One of the most original and hilarious stand-up routines I’ve seen for many years now, has to be Nina Conti (Ventriloquist). If you haven’t already seen her perform, go back and click her name and it’ll send you to your golden place for easy visual information (yes, YouTube). Of course if your computer doesn’t get YouTube, you’ll read on.
Although you may be on YouTube now and have forgotten all about me (that’s poor link positioning for you), I just wanted to mention how excellent her act is. It involves attaching a partial face covering device to an audience member which opens and closes a mouth with a hand operated pump on a metre long tube/cable. This equipment combined with her ventriloquist talents make it appear that 1 or more people are speaking with her hand actions (yes, no surprise for a ventriloquist!), technical details aside, Nina has perfected her act to such a high degree, it’s a pleasure to watch.
I personally enjoy watching this act, because it’s audience participation, but without the sheer embarrassment that’s normally associated with it. Nina is able to attach personalities to the audience members so naturally and with ease, and when she laughs along with it herself (technically), it makes it all the more genuine. Although she’s already famous, I still with her luck for the future and hope that one day I’ll see her live (and I don’t normally care for live stuff).
Her last performance (available on-line in the UK only), was Live at the Apollo, Series 8, Episode 1
Here’s a few other links:
Nina Conti (Her own website)
Additional: Having watched her a second time, she’s a clever girl. Laughing is normally associated with smiling, which is the facial expression which makes ventriloquism easier. I’d love to peer into her mind as she starts her act, as she’s choosing the victim, she must be thinking of what comments she can make based on the physical appearance of a person. She has excellent ad-lib skills, making it even better.