This is a lovely little documentary about the history of American ventriloquism over the last 70 years. While not comprehensive nor scholarly it is genuine and heartfelt. If you’re a fan of Jeff Dunham then you should enjoy this little examination, but if the only ventriloquist you know of is Dunham, then do yourself a favor and watch this pint-sized flick.

You’ll be introduced to some remarkable talents like Paul Winchell who was not only a wonderful entertainer but responsible for the invention of the first artificial heart and the disposable pen; Senor Wences who was a mainstay of the long running Ed Sullivan variety show, and Edgar Bergen (father of Candice) some of whose comedies with his wooden pal Charlie McCarthy are available on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and other Online Vendors. They are well worth a watch. All in all this is a sweet, funny film featuring a bunch of folks who you’d love to have at your next birthday party.

I’m No Dummy available on DVD and Blu-ray. Also available On Demand for streaming.

Here’s a clip:


Directed by Bryan Simon

Starring Jeff Dunham, Jay Johnson, Lynn Trefzger, Jimmy Nelson, Paul Winchell

No Rating

Release year (2009)

(Salient Media)

Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

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