Famous Ventriloquist Dummies

By Sidney Johns ; Updated September 15, 2017

Ventriloquism, the art of throwing your voice to bring a puppet or dummie to life, has been a popular form of entertainment since the late 18th century. With the introduction of television to the world, many of the dummies' fame far surpassed that of their creators. Listed here are some of the most famous of these wooden entertainers.

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy was created by Edgar Bergen while he was still in high school in the early 1930s. Charlie McCarthy's signature look included a tuxedo and monocle, but he donned a variety of uniforms and costumes for television shows and live performances.

Danny O'Day

Brought to life by Jimmy Nelson, Danny O'Day first appeared to the world in 1950 on the Ed Sullivan show. Famous for his black and white checkered jacket and red bow-tie outfit, Danny O'Day was a spokes dummie for Texaco and also donned a gas station attendant's uniform for commercials.

Lester

Created by Willie Tyler, Lester is recognized by his ever-present baseball hat. The team's routines are composed of smart-mouthed bickering between the dummie and his ventriloquist and were performed primarily on variety styled shows of the 1970s.

Jerry Mahoney

Jerry Mahoney was the creation of Paul Winchell, the voice of Tigger from the famous Disney "Winne the Pooh" movies. First introduced to the world in 1948 on The Bigelow Show, the dummie and his creator had their own television show from 1953 to 1954.

Fun Facts

In Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, there is a museum dedicated to ventriloquists and their dummies. Named Vent Haven, the attraction is open from May 1 to September 30, and holds a yearly convention for ventriloquists from around the world.

About the Author

Sidney Johns began her writing career in 1993 after moving to Florida. The former teacher and surgical technician worked in the home improvement industry prior to earning a Bachelor of Science in education from Indiana University. While on hiatus in 2004, Johns studied holistic healing and organic growth and gardening.