A week's worth of ventriloquists?!

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Postby Guest » 09/16/06 04:22 PM

More than a little off-topic, but I just noticed Letterman has a different ventriloquist scheduled on each of his shows for the week of September 18-22. (Jay Johnson is supposed to appear on Tuesday night's show.)

Could this possibly signal a resurgence in interest in variety acts, which might benefit magic? Or just a gimmick to mock ventriloquists for a week?

I don't know...
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Postby Guest » 09/16/06 04:40 PM

Since it's Letterman, it'll probably be mocking...

When Cher finally went on the show, Dave asked why it had taken so long for her to come on. Her reply, "Because you're an [censored], Dave."

The audience collapsed and Letterman just sat there.
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Postby Guest » 09/16/06 04:55 PM

Yes, but that was before the new Kinder, Gentler Dave. :)
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Postby Guest » 09/16/06 07:42 PM

Truth be told, I liked the old, not kind Dave. He's best when he's got an edge. Like when he came back after his coronary, he just didn't care and he did some of his best shows in years.
Although I have to admit, the whole interview he did with Anne Heche last week was a blast. A rare glimpse into the old master.

Gord
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Postby Guest » 09/17/06 07:26 PM

Mo 9/18: Dr. Phil McGraw, ventriloquist Willie Tyler and Lester, "Survivor" castoff Sekou Bunch
Tu 9/19: Patrick Dempsey, ventriloquist Jay Johnson and Darwin, Kasabian
We 9/20: Marg Helgenberger, ventriloquist Ronn Lucas and Scorch, Diana Krall
Th 9/21: Ted Turner, ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and Walter, Fergie
Fr 9/22: LeBron James, ventriloquist Todd Oliver and Irving, Ludacris
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Postby Guest » 09/18/06 11:22 AM

All the interest in ventriloquists may have to do the fact that Jay Johnson is opening on Broadway previews start Tuesday. The show is titled " Jay Johnson: The Two and Only." This information comes from a front page article in Sunday's New York Times, the Arts and Leisure section.
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Postby Pete Biro » 09/18/06 11:27 AM

I saw "The Two and Only" and it is one of the killer shows... Jay goes all the way from the middle ages outlining the History of Voice Throwing... I particularly like the "beaded" bit where he holds up a head by the hair and talks with it.

He is one of the greatest ventriloquial performers of all time, and one of the most creative.
Stay tooned.
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Postby Guest » 09/18/06 11:30 AM

No Otto & George? Dang.

P&L
D
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Postby Guest » 09/18/06 12:16 PM

I'm seeing Jay's "The Two and Only" tomorrow night...he will be all warmed up from doing Letterman!

Can't wait!
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Postby Pete Biro » 09/18/06 12:22 PM

If you talk to Jay say "Hi" for me. Saw Miss Piggy and Kermit at the Hollywood Bowl last night... classic stuff. They sang "I've Got You Babe."
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Postby Alan Bursky » 09/19/06 04:40 AM

Dave hates variety acts. You will not be seeing much more of this or magicians other than Penn & Teller.
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Postby Guest » 09/19/06 06:41 AM

Wille Tyler and Lester played very well with the crowd last night and Dave treated them well. Looking forward to the rest of the week.
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Postby Bob Baker » 09/22/06 08:15 PM

So far, (thru Thursday), the week has been great. Last night Jeff Dunham absolutely killed. Tyler, Johnson, and Lucas have been wonderful as well.

Letterman has been incredibly supportive, even saying that his mother had called to comment on the show for the first time in years. She said everyone was loving the ventriloquists.

You can watch clips on the Late Show web site.

Bob
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Postby Guest » 09/23/06 11:49 AM

Originally posted by David Alexander:
Since it's Letterman, it'll probably be mocking...

When Cher finally went on the show, Dave asked why it had taken so long for her to come on. Her reply, "Because you're an [censored], Dave."

The audience collapsed and Letterman just sat there.
Wow, you've got him pegged. He was really mean to those ventriloquists. Oh wait, no, he wasn't.

Way to back up your prediction with an incident from over 20 years ago. You might want to actually watch that clip since you've clearly never seen it but are fond of bringing it up whenever the subject of Letterman is discussed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBgDHhmSrAo

Letterman obviously enjoys the moment and the audience ends up booing her. (Although I wouldn't take that booing seriously either. This is a late night talk-show where most everything is done/said in jest.)
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Postby Steve Bryant » 09/23/06 12:56 PM

It's a shame Letterman didn't have Lynn Trefzger on. She was the hit of the SAM convention, throwing voices into Mac King and two other audience members. One of the funniest acts I've ever seen. Somebody on the SAM committee knew what he was doing in hiring her.
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Postby Guest » 09/23/06 01:58 PM

The Vent week was a real treat, but ended weak.

Jay Johnson and Darwin rocked.
and Ron Lucas has the coolest vent figure ever in Scorch.

The dog with the fake mouth was just plain sad.
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Postby Alan Bursky » 09/24/06 01:30 AM

Todd Oliver & Irving did a killer set on Letterman. I know for a fact it was Dave's favorite act of the week.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/24/06 12:05 PM

Originally posted by LightsOut:
[QBWow, you've got him pegged. He was really mean to those ventriloquists. Oh wait, no, he wasn't.[/QB]
I like David Letterman, but one thing he didnt learn from Johnny Carson was how to handle variety performers. While David Letterman was never caustic to the individual performers this week, he never missed an opportunity to joke about concept of having a ventriloquist week on his show. His compliments to the art were all said with a cynical edge; he may as well have been rolling his eyes directly into the camera. The last shot was when they took a look back at the great memories created here this week and, of course, there were none.

One might argue that the jokes were aimed at him and his showwhich is true in most casesbut you have to look at how he was using ventriloquism as the tool for his ends. The butt of the joke was not the show, it was ventriloquism.

As is typical with David Lettermangoing all the way back to when he did his shows during the dayvariety performers are open to his mockery because it gets David a laugh.

Lettermans reputation is well founded. It wasnt that long ago that he treated David Roth in a less than respectful manner (and Roth handled it very well). That said, he treated Jason Randal very well, so perhaps he is softening a bit; hence, he didnt treat the individual performers during this last week like crap.

The good news is that ventriloquism can survive Lettermans attitude. I thought it was a terrific week. Darwin is not my favorite of Jay Johnsons characters, so he wasnt my favorite this week; just my second favorite (he is my favorite ventriloquist). It was Ron Lucas and Scorch that hit the homerun this week.

Dustin
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Postby Guest » 09/24/06 12:37 PM

I've always been amused at how people respond to Letterman. He treats guests and acts in the same way he treats his own cast, his staff, his neighbors and himself.

People seem to want David to treat magic acts with reverence and respect.

I thought Roth's performance was one of the best moments of magic ever on television and it was because DAvid was playing with him. It showed the realityh of close up, interactive magic on television in a way that it almost never is seem.

Much better than those specials where models sat starry eyed, and cast furtive glances at the director so they would know when to act amazed.

And the dog act was sad, no matter what Dave thinks.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 09/24/06 02:21 PM

Ive been watching Letterman for well over 20 years and the man does not treat all of his guests the same. To say he treats, for example, Chris Elliot the way he treats Tom Brokaw is simply wrong. David Letterman treats people with the least amount of respect he thinks he can get away with for the sake of a laugh. Thats what its about with him. He knows he can screw around with Tom Hanks (because Hanks doesnt take himself too seriously), but he treats Edie Falco with the respect she deserves.

As for the Roth performance (which was good because Roth handled it so well), Im not sure how Dave screaming for margaritas and then for salsa equates to interacting with the magic, but whatever. His other antics, such as the tie over the coin, perhaps so, but he did interrupt Roth and thats disrespectful. I dont recall ever seeing Letterman interrupt a bands performance.

I suspect your next comment will be that close-up magic and a musical bands performance is not the same; perhaps so, but only to the level of audience interaction. I once saw a real world close-up performer, in a real world venue, stop his performance because he was tired of being interrupted by a drunk woman who was just trying to interact with the magician. The woman and her escort leftbeing verbally abusive on the way outand the folks left behind applauded the magician.

Reverence? No, but I see nothing wrong with treating a guestor anyone for that matterwith a modicum of respect. I guess Im just old-school. Johnny Carson set the bar and no one has been able reach it. Not Letterman, Leno, or anyone.

Dustin
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Postby Guest » 09/24/06 04:43 PM

And then there was the Mullica debacle.
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Postby Alan Bursky » 09/27/06 04:01 AM

Because of his Letterman shot, Todd Oliver has been booked on Craig Furgeson. (I might have spelled Furgeson wrong.)
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