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Topic: Copperfield + 2 Charlies
Message: Posted by: Fonsy (Jul 14, 2013 04:47AM)
Here's a pic of David Copperfield with two Charlies --
including the famous frowning Charlie.

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Message: Posted by: Aussie (Jul 14, 2013 02:57PM)
I know he says he's a ventriloquist, has anyone actually seen him perform as one?
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Jul 14, 2013 03:29PM)
I don't ever recall hearing he claims to be a ventriloquist, according to the site "All About Magicians", he was "Originally planning to be a ventriloquist," but "was diverted to magic when he visited a magic shop to purchase a ventriloquial figure."

It seems to me, what I heard was that he wanted to be a ventriloquist but wasn't very good at it and decided to become a magician instead.
Message: Posted by: Mike Maturen (Jul 29, 2013 09:54AM)
That was the impression I got as well.


[quote]
On 2013-07-14 16:29, Dickens & Dave wrote:
I don't ever recall hearing he claims to be a ventriloquist, according to the site "All About Magicians", he was "Originally planning to be a ventriloquist," but "was diverted to magic when he visited a magic shop to purchase a ventriloquial figure."

It seems to me, what I heard was that he wanted to be a ventriloquist but wasn't very good at it and decided to become a magician instead.
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Joseph_Then (Jul 29, 2013 10:54AM)
[quote]
On 2013-07-14 16:29, Dickens & Dave wrote:
I don't ever recall hearing he claims to be a ventriloquist, according to the site "All About Magicians", he was "Originally planning to be a ventriloquist," but "was diverted to magic when he visited a magic shop to purchase a ventriloquial figure."

It seems to me, what I heard was that he wanted to be a ventriloquist but wasn't very good at it and decided to become a magician instead.
[/quote]
I tried to be a magician but I wasn't very good at it and so I decided to become a ventriloquist instead. Man, I do better talking to dolls. :)
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Jul 29, 2013 10:06PM)
Here's an article that mentions his early attempts at ventriloquism.

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2012/sep/28/david-copperfield-discusses-hospitalization-brush-/
Message: Posted by: TheDummyDoctor (Jul 30, 2013 12:48AM)
Fascinating stuff. David and I grew up in Central NJ, within just 3-4 miles of each other (I'm a few years older). While we've been in communication in recent years (I've restored some rare puppets for him) we never met 'back in the day' even though we lived so close to each other and our paths seemed to cross quite a bit. I often heard references to him (when he was still working under his birth name)...sometimes I would show up for a show and invariably, the people that hired me would mention that he had recently performed for their group.
Funny thing is that It took more than 40 years before we were finally formally introduced by a mutual friend and had a chance to chat about the old 'hood' , and even mutual acquaintances we didn't even know we shared!.

It is a very small world sometimes. :)
Message: Posted by: manal (Jul 30, 2013 09:41AM)
Is the frowning Charlie made by Nelson?
Message: Posted by: TheDummyDoctor (Jul 30, 2013 10:43AM)
I'm pretty certain that the 'frowning' Charlie is the original one made for Bergen in the 1940s used in the Disney film "Fun And Fancy Free" (as well as the television specials in the '50s).
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Jul 30, 2013 11:12AM)
Did Nelson even actually make a frowning Charlie or just do a painting of him? I can't remember now.
Message: Posted by: Fonsy (Jul 30, 2013 02:11PM)
[quote]
On 2013-07-30 12:12, Dickens & Dave wrote:
Did Nelson even actually make a frowning Charlie or just do a painting of him? I can't remember now.
[/quote]

I believe it was just a painting.
Frowning Charlie was the inspiration for Horowitz.

On page 95 of the "Yorick Yodelsap History of Ventriloquism"
(I gave out free eboooks of it several years ago)
I had written the following:

[quote]
Back in 1947 Edgar Bergen made a special frowning
version of Charlie McCarthy for "Fun and Fancy
Free." Many years later a master ilustrator and figure
maker named Bill Nelson created a fine portrait of
frowning Charlie, which was reproduced and sold
commercially.

Shortly after that, Nelson teamed up with another great
ventriloquist figure maker by the name of Chuck
Jackson. Nelson and Jackson created their own
frowning dummy, which they named Mr.
Horowitz. The partnership created about half a dozen of
these Horowitz figures, and they are highly prized by
collectors today. Jackson then went on to make more
copies of the Horowitz figure on his own.
[/quote]

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Message: Posted by: manal (Jul 30, 2013 04:28PM)
Thanks for the info guys!
Message: Posted by: Matt_24 (Jul 30, 2013 05:14PM)
Frowning Charlie was owned by Bill Nelson and later sold to David Copperfield.
Message: Posted by: manal (Jul 30, 2013 09:06PM)
[quote]
On 2013-07-30 18:14, Matt_24 wrote:
Frowning Charlie was owned by Bill Nelson and later sold to David Copperfield.
[/quote]

I guess that is why I was confused and thought perhaps Bill Nelson had built the frowning Charlie.
Message: Posted by: Matt_24 (Jul 31, 2013 03:43PM)
Frowning Charlie originally appeared in the Disney movie, "Fun and Fancy Free".
Message: Posted by: Aussie (Jul 31, 2013 04:29PM)
Actually Frowning Charlie was first seen on the very episode of the Edgar Bergen Show.
Message: Posted by: Matt_24 (Jul 31, 2013 07:05PM)
Good call, Aussie.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqBMr6vSvF4 at 22:28 we see Frowning Charlie. Although filmed in black and white and the Disney in fancy (no pun intended) "color" -- I'm quite certain the Disney movie pre-dates this appearance. Of course, I have been wrong before. Not very often....but once, or twice.
Message: Posted by: Fonsy (Jul 31, 2013 07:38PM)
[quote]
On 2013-07-31 20:05, Matt_24 wrote:
Good call, Aussie.
I'm quite certain the Disney movie pre-dates this appearance.
[/quote]

Yes, the TV show was made in 1950.
"Fun and Fancy Free" (1947) pre-dates it by three years.


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