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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Life Advice From Chip Martin

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

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.




Deadpool Wants You to Help Kick Cancer's Butt

A Puppet's Ramblings - from Chip Martin, Mannequin American Marketer
To View Complete Blog Click Here:

Chip Shot: Dale gave Leslie a mood ring. He learned that when she’s in a good mood, the ring turns green. When she’s in a bad mood it leaves a big red mark on his stupid forehead. (Maybe next time he’ll buy her a dimond.)

Deadpool Wants to Kick Cancer’s Butt … And You Can Help

We here at Chip Off the Block are big Deadpool fans. So, we were thrilled to learn that contributors to LetsFCancer can win cool Deadpool prizes, including an official, custom-made Deadpool suit.

Since Deadpool isn’t like any other superhero, the suit isn’t just like any movie prop… it’s pink and helps an awesome cause kick cancer’s butt just like Deadpool does. Whether you want to rock it at the grocery store (please do that!), wear it to your wedding (please don’t do that!) or give it to a friend, this exclusive piece of film history can be all yours. (Many other prizes are available as well.)

LetsFCancer believes that people diagnosed with cancer, as well as their families should have equitable access to early detection, prevention and psychosocial support. The organization supports and runs programs around early detection and screening, in addition to providing psychosocial support through retreats and events. And it provides the cancer community with a space to be heard, feel connected and unite both digitally and in person. LetsFCancer’s not just an organization, it’s a movement. Click here for more information and to contribute and join.

Very Funny ABC’s of Death

Okay, this actually made me lol. If you have a slightly sick sense of humor, here’s a hilarious Volvo Autonomous Driving ad.

Interesting Facts











 Funny But True Driving Memes










ConVENTion Reflections 2

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



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.




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