20 Comments

  1. Is this really a Geezers reference? Is it meant to be a specific person? I would have thought it was just a generic ventriloquist.

  2. I’m with Pete. Darci Lynne was the AGT winner just 3 years ago as a ventriloquist. So if it’s not a specific person, then I’m stumped about the tag.

  3. Interesting thing about lips moving. A lot of it is the psychological acceptance of the puppet being the one who is talking. Jim Henson was not a ventriloquist and never attempted to hide the movement of his lips when he was talking for Kermit or Rowlf. Yet, if you watch clips of when he was on talk shows with his muppets, you would swear that it was Kermit or Rowlf talking despite the fact that Jim was right there moving his lips.

    Some examples:

  4. In Avenue Q (which is, of course the adult version of Sesame Street). the puppeteers and puppets are on stage together throughout, and focusing on the puppets feels like the most natural thing in the world.

  5. From my quotes file:
    When NPR played an old interview with [Jim Henson] and Kermit, you could hear the announcer’s sad little smile when he apologized for the vocal quality: the sound man had miked the frog.

  6. Arthur: I remember a broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade where they had an on-the-street moment of Henson and Kermit receiving an award from a Macy’s exec while standing near the Kermit balloon. A news guy held a microphone.

    First, the Macy’s exec realized a bit too late that Henson didn’t have a free hand to accept the plaque, and just sort of held it out to him.

    Then, as Henson delivered a thank you speech in Kermit’s voice, the news guy held the microphone up to Henson’s face, realized (or was cued) that was breaking the illusion, and tried to find a point halfway between Henson’s face and Kermit’s where he’s still pick up the voice. Henson seemed unflustered, looking relaxed while making Kermit react excitedly to the balloon.

  7. I think at least once Charley McCarthy said to Edgar Bergen “I can see your lips move.”

    Yes, there was ventriloquism on the radio. There was also dancing on the radio, but only tap dancing. Many tap dancers appeared on Major Bowes’ Original Amateur Hour.

  8. It seems to me in recent years when ever Kermit made a TV appearance the puppeteer had been kept behind an enclosure of some sort.

  9. @Grawlix – If I recall correctly, when Jim Henson died, the original agreement was for Kermit to pass away with him.
    But when they decided to bring Kermit back, the idea was that somebody else could VOICE Kermit, but nobody else would ever BE Kermit.
    I.e. Kermit is never seen WITH a muppeteer.

  10. @ Pete – I find the name on the manager’s door a little troublesome. Are we to assume that he bears a striking resemblance to “One Mostel”?

  11. There is an episode of “The Jack Benny Show” in which Jack goes to visit his good friend Edgar Bergen. Bergen is not home and his wife Frances invited Jack in. While they sit in the living room talking first Charlie and later Mortimer Snerd come walking in and talk with them – (being people in costume – not the actual ones) and Jack is shocked that they are “real” and Frances is surprised that he does not know this – which makes Bergen not much of a ventriloquist.

    There is also a story that Candice Bergen has told. One day when she was young her parents decided to tell her that Charlie and Mortimer were not real people. Edgar finished explaining this to her and she said to him something along the line of “Dad – you lips move.”

  12. As I recall the only Muppet who who was on both “Sesame Street” and “The Muppet Show” was Kermit – per an interview with Jim Henson.

  13. Meryl, Candice has also claimed that when she was young, she thought Charlie was her brother.

    I’m not sure how she can reconcile the two stories. Unless maybe the “lips move” incident is what convinced her Charlie wasn’t her brother?

Add a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.