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Topic: Ventriloquism routines
Message: Posted by: God-glorified (Jun 20, 2005 07:55PM)
Hey guys Ive been involved in ventriloquism for a little while but I never really say this forum here. Id just like to ask you all,
Do you normally use in your comedy routines---someone elses patter....like magicians to otehr effects........or do you mostly invent your own?
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jun 23, 2005 09:28AM)
IT is ALWAYS best to invent your own. Sure you could steal a FEW comedy lines, but as far as routine and patter goes, it would be best to form up your own comedy routine.

A very talented friend of mine picked up my Axtell's Rabbit and played with it at my house. IT was UNBELIEVABLE WHAT HE DID!! IT seemed like the two were made for each other! After that he ordered the old man and does a GREAT adult comedy routine with the old man...but get this...He IMPROVISES every performance. No routine...everything comes off the top of his head (he does quite a bit of funny insult jokes with the puppet as well)

just some food for thought...I am actually rambling on!
Message: Posted by: God-glorified (Jun 23, 2005 10:35AM)
Thanks Kyle,
For some reason I never quite got the hang of writing routines for me and my ventriloquist...........
Thanks for the help
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jun 23, 2005 10:43AM)
There are many books out there. If all else fails, and you really have a passion for ventriloquism. Just take stuff from many people instead of just one.

Or ask around. Ask people what they think would be funny.

I do this with my magic shows and get many responses. It is a great way to add to or improve your show!
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Jun 23, 2005 07:46PM)
Until you develop your own routines there are many sources of dialogs available. Axtell sells complete routines in his AxTrax. Maher studios has many books on dialog. You can take parts from many books and create something new from them. The material in these books is ther to be used and by buying you are given the right to use the material. I think for someone begining it's too much to expect him or her to master the techniques and to write great dialog right away. Can you imagine if we insisted that pianists only perform original compositions?
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Jul 5, 2005 05:13PM)
I have found most routines in the routine books are just not funny. I guess I do have the gift for writing my own. Part of that comes from understanding who my charcters are and what kind of humour works for them.

A lot of vents use very generic material because they aren't sure who their partner is.
Message: Posted by: Joseph_Then (Jul 6, 2005 04:31AM)
One of the way I did to create script was to bring my puppet to watch TV with me.

I talk to the puppet and I let 'him' response. Because TV is 'dynamic' in its content I definitely can bring out some script for the puppet.

It works for me. Maybe it works for you. :)
Message: Posted by: Budihaha (Jul 6, 2005 04:33AM)
I also don't use vent dialog books for my performance, because it's mostly in English. I use Indonesian Language. LOL
Just kidding folks!

But I must admit that I take "the way of comedy thinking" from those books.


Budi Ha Ha
Message: Posted by: Gideon Sylvan (Jul 12, 2005 02:05PM)
I am new to ventriloquism, and only have one routine, my own.
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Jul 12, 2005 05:18PM)
I have lot's of dialog books, but have only used one of the routines straight from the books, that's Axtell's routine with Vern (the bird)learning a rope trick. That was the first routine I learned and I liked having a set routine to work from while I was concentrating on learning technique. I do take the bits I like from the books and combine them into a routine that works for me and my figure.
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jul 12, 2005 06:32PM)
The funny thing is...everyone who posted in this topic except for swisskid, the creator and I have their pics with their puppets!
Message: Posted by: sluggo (Jul 14, 2005 11:08AM)
You can go to http://www.venthaven.com and they should have everything you need to get started. Just click around and you will see a large variety of aids to assist you.
Just went to the first day of Vent Haven in Kentucky. Once again Jeff Dunham put on a tremendous show.
His passion for comedy and venting is second to none and as nice as they come.
I wasn't aware that Venting is the only job he has ever held, got involved as a teen.
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jul 14, 2005 11:16AM)
I LOVE Jeff DUnham. He is my favorite Ventriloquist! I have always wanted to see him live!
Message: Posted by: Joseph_Then (Jul 14, 2005 11:27AM)
You should also watch Ron Lucas and Jim Barber. They're great too! My favorite ventriloquists!
Message: Posted by: sluggo (Jul 14, 2005 11:50PM)
Ron Lucas is superb! Going to see Jeff Durham at a Comedy Club tomorrow.
Message: Posted by: sdgiu (Jul 19, 2005 01:59AM)

Well, as I haven't actually started doing vent stuff yet(been practicing for years, just can't seem to get goin :whatthe: ) you might want to bounce this idea off those who are actually are, first.

I love old time radio shows, especially the comedy teams, Laurel & Hardy, Abbot & Costello, The Marx Bro's(Groucho & Chico), Burns & Allen, to name a few.

Well, it seems to me that you could get enough ideas from just these people to last a lifetime. It may need to be updated a bit, but some of it would play great just as it is. i.e. a "who's on first" type routine, would kill.

Also check material on "Edgar Bergan and Charlie McCarthy" and "Winchel & Mahoney"
both famous vent teams of the past.

To find these you can google "old time radio", "old time radio shows", or go to ebay and look under "old time radio".

"otrcat.com" is my favorite, good selection and reasonable prices.
God Bless

Ps A lot of Martin and Lewis movies have stuff you could use also.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Jul 20, 2005 09:30PM)
On 2005-07-12 19:32, KyletheGreat wrote:
The funny thing is...everyone who posted in this topic except for swisskid, the creator and I have their pics with their puppets!
I was trying to have my pic taken puppetless but then Geoffrey sidled in and stuck a wand up my nose. Sorry about that.
Message: Posted by: Budihaha (Jul 21, 2005 03:58AM)

The other one is my buddy, not a puppet! :)

Budi Ha Ha
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Jul 21, 2005 08:14AM)
Ah...your buddy. You two look happy Like a real pair of friends! How long have you known each other?
Message: Posted by: Johnnie Blaze (Jul 21, 2005 09:11AM)
Not too sure if you can find much on him but Mike Robinson is a brilliant vent. he travels on holland america cruise lines and is an absolute pleasure to watch
Message: Posted by: Big Jeff (Jul 21, 2005 09:40AM)
I saw Willie Taylor and Lester on a cruise this month and he was GREAT!!! He sang a lot of songs and did the 'Who's On First' routine from Abbot and Costello. He was the best entertainer they had that week. His first show was on Thurs. and about 6 of our group went, the next night all 12 of us were there and EVERYBODY had a GREAT time. Our ages ranged from 25 to over 80.

This was the first vent I have ever seen live and I was very impressed. Every time willie sang, Lesters mouth never moved.

Big Jeff
Message: Posted by: Ony Carcamo (Jul 26, 2005 08:29AM)
Hi Big Jeff, when Willie Tyler and Lester did their songs, did they use a minus-one music (background music) or they sang without any accompaniments (just the voices and nothing else)?
Message: Posted by: Big Jeff (Jul 26, 2005 10:06PM)
Some of the songs had taped music and some used the live band, I think they all used music. It really sounded like willie was singing, but with sound effects these days it could have been recorded, but I really doubt it. I think he is just that good.
Message: Posted by: Slappy (Oct 17, 2006 05:38PM)
I've read some interesting posts here asking whether or not it's appropriate to "borrow" lines or routines. I feel totally compelled to interject. I realize magicians purchase effects that quite often are accompannied by "patter". these are basically suggestions on how to incorporate a particular effect into your presentation...it is NOT the same as using a pre-written, store bought, routine for your vent figure. Ventriloquism, IMHO has much more in common with stand-up comedy. It is NOT kosher to borrow somone elses routines. It is NOT kosher to borrow even a line!!! I know, I know, it's done all the time...but believe me, for every stolen line there is a comic that knows you stole it and who you stole it from! If you are serious about your work, take the time to write your own, original routine.
Message: Posted by: kimmo (Oct 18, 2006 08:06AM)
I will usually use a published routine as a starting point. As I rehearse it I improvise lines for my characters and it begins to change to suit my style. I also find that many ad libs come out in performance that can be incorporated into the next show and very soon the routine takes shape and becomes my own. Most of the best lines in my act were developed during performance in this way.
Message: Posted by: Chatterbox41 (Oct 28, 2006 02:28PM)
The problem I've found with most routines I've bought over the years, is their style is often outdated. I bought one dialogue book a few years back that actually had a routine that was published in Paul Winchell's book back in the 1950's! Comedy styles have changed a lot over the years, but it seems from watching most vents that they're holding on to what was done by Bergen, Winchell, Nelson, etc.

Ron Lucas once told me that he actually approaches his vent like a stand up comedian. Jeff Dunham does the same. I actually took a course in stand up comedy and am SLOWLY adapting what I've learned to my vent act. My audiences seem to really enjoy it! Even if you're new, be true to your character and be true to your figures character.

An idea one new vent had for learning to write his own material was to keep a box and pen and paper by the tv. When he heard something funny, he wrote it down and put it in the box. Than he would go back every so often and pull the pieces of paper out of the box, put like subjects together, and try to rewrite them to fit his characters. Today he is a full time vent, but he learned what was funny and how to write this way.

Hope this helps,