Although ventriloquism has been an existing entertainment for decades, it was with Jeff Dunham and Achmed, the idiot suicide bomber puppet that Jeff uses in his acts centered on terrorism, and all his other unbearably funny and cute characters that the whole world recognized the genius in the clever design in the act of talking with puppets that talk back. With that, the whole show took off to the lane of greatness.
The art of ventriloquism is not as easy as it seems, or rather it is just as hard as it looks like. In a way a ventriloquist is like being an actor on stage, but the role demands more skill than just being able to fulfill the emotions needed for the play. How can a ventriloquist make a puppet talk without moving his (the ventriloquist) mouth? The ability to do so is the most amazing feature in the act.
However, when one achieves this skill with such finesse that he can do the act with a good quality of voice and also be able to change this voice at will, then he will just have to possess a good sense of humor to get started. It is important for a ventriloquist to have the wits and the humor to pull off a good show; otherwise it will just be a blunt conversation between a doll and a guy who has his hand underneath the doll. As you can see in Dunham’s shows, humor form a huge part in making the show successful. His acts with his characters that were described by the Times as “politically incorrect, gratuitously insulting and ill tempered” are instant hits with the folks because he talks so naively to them while they are most of the times grouchy and cranky.
Aside from being able to voice out the snide that his characters make without moving his lips and having a good sense of humor, a good ventriloquist should act cool, while talking, asking, and even arguing with the character whose lines actually comes from him. And while he is at that, he must be able to exert flexibility and versatility in uttering his and his characters lines without making the show a one-man act. It is said that with constant and persistent practice it is not impossible for one to learn the art of ventriloquism.
One could very well say that ventriloquism is a magic trick where a man brings a mechanical figure to life. Ventriloquism brings the enchantment of life to a toy, and so it would seem that the fairytale puppeteer Gepetto is not the only one who can make a Pinocchio.