That’s a question worth pondering about for a few minutes, who is, or are, your “comedy” mentors. Now It COULD be a ventriloquist who is your favorite, or it may be someone else, like a comedian or someone you saw on television. Although I have several favorite ventriloquists, my comedy mentors are Steve Allen and Robert Orben.

Now for those not familiar with Steve Allen, he was very talented comedian, song writer, and musician who was one of the first hosts of the “Tonight” show and who had his own television show in he earlier days of TV. His famous “man on the street” interviews introduced us to a great cast of characters like Don Knotts, Louie Nye, Tom Poston, and Bill Dana (“Jose Jimeniez”). I learned a lot watching how Steve interacted with these characters and I use this style in my own vent performing.

Steve also published hundreds of songs including his most famous “This Could Be The Start Of Something Big”, which he adopted as his theme song.

Steve did a lot of the comedy writing on the shows and, in fact, wrote a great book on this topic called “How To Be Funny”, in which he outlines his comedy techniques.

I am also a fan of Robert Orben, a very prolific comedy guy, who wrote dozens of books with comedy one liners and bits. I am friends with Mr. Orben and we have exchanged letters and other correspondence. Mr. Orben was at one time the speech writer for President Gerald Ford, in addition to publishing his subscription based comedy newsletter “Current Comedy”. This newsletter gave fresh material to MC”s, entertainers, and disc jockeys on a regular bi –weekly basis.

Look around and discover for yourself your own comedy mentor, and see if what they write can help you move forward with your ventriloquism. I am proud to say I have books on my shelves by both of these two talented individuals. It has helped me and I am sure it can help you!

To contact Mark Wade: kidshowvent@gmail.com




1 Comment

  • John Lowe

    May 11, 2016

    I could list several folks as a comedy mentor, but the first one I’d mention is a man named Phil Hendrie. He’s on the radio in Southern California, and is now syndicated I think. I used to listen to his show on the way home from work when I was in LA.

    He has a call-in show with guests he interviews. The hook is that his “guests” are actually him, using different voices. He has a separate receiver he talks into that sounds like the guest is calling in, and he often utilizes background sounds that add to the effect that the “guest” is calling from another location.

    The “guests” usually have some weird point of view on whatever the topic is, and listeners will call in to challenge the particular guest on something he/she said (Hendrie also does female characters). The callers who phone in to the show don’t know that Phil is really the guest, and that’s where the entertainment part comes in, for those who do know what he does.

    You can hear some of his bits on YouTube to get an idea of his show.

    I like the back-and-forth character thing, where it’s supposedly two people talking/arguing, etc., and when I first got interested in vent, I realized that’s where I could do two characters talking to each other.


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