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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May 2018 - Posts

ConVENTion Reflections 9

A Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Mannequin American Marketer
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In front, on the far right, Pete Michaels and Lynn Trefzger-Joy transport their on-stage energy to the group photo.


Chip Shot: if at first you don’t succeed, eat more fiber.

ConVENTion Reflections 9

Mary Ann Taylor and her daughter Melissa are the creative forces behind MAT Puppets … one of the premiere soft puppet providers in the world.  After Verna Finly retired, the baton was passed to Mary Ann.


Today, MAT Puppets makes characters for many of the top ventriloquists in the world, including Jeff Dunham’s, “Peanut” and Darci Farmer’s, “Oscar.”










As an aside, here’s what Darci thinks of highly talented and likeable, Al Getler. (That’s counts as a compliment, right? I promised Al he’d get three in this post.)


By the way, I was remiss in not acknowledging that Al was behind labeling Mark Wade as “A great man.” It’s a convoluted story, but I take him at his word that the phrase originated with him. It was uttered by someone else; but he gave her the phrase. (That’s two compliments.)






Mary Ann and Melissa have made original characters and backup copies of existing characters for Dale and provided lifesaving emergency puppet repairs while he was on the road doing shows. In short, they are awesome.




Above: Mary Ann and Melissa with some of their creations and customers. (Looks like Al Moessinger, in the red shirt, forgot his puppet.)




Al Getler often picks up puppets from dealers’ tables, acting like he may make a purchase … but he never does.






The last couple of photos were taken at the Drawbridge … and Al still owns that shirt … and that classic pose that he seems to have every time he picks up a puppet.




The photo above is from a ConVENTion at the Drawbridge many, many years ago. Notice how life-like the puppet is in Al’s highly skilled hands. (That’s another compliment, right?)


Originally, I claimed that Al ambushed us in the hallway and demanded to have his picture taken with us. That was probably harsh. It was true … but harsh, none-the-less.




Dale and Al examining a vent figure that neither of them is qualified to use in an entertaining manner. (I guess that could be said for any vent figure.)

Al Sucks Up to is a Friend of Jeff Dunham


Jeff Dunham and Al have been friends for decades. Below is a clip from the Biography Channel special "Jeff Dunham: Birth of a Dummy" used with permission of the producers.

In the 3-minute clip you will see and hear stories told by Al and Jeff about Jeff's career, ventriloquism, and the challenges ventriloquists face to be recognized as legitimate comedians.  That fact that Jeff is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as selling the most concert tickets of any comedian in the world, must stick in the craws of some. 

Al Getler on Jeff Dunham's Birth of a Dummy from algetler on Vimeo.




A Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Mannequin American Marketer
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Chip Shot: Alcohol is never the answer. But it does make you forget the question.

Trash and Trinkets from the Royal Wedding


There are a lot of weird items for sale that tie in with the Royal Wedding.  You may struggle to choose between Crown Jewels condoms, dead-eyed commemorative dolls, and even a celebratory sick bag.


I rounded up a few of the weirdest things for sale.




Someday your prince with cum.










Best Sign of the Week

Clever Marketing



Design Miscue



Sip Slow!!

Grant Thornton: Status Go (Cocktail - :30) from gyro on Vimeo.

Grant Thornton has come out with new commercials that are really entertaining. I think this one is the best and the funniest.



ConVENTion Reflections 8 ... A Great Man

A Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Mannequin American Marketer
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Chip Shot:Vegetarian” is an old Indian term meaning “bad hunter.”




ConVENTion Reflections 8 … a Great Man


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




For many years the Vent Haven Museum Board of Advisors took turns chairing the Ventriloquists’ ConVENTion. Believe me, it’s not an easy task.


Then, nearly 15 years ago, Mark Wade volunteered to become the perennial ConVENTion Chairperson … and everyone cheered … and we’ve been cheering ever since!




Dale and I have lectured with Mark, performed with Mark, written books with Mark, traveled with Mark, been on panels with Mark, filled in when Mark asked us to, and in general, helped bail him out and make him look good, for many, many years.


During all those years ... not once, has Mark picked up a check.




I think most people who attend the ConVENTion quickly realize that the person who does the real work, who keeps things going while letting Mark believe he’s in charge, is Jodi Wade.




A rare photo at Vent Haven--of Dale dressed better than Mark.




Above: Mark lets himself go and laughs at a comment made by Chip Martin during a co-lecture with Dale on Audience Participation.




Dale and I were in attendance when a convention attendee labeled Mark, “A great man.” I’m sorry I don’t remember who that attendee was. But the title “A great man,” has stuck … and we’ve had a lot of fun with it … and now Mark believes it to be fact.




Dale, Leslie, Jodie and Mark waiting for the start of Terry Fator’s show in Cincinnati. I’d identify the others in the photo … but you know who you are.




If you don’t think Mark gets confused occasionally, here he is in a photo of first-time conVENTion attendees. (For the record, it was Mark’s 40th ConVENTion.)




Dan Horn and Jim Barber deliver the bad news that a conVENTion sign has been damaged. Mark delivers the bad news that Dan and Jim will have to pay for it.




One of Mark’s favorite activities is putting up with all of the media that show up at each conVENTion. (Truth be told, it’s his least favorite duty.)




With the W.S. Berger Award, Mark graciously acknowledges the efforts of others who go above and beyond in promoting the art of ventriloquism, giving of their time and talents to help others, supporting the ConVENTion and assisting Vent Haven. Last year Mark recognized our good friend, and well-deserved recipient, Chuck Lyons. (We’re still waiting for ours.)




Nine losers and a great man.



























Famous Finger Collection ... for Your Prostate

A Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Mannequin American Marketer
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From Dale Brown’s Muppet collection, “Fozzie the ventriloquist.”

Chip Shot: The fact that poo doesn’t smell until it’s out of the body is severely underrated.

Questionable Marketing





Science World Facts



People You’re Allowed to Despise




Famous Finger Collection



In this hilarious ad from Prostate Cancer Canada, doctors are testing a new line of prostate exam gloves modelled after fingers of famous people. 

Hilarious Pornhub Socks Ad (SFW)



Brilliant and funny. “You may go solo, but you come hard.” Introducing Pornhub Socks: The first pro apparel for your feet and your hands.



















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