2010, 2011 PRSA WI Paragon Award of Excellence

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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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ConVENTion Reflections 2

A Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Mannequin American Marketer
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Chip Shot: We’ve reached an impasse with Comedy Central regarding our half hour special. We’re holding out for 5 figures and they’re refusing to take our calls or watch our act. 

ConVENTion Reflections

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

The Dealers Room

Above: Dan Horn admires a very clever and interesting cow figure that incorporated a traditional headstick with a very unique and life-like mouth movement. Gary Hunter is holding the body. Sorry, I don’t know who the figure maker was.


Al Getler operates the same figure. Even in a still photo you can see Al’s lips move.




Bob Ru-u-m-m-m-m-ba 

ConVENTions Can Be Exhausting



Verna Finly


Everyone treasures a puppet made by the famous Verna Finly. At one time, Verna was probably the most eminent creator of soft puppets in the vent world.  Verna, who is in Vent Haven’s Hall of Fame, created Jeff Dunham’s original Peanut … a job that is now carried out by the equally talented Mary Ann Taylor and her daughter, Melissa.

Eventually Verna became a regular attendee at the Vent ConVENTion. She was always a fun, classy addition to our group. The photo above was set up poolside at the Drawbridge Convention Center for a magazine article on Verna. Dale’s jockey character is on the right.

We were frequent guests of Verna’s and her husband, Al, at their Florida home. She made more than 15 original characters for Dale … mostly for limited-appearance corporate programs. Sometimes those engagements called for puppets that looked like a person from the company where we would conduct our performance. One of those characters, Kohler Engines’ “Darrel’s Other Brother Darrel,” now resides at Vent Haven Museum.




Darrel Husa and his look-alike puppet, made by Verna.




Dale, Mickey and Verna during an event at Disney World.




Although now confined to wheel chair, Verna still occasionally conducts workshops on how to make soft puppets.  (What her seminars really teach you is that you’ll never be able to make a soft puppet because it takes an enormous amount of skill and creativity. She makes it look easy … it’s not.) 

We grabbed the photo above from a YouTube video featuring a “How to make a soft puppet” seminar from a few years ago when Verna was residing in an assisted care facility.




Posted: Apr 10 2018, 09:00 AM by chip | with no comments


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