1133 Watch ventriloquist Jay Johnson or the dummy wins! VIDEO INTERVIEW

Today’s Guest:  Jay Johnson, comedian, ventriloquist, “Jay Johnson: The Two & Only,” “Soap”

 

Watch this exclusive Mr. Media interview with comedian and ventriloquist Jay Johnson, star of the Tony Award-winning Broadway show Jay Johnson: The Two & Only and the 1970s ABC-TV sitcom “Soap,” by clicking on the video player above!

Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience full of carefully trained ventriloquists – and their ghosts – including Edgar Bergen, Wayland Flowers, Shari Lewis, and Paul Winchell, who will ensure that no dummies – or Jeff Dunham – are harmed in the making of this episode… in the NEW new media capital of the world… St. Petersburg, Florida!

Jay Johnson: The Two & Only, ventriloquist, Mr. Media Interviews

Order ‘Jay Johnson: The Two & Only,’ available from Amazon.com by clicking on the DVD cover above!

If you watch only one Tony Award-winning video that encompasses the history of ventriloquism this year… make it Jay Johnson: “The Two and Only.

Now, I know what some of you are thinking—ventriloquism? Blecch!

But hear me out.

JAY JOHNSON podcast excerpt: “On ‘Soap,’ the show’s creator, Susan Harris, would give us these moments of great pathos and sadness, followed by something completely hysterical. Each scene was its own little moment. They would shoot two or three different Chuck and Bob scenes and put them in two or three different shows. I felt that I was an actor playing the part of a ventriloquist. The fact that I was a ventriloquist was the reason I got the job.”

First of all, if you’re a TV fan of a certain age—say, mine or older—you will recognize Jay Johnson from his role as “Chuck Campbell” on the long-running, late 1970s ABC sitcom “Soap.” It also starred Billy Crystal as primetime’s first major gay character and Jay Johnson as its first ventriloquist.

JAY JOHNSON podcast excerpt: “That’s the farthest I’ve ever thrown my voice.”

We’ve had a lot of gay characters since then, but not another recurring ventriloquist character to the best of my knowledge.

Soap, Jay Johnson, Billy Crystal, Mr. Media Interviews

Order ‘Soap: The Complete First Season’ starring Jay Johnson and Billy Crystal, available from Amazon.com by clicking on the DVD cover above!

In “The Two and Only,” which was originally conceived for and performed on the Broadway stage, Johnson goes to laugh-out-loud extremes to detail the early days of ventriloquism—imagine someone throwing his or her voice during the Dark Ages—and eventually he interwines the industry’s history with his own.

JAY JOHNSON podcast excerpt: “I don’t understand why ventriloquism has this negative stereotype. I know in sitcoms and mystery shows it’s always very convenient to have the villain be a split personality. And a split personality could be a ventriloquist… I suppose. There’s a reluctance to even assign ventriloquism to entertainment. It’s not something you wake up Saturday morning and say, ‘Tonight, we’re going to see that!”

I’ve had my own fascination with ventriloquists since I was very young—watching Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney on a black & white TV as a boy, and later discovering old-time radio episodes of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really going to enjoy this.

JAY JOHNSON The Two & Only websiteJay Johnson websiteBlogFacebookTwitterOrder Jay Johnson: The Two & Only from Amazon.com

 

See more of Roy Meredith’s collection of ventriloquist dummies on Flickr!
 

 

 


Kicking Through the Ashes by Ritch Shydner, Mr. Media Interviews

Kicking Through the Ashes: My Life As A Stand-up in the 1980s Comedy Boom by Ritch Shydner. Order your copy today by clicking on the book cover above!


 

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About Mr. Media® Interviews-Bob Andelman

Bob Andelman is the host and producer of Mr. Media® Interviews. He is also the author or co-author of 16 books, including The Wawa Way with Howard Stoeckel, Building Atlanta with Herman J. Russell, Fans Not Customers with Vernon W. Hill, founder of Commerce Bank and Metro Bank UK, Mind Over Business with Ken Baum, The Consulate with Thomas R. Stutler, The Profiler with Pat Brown, Built From Scratch with the founders of The Home Depot, The Profit Zone with Adrian Slywotzky, Mean Business with Albert J. Dunlap, and Will Eisner: A Spirited Life. Click here to see Bob Andelman's Amazon Central author page. He is a member in good standing of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (member page).