We can’t say for sure if it was authorized by an Act of Congress, or by a Presidential Directive. But who ever had the authority to declare National Ventriloquism Week, we would like to lend our whole hearted support!
David Letterman’s Late Show has done a lot to promote the art of Ventriloquism by featuring Ventriloquist Weeks at various times, but these efforts don’t seem to be coordinated with the July celebration. The National week is coordinated with the Vent Haven Museum. Cincinnati industrialist William Shakespeare Berger began collecting Ventriloquist Dummies as a hobby during a business trip to New York in 1910. In time the collection would outgrow his house, his garage, and even the extra building he erected on his property to house it!
W.S. managed to outlive his heirs, and so made arrangements for his estate to support the Vent Haven Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated to the art of Ventriloquism. During the 1940′s until 1960 Berger was active in the International Brotherhood of Ventriloquists, and for many years published “The Oracle”, a monthly magazine dedicated to the ventriloquist community. In 1973 the third building housing the Vent Haven collection was opened in a suburb of Cincinnati. Edgar Bergen and and Jimmy Nelson were among the performers at the dedication.
The Museum also sponsors an annual ConVENTion for Ventriloquists; the 2012 will be the first year the ConVENTion will be held at a new facility, the Marriott Airport Hotel and Conference Center in Hebron, KY.
Old Radio Shows salute the participants of this years convention, and would like to remind them that we still don’t see Edgar Bergen’s lips move on the Radio!
For more ventriloquists in old time radio, see: