The late, great Edgar Bergen and his pal Charlie McCarthy

The late, great Edgar Bergen and his pal Char­lie McCarthy

Pret­ty much every­one knows what ven­tril­o­quism is, but in case you don’t, ven­tril­o­quism is the art of throw­ing one’s voice.  The abil­i­ty to speak while appear­ing not to speak.  Great ven­tril­o­quists can have full con­ver­sa­tions with thin air!  Can give life to oth­er­wise inert objects!  (Usu­al­ly a pup­pet of some kind, but it’s fun when it’s some­thing else too!)  Ven­tril­o­quists, in short, make bor­ing (and, depend­ing on the pup­pet, some­times creepy) things fun!

Nation­al Ven­tril­o­quism Week is coor­di­nat­ed through the Vent Haven Muse­um in Cincin­nati.  William Berg­er, a Cincin­nati indus­tri­al­ist, found­ed the muse­um using his large col­lec­tion of ventriloquist’s dum­mies that he had accu­mu­lat­ed over many years and busi­ness trips.  The week is cel­e­brat­ed on the third week of July every year (that’s the 19th through the 25th this year).

Even if you can’t make it out to Cincin­nati for the cel­e­bra­tion, appre­ci­ate the fine art of ven­tril­o­quism by see­ing a show or watch­ing one on Net­flix if there isn’t a live one con­ve­nient.  Or prac­tice some ven­tril­o­quism of your own!  You nev­er know when it might come in handy!

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