Category Archives: Ventriloquists

Taylor Mason

Taylor Mason’s quick wit, flawless delivery and polished material make him a hit with audiences of all ages. He is a ventriloquist, musician and stand-up comedian.

He has carved out a career in comedy and entertainment that has taken him around the world and into living rooms across the United States for the past 25 years. He’s won multiple, prestigious entertainment awards, appeared on a myriad of television programs, helped craft and performed in television commercials, wrote a book on ventriloquism for Penguin Publishing, and on an on.

He has a bachelor’s in Agriculture from the University of Illinois and a master’s degree from The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. His experience as a comedy writer and performer has taken him from The Second City Theater in Chicago to headlining gigs at every major comedy club across the country. He’s as comfortable writing and executing humor for corporate clients like Microsoft and Wal-Mart as he is doing a show for teens or children on a Disney Cruise ship. He’s performed for countless church functions. He’s done bar mitzvahs and synagogue shows. He continues to sell out comedy clubs and is requested at college campuses.

It’s impossible to put Taylor Mason in a box. You cannot define his audience, because his act transcends demographics and niches. It’s a throwback and yet it’s contemporary. He’s inclusive, he’s genuinely interested in his audience and he’s 100% committed to every performance, every project, and every single job he takes.

There is no way to describe what he does, because combining ventriloquism, music and comedy is unique to Taylor Mason and quite literally needs to be seen to be believed. Google “Taylor Mason” and view hundreds of videos, some home-made, some taken from countless television and DVD projects, that continue to add up, including the film, Thou Shalt Laugh V.

Taylor Mason stays out of the bedroom and out of the bathroom (which sets him apart from most comedy acts today) and concentrates on jokes and punch lines. He respects people’s differences and concentrates on getting laughs. He gives great effort every time he takes the stage.

Does it sound old school? Only if music, laughter and the shared experience of sheer joy and excitement are out-of-date. For Taylor Mason, these are calling cards as a comedian, and the pillars on which he has built an outstanding, consistent and truly American career as an entertainer.

Taylor Mason – What Can Brown do for You- (UPS ventriloquist mask)-HD from comedy videos on Vimeo.

Ronn Lucas

Ronn Lucas has been entertaining fans for more than a decade with his incredible, unique talent. The ultimate entertainer, Lucas mixes stand-up comedy, improvisation, audience interaction and astonishing voice gymnastics to delight fans worldwide.

No stranger to the media, Lucas has appeared on and starred in national TV programs including The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, L.A. Law, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Who’s In Charge Here on the Disney Channel and most recently FX Network’s hit show nip/tuck, NBC’s 1 vs. 100 and American Airlines’ in-flight program “Eye on American”. In addition, Lucas has appeared in Maxim Magazine.

He has been awarded numerous accolades, including “The World’s Best Ventriloquist,” by The New York Times and The London Times; honored as “Entertainer of the Year,” by Gold Cabaret Awards and “Ventriloquist of the Year” by the American Society of Ventriloquists. He has starred in his own TV variety series, performed before several United States Presidents and was the first ventriloquist to have his own, long-running show in Las Vegas.

A true expert in the field of ventriloquism, Lucas has put in more than 13,000 hours perfecting his craft. Lucas mixes vocal artistry with humor to create the ultimate show for children and adults.

Jay Johnson

“Where’s Bob?”

It’s a question Jay Johnson hears often, at airports, in restaurants or just walking down the street. It’s an obvious question to the millions of people who know Jay from television. In the four years Jay played the schizophrenic role of “Chuck and Bob” on the classic television comedy SOAP, Jay was seen without Bob no more than 2 minutes. After 30 years of performing and perfecting his talents Jay Johnson has truly become a one man duet.

It’s a great compliment to Jay Johnson’s artistic ability as one of the world’s greatest ventriloquists, to have people ask about his wooden partners. But if you think he’s just the straight man to a very funny stage act you’re not even half right. Jay Johnson is like a 3-D poster. The longer you look and the harder you stare the more you see. There is much more to his talents than superficially perceived. The question then is not “Where’s Bob?” but “Who’s Jay?”

Jay started performing at 11 years old when he discovered his natural ability to make a cousin’s doll come to life and began a career using his imagination. His acute dyslexia disappeared in this world of imagery where he was able to find his self esteem and compete. In high school he produced and starred in his own local television show sponsored by a car dealership. This led to summers performing in theme park shows at Six Flags over Texas, Six Flags over Georgia and Astroworld. The summer Jay graduated from high school he logged 918 performances at the Crystal Pistol theater at Six Flags over Georgia. (That’s 10 shows daily for thirteen weeks) About the experience Jay says, “After a summer like that you’re either burned out or fired up… fortunately I got fired up. ”

In the mid 70’s Jay moved to Los Angeles to pursue his ideas for television. To date he has done over thirty national commercials, hosted three comedy specials, produced and performed in two network television specials, two HBO specials, hundreds of guest appearances on variety shows and starred in four television series (“Soap” was in production for 4 years and still runs in syndication all over the world).

However, nothing he has done on television can compare to the thrill of seeing Jay perform live as thousands of comedy club audiences will tell you. His particular talents are best suited for live and spontaneous interchanges. His quick wit and unbelievable technique are pure magic when witnessed first hand. The list of entertainers Jay has shared the stage with in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Tahoe and in theater venues around the United States and other countries reads like a who’s who of entertainment.

In addition to being a ventriloquist Jay is also a writer, comic, cartoonist, poet and puppeteer. To him these talents are fingers of the same hand, tools to communicate his unique individuality. And his inimitable array of abilities allow others access to this abstract world of creativity. In every step of the creative process Jay’s involvement makes the way clearer. Jay Johnson is a window allowing others to see their own imagination through his.

Jay’s strength is the way he understands how reverie and creativity apply to the world of business. With a college degree in Marketing, Jay understands all aspects of business and business theater. Whether he is part of a business session or the entertainment at an evening function; he always knows his audience. He has an uncanny way of relating to them. As one audience member put it, “Jay seemed to know exactly what our company was going through and had some very funny and appropriate comments.”

“My job,” Jay states, “is tour guide for a journey into the imagination. After the tour is over maybe a few will return on their own.” Where’s Bob? Don’t ask. Let Jay take you there. You won’t forget the trip.

Jeff Dunham

Breathing life into an elderly curmudgeon, or a purple human-like creature from the Micronesian islands, or even a self-effacing, talking jalapeno-on-a-stick, Jeff Dunham is straight man to some of the funniest partners in show business. He has amassed legions of loyal fans throughout the United States and abroad with thousands of sold-out theater and comedy club performances, countless television guest spots – including numerous Tonight Show appearances with both Leno and Carson- and with two top-rated specials on Comedy Central. He continues to win great accolades and success for one simple reason: He and his buddies are funny as hell. Oh, and by the way… Jeff Dunham is a ventriloquist.

Dunham’s comedic skill, impeccable technique, and sleight of hand make him a master of his craft. In fact, audiences often forget there is a person behind the puppets. “What makes this performer the best at what he does is the believability factor,” one reviewer wrote. “Dunham’s characters have more personality than a lot of people I know.”

His talent has parlayed him to the top of his game with multiple critical achievements and television appearances, including a recent profile on CBS’s 60 Minutes II. The comic was interviewed by correspondent and actress Candice Bergen, daughter of the legendary ventriloquist Edgar Bergen. Between jokes and laughs, Ms. Bergen called Dunham “…flat out FUNNY!”

Dunham was also voted “Funniest Male Stand-Up Comic”‘ at the American Comedy Awards, an honor shared with the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Foxworthy, and Robin Williams. Additionally, viewers recently voted Dunham to third place (for the second time in two years!) in Comedy Central’s “Standup Showdown.” The comedian and his grumpy old-man partner, Walter, have made several appearances on Fox Sports Net’s Best Damn Sports Show, and they’ve been featured on such television shows as Hollywood Squares, Entertainment Tonight, and Good Morning America. Also, in a near-legendary television appearance, Dunham and Walter brought the house down with a sketch on an episode of the WB’s Blue Collar TV.

Dunham is a true veteran of the comedic stage, and has more than honed his craft: Performing 40 weeks and 250 dates a year in concert venues, comedy clubs, and countless private corporate appearances, he is one of the most sought-after entertainers working today. While he has never held a “real job,” he has compiled an impressive resume: He is the only person ever to win the prestigious “Ventriloquist of the Year” award twice, and he was recently nominated “Comedian of the Year” by the TNN Music City News Country Awards.

Jeff Dunham’s seemingly most significant stamp of approval, however, will always be when Johnny Carson invited the ventriloquist to the couch on his very first Tonight Show appearance. This is an honor Dunham shares with only four other comedians during Carson’s 30-year tenure. An extraordinary comedy moment erupted when Walter had the audacity to respond to Carson’s invitation for another appearance with, “It’ll be a cold day in hell before I come back here.” Carson laughed heartily, the audience howled, and the young comedian’s career was launched to a new level. And a side note: Dunham has appeared on the Tonight Show more than any ventriloquist in history.

Anyone who has experienced an evening with Dunham knows, however, that the real stars of the show are his partners in comedy, and it’s the humor and the believability of his characters, Peanut, Walter, and José Jalapeño…on a STEEK! that endear them to audiences everywhere. Recently joining the roster and adding even more spark to Dunham’s menagerie are two new co-stars: First, there’s Sweet Daddy Dee, he’s the new showbiz manager of the bunch, wearing more bling than Snoop Dogg, and keeping Dunham confused with his street-savvy and hip-hop talk. On the other end of the spectrum is Bubba J, white trash and buck-toothed, he makes NASCAR his second religion.

With material suited and customized for the audience at hand, Dunham’s fans range the gamut: From bikers to surgeons, singles to families, young to old, and hip to geek, people return over and over, year after year to see the antics of one man, who seems like many. And Dunham’s characters are so vivid and memorable that the comedian usually opens with ten minutes of his own solo stand-up, simply to establish himself as the hub of the wheel. “If people walk away thinking, ‘Those guys were FUNNY,’ rather than ‘He was a great ventriloquist,’ then I’ve done my job,” says Dunham.

Lynn Trefzger

Lynn Trefzger is a ventriloquist/comedienne with a trunk full of zany characters that have accompanied her to stages throughout the country.

Named the 2006 Funniest Female Performer of the Year, by CAMPUS ACTIVITIES MAGAZINE, as the result of votes by thousands of college students nationwide!

Her vocal illusion talents were first brought to national audiences on TV’s popular Star Search and she has since performed with artists including Jeff Foxworthy, Ray Romano, The Smothers Brothers, and Drew Carey. Her off-the-wall audience interplay is riotously funny, and her performances are tailored for both family and adult audiences. Lynn (and her many voices) has appeared on ABC, TNN, A&E and Lifetime television.

Kevin Johnson

Born in Colorado, Kevin Johnson started the art of ventriloquism when he was nine years old. At first he started with a pull-string dummy he had gotten for Christmas. Having no experience with ventriloquism, Kevin taught himself the art over a four-year period. His second figure was given to him by his grandfather Harley Noles. The figure was named Raymond, however, Kevin has not used him since 1991 when an audience of children was frightened by the realism of the figure. After that, Kevin decided to go with “soft” and cartoonish figures instead.

In 1983, Johnson was introduced to Clyde the Buzzard in his native state of Colorado, and performed his first “real” show with his grandfather. Nearly 10 years later, in 1991, Kevin was introduced to Matilda the Cockatoo. After adding Matilda to Clyde to become a trio, he would astound audiences with unique and interesting gags.

After graduating from college, Johnson started performing at the San Diego Zoo in 1994. Then, Johnson auditioned at Legoland California to pursue his art full time. In 2004 and 2006, Johnson was presented the “Best Male Performer” award from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA).

In June 2006, Johnson appeared on the NBC show ‘America’s Got Talent’. He amazed the audience and the judges with his signature “Godzilla Theater” performance, during which his voice and the voices of his puppets are out of synchronization with their mouth movements. Johnson also received critical praise for his February 2007 performance on The Late Show with David Letterman’s Ventriloquist Week.

Brad Cummings

“Everyone had an invisible playmate when they were young, but mine used to talk back … and everyone else was able to hear him.” The ranting of a mad child? Not at all. These are the words of Brad Cummings when asked to describe his early fascination with ventriloquism. A fascination that would lead him to become one of today’s most successful and innovative ventriloquists.

Years of practice paid big dividends for Brad as he grew older. By the late 70’s, he packed his bags (which included his clothes , his toothbrush, and his dummies) and left the humble security of Wellesley, Massachusetts to pursue a career in show business. Soon after his arrival in Hollywood, Brad became a popular performer at some of L.A.’s most respected Comedy Clubs, including The Improvisation and The Ice House. The early 80’s gave this now seasoned performer a chance to expand and travel with his much sought after act. He was hired as an opening act for such stars as John Denver, Captain & Tennille, and Dorothy Hamill. In addition to these tours, he also starred in main showroom revues in Lake Tahoe, Reno, Atlantic City, and Las Vegas.

All of the above mentioned is but a precursor for what Brad Cummings has become today. He has more than conquered the art of ventriloquism, he has taken it to a new plateau. With his innovative approach, unusual characters, and unique presentation, it’s no doubt that he is now a recognizable face in the media. His many television appearances (Evening at the Improv, Comedy on the Road, Caroline’s Comedy Hour, Comic Strip Live, The Vicki Show, etc.) have allowed millions of people to witness his ground breaking style of ventriloquism. He can also be seen on many television commercials and is the “on air” spokesman for Breath Assure. No wonder the prestigious Smithsonian Magazine called him “one of today’s top ventriloquists.”

And in spite of (or perhaps because of) his breaking with the traditional ventriloquist approach, he has also become a favorite at corporate meetings and conventions, entertaining such companies as Fujitsu and Toshiba, and even some American sounding companies.

As a result of his overwhelming success, Brad Cummings now speaks with the voice of experience … and a good part of the time without even moving his lips.

Jim Barber

Jim Barber, with a background in musical comedy, combines ventriloquism with a multi-octave singing voice and numerous characters. He has performed his one-man show at over 2000 colleges and hundreds of corporate dates throughout the United States and in 15 foreign countries.He has performed in Branson with musical legend Glen Campbell, The Osmonds and Tony Orlando as well as countless others. He has multiple television appearances including his own daily TV show. He has won the Campus Comedy Entertainer of the Year, The Ventriloquist of the Year among his numerous awards and he is AFFORDABLY PRICED.

His refreshing approach to comedy and his incredible vocal skills have earned him the reputation as one of the most original young talents performing today, not only on stage but also in the voice-over recording market with his multi-octave singing voice and wide-range of characters.

Growing up in the Black Hills of South Dakota, Jim first began performing for audiences at the age of eleven. He discovered the theatre while a student in high school, winning several state one-act play competitions. He continued his acting experience at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis where he earned hi BA degree in Speech Communications with an emphasis on Broadcasting and Theatre.

Before graduating, Jim combined his theatrical, comedic, musical and production skills to create a unique Minneapolis based daily television show, which he produced and co-hosted for nearly two years. This led to the development of his one-man comedy show, which he has performed at over 1500 colleges and universities nationwide.

In addition to appearances at various comedy clubs, hotels, conventions, corporate and industrial shows and fairs, he was featured on the General Jackson Showboat at Opryland U.S.A in Nashville. His Armed Forces tours have taken him across the United States and to fifteen foreign countries.

Jim has won numerous awards including Campus Comedy Entertainer of the Year by the National Association of Campus Activities. Twice he has garnered the coveted award of International Ventriloquist of the Year. Showtime named him the “Funniest Person in Tennessee.”

Currently, Jim is the featured comedian at the Goodtime Theatre in Branson, Missouri, where he performs with Glen Campbell and Eddie Rabbitt. Among Jim’s numerous tours, he has also had the pleasure of opening on stage for such well-known entertainers as Reba McEntire, Roy Clark, Crystal Gayle, Roger Miller, Louise Mandrell, The Forester Sisters, The Temptations, Charlies Pride, Tony Orlando, The Osmonds, The Belemy Brothers, Rich Little, Mickey Gilley, The Statler Brothers, Jim Stafford and many others.

His television credits include A&E’s Carolines Comedy Hour, Comedy on the Road, as well as appearances on the Nashville Network’s Music City Tonight and The Statler Brother’s Show, Fox’s Comic Strip Live, and the syndicated Vicki Lawrence Show. Most recently Jim served as a co-host of the national 1995 Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon for MDA.