program Directors’ in America in 1990 by Inside Radio. It also gave him continued opportunities to practice voice characterizations on the radio and in hundreds of commercials.
Davids desire to perform live forced him to step down to move forward. For the past 17 years David has Zig zagged the country with his Vent Program and His Musical Guitar, doing about 125 shows a year. Opening for such luminaries as Merle Haggard, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Juice Newton, BJ Thomas and The Statler Brothers, to name a few.... He wrote a book in 2004 for Montgomery Press “Secrets of Ventriloquism”. If have any other thought s of this fine ventriloquist please enter an e mail and place a comment.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Reminiscing the days I spent during christmas:





















Not to be reprinted with out written concent from owner, thats me....

for more stuff like this go to

Axtell one of the finer names in puppet making for softies, cause i'm an old softie myself... Love his stuff...