2010, 2011 PRSA WI Paragon Award of Excellence

About this blog

A Dummy's Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin
Mannequin American views and guidelines on marketing/PR trends, news from the world of puppets and ventriloquism, bits of humor and other interesting but useless information. I post every Tuesday and Friday.
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April 2018 - Posts

Funny Friday

A Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Mannequin American Marketer
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Pretty sure this fire started in the bathroom.


Chip Shot: When giving birth the pain is so great that a woman can almost imagine what a man feels like when he has a cold.

Truth in Advertising?






Car Signs








Do We Really Need These Signs?








Advertising Facts


1. A study at York University revealed that pharmaceutical companies typically spend nearly twice as much money on advertising than they do on research.


2. Kids in ads are typically a few years older than their target demographic. For example, a toy ad meant for 5-6 year-old kids might feature kids who are 7-9 years old. This is because advertisers believe young kids see these kids as role models.

3. In nearly every ad featuring a watch, the time is set to 10:10. Seriously, start looking at watches in ads … it’s true.


Funny Monday




Here’s a pretty entertaining ad for MGM National Harbor Resort … “It’s 5 in the afternoon for crying out loud.”


Puppets Teach “That’s an Overdose” … A Real PSA



How sad is it that we have so many kids growing up in homes with drug abuse that we have to use puppets to teach them how to recognize an overdose and what to do when it happens?


One in three urban core kids must deal with this issue and they are 10 times more likely to become drug addicts themselves, 7 times more likely to become alcoholics, and in some cases, their life expectancies are decreased by up to 20 years.


Through creative programs and real-life job training, Youth Ambassadors helps urban core kids not only deal with symptoms related to drug abuse and PTSD, but gives them the tools they need to become active participants in their communities.






ConVENTion Reflections 4

A Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Mannequin American Marketer
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Pretending to take a selfie is the only way Bob Rumba could get a photo of himself with Dale and Tom Ladshaw.

Chip Shot: Do you think the guy who coined the phrase, “One hit wonder,” ever came up with any other popular phrases?

Convention Reflections 4

A continuing Tuesday hodge-podge of photos we’ve collected from nearly 40 years of attending the Ventriloquist ConVENTions.




Above: ConVENTion attendees standing in line to get their pictures taken with myself and THE Dale Brown. (That may be an exaggeration. Some of them wanted pictures with Jimmy Nelson.)




Here’s Annie with Bryan Simon during the taping of a “My Favorite Figure” segment for Vent Haven Museum. Bryan is a Vent Haven Advisor and an award-winning film and stage director, including the feature length documentary on ventriloquism, “I’m No Dummy.” He also directed the screen adaptation of Jay Johnson’s, “The Two and Only.”




Here Dale and Jay Johnson are making fun of a puppet that looks suspiciously like Bryan Simon. At least the puppet makers—Mary Ann and Melissa Taylor— got the size right.




Bill Geist from CBS Sunday Morning, interviewing what’s his name … who looks like he’s playing Rock, Paper, Scissors.




Jim Barber, Virginia Menes Petersen, Todd Oliver and Irving, the talking dog.




Two of the nicest people in the world, Betty and Jimmy Nelson.




Here’s Vent Haven Advisor, Kelly Asbury with Dale during a visit to Vent Haven. Kelly is an animated film director, screenwriter, voice actor, author and illustrator. He may be best known for directing Shrek 2 and Gnomeo & Juliet. He also authored “Dummy Days … America’s Favorite Ventriloquists from Radio and TV.”




Two really happy puppets … undoubtedly waiting to perform for a children’s birthday party.




Another popular figure from the Vent Haven collection; Woodrow. An Alan Semok figure, Woodrow was used by Adrien Brody in the motion picture, Dummy. (Photo used with permission of Vent Haven Museum.)




David Crone and Eugene … I think during an appearance on the Wednesday Night Show.




Surprise … Rumba has the microphone during this panel discussion on how to find your “niche” in the world of ventriloquism.




First time conVENTion attendees, Rick and little Rick?




This photo was taken in the dealer’s room last year. Rain and Darci recently appeared on Steve Harvey’s Little Big Shots. Darci continues to tour the country after winning America’s Got Talent.




So much for the myth that all ventriloquist figures look alike.




Probably the greatest thing about ConVENTions is the opportunity to make life-long friends. We’ve been friends with this duck for many, many years.




Life Advice From Chip Martin

A Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Mannequin American Marketer
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Chip Shot: Ever notice that in women’s razor ads, the models are shown shaving hairless legs?

Chip’s Life Advice 

  1. If you smell bad but don’t want to take a shower, exercise for two hours. The new sweat will push out the old sweat, making you smell clean again.
  1. Smell gas at home? Locate the leak by striking a match in every room until a loud explosion reveals the source.
  1. Want to get back on your feet? Miss two car payments.
  1. Shoot yourself with small caliber bullets to build up an immunity to larger bullets.
  1. If someone offers you Doritos, sneeze into the bag and they’ll just let you have them all.
  1. Download the instructions for the piece of IKEA furniture you want. Then keep emailing their service department to say your missing a piece until they ship you all of the pieces over a six-month period.

 Shirts That Caught My Glass Eyes



Funny Jaguar Ad Aimed at Runners

If you want to know how to impress your Fitbit, use the funny ruse revealed in this new ad from Jaguar.

Marketing Miscues

Oh, yeah. On the package let’s show a kid drinking wine!


Questionable placement for Berger King.


Where have I heard that before?





ConVENTion Reflections 3

A Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Mannequin American Marketer
To View Complete Blog Click Here: http://bmpr.com/chip_martin/


Chip Shot: I always thought air was free, until I bought a bag of potato chips.




ConVENTion Reflections


A continuing TBT hodge-podge of photos we’ve collected from nearly 40 years of attending Ventriloquist ConVENTions.




Above: Gigi, Jay Hurwitz and Jay Johnson. Gigi was created by Rene, who also created Jay’s “Bob” for the TV sitcom, Soap.

I took this photo at the 2014 Vent Haven Ventriloquist ConVENTion. Gigi is special for Dale and me because her original owner was Hank Sieman, a ventriloquist who lived in Waukesha, WI, where we live. Hank literally entertained around world during the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. He had an incredible career and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for his ability to carry on a “Four-way Conversation” in his act.




Although we never had the opportunity to meet Hank, we did know his wonderful wife, Dorothy. We even entertained at her 90th birthday party. Dorothy shared countless stories about her travels with Hank and was always a delight to be around. We miss her.




Most people know that Jay Johnson was one of the stars on the TV sitcom, Soap. But he also starred in another TV show, Broken Badges.




In Broken Badges, Bob played the part of Officer Danny.

Here’s one of my favorite clips from Broken Badge. In it, Jay beats the crap out of Danny (played by Bob.) You’ll notice that Danny has a different voice than Bob. Bob is an incredible actor. Jay, not so much.


Jay wrote and starred in his Tony Award-Winning one-man show on Broadway, The Two & Only.

Jay also toured with The Two & Only. Here he is wishing an audience had shown up.

Jay has been a good friend of ours for nearly three decades. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see him very often, so at ConVENTion time, we frequently hang out together. As a result, I have scores of awkward photos of Jay.

For instance, here he is autographing something during the convention. No one asked for the autograph. He just likes signing things.

Here he is promising to read this book about how to be funny. (He stole the book.)

And here he is taking a selfie with a fan. It’s a real selfie … the photo is only of him.

In all seriousness, Jay is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. He’s incredibly creative, nearly always has a smile on his face and is generous with his time and talent.


Here Jay is helping Leslie at the merchandise table outside Vent Haven Museum. (Again, autographing something … give it a rest, Jay.)


Speaking of Vent Haven, Jay has a well-deserved section in the museum devoted to his impressive career.

We have lots more photos, but I’ll save them for future posts … unless Jay pays the extortion money I asked for.




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