The first ventriloquist was William Howard Taft. In 1863 he gave a lecture on “Vestibular Diseases in Children.”
What was a ventriloquist?
His name is John Gurney, and he is credited for first being able to do this work in the 19th century.
Did he invent ventriloquism?
Was it invented in this country?
It was invented in England, but not in the United States.
Have there been any American ventriloquists?
In the United States, John Gurney is probably the first.
What was the reason for the invention?
A ventriloquist and his puppet have the appearance and sound of men, so a person can think they are one of them. If this idea were not so successful, they could have used any one of the many puppets to do it. This is very convenient for the show.
Do you think the Ventriloquist movement originated in this country?
No. It is said that a ventriloquist made ventriloquism popular in England for about five years following the appearance of Frederick the Great in the mid-12th century. His puppet’s appearance was so impressive, he was dubbed Frederick the Great.
Why the movement spread so quickly around the world?
Some have argued that it was American businessmen who helped spread it, but that may not be the case. If it was because of American businessmen, there were plenty of English and foreign businessmen in England around the same time, and they could have encouraged their compatriots.
Did there really exist a ventriloquist school?
Probably there were a few schools of ventriloquism in England, but many of them were simply run by a few men. Many people think the movement only began in Europe in the late 16th and 17th centuries, but that is a myth because English ventriloquist figures never appeared in any movies ever, and no English ventriloquist figures ever appeared before America (at least not on our TV shows).
Were American ventriloquists born in the U.S.?
Not really. They were probably born in Europe, but their parents would have been of German and English origin.
How many ventriloquists would you say are working today?
The following is a list of links to video