You’d hardly be human if you hadn’t, at least once, gotten so frustrated with someone that you just walked away. Okay, not such a big deal. But what if you and a fellow performer were onstage with millions of people watching on TV when the two of you had a fight that sent you storming away? It would definitely be mortifying and might even be career-ending. British ventriloquist Paul Zerdin made the mistake of having a sassy dummy.
Paul and Sam were enjoying a career breakthrough: not only were they on “America’s Got Talent,” but they’d managed to make it to the quarterfinals of season 10. Now they were onstage at New York’s spectacular and celebrated Radio City Music Hall and their task was to (once again) impress the panel of celebrity judges: Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B., and Howie Mandel.
Right off the top, Paul and Sam were bickering. As the situation escalated, Paul told his dummy, “Look, if it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t talk.” Good point, but Sam came back with a zinger: “Yeah, if it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t eat.” Paul had had enough. It was time to teach Sam a lesson, so he propped him up on a stool, adjusted the microphone, and then stalked off stage. At this point, everyone was wondering what was going on: could this really be part of the act or had the ventriloquist lost his marbles?
Seconds later, Sam suddenly looked up and asked, “Has he gone?” The audience roared with laughter and the triumphant dummy boasted, “Look at this! I’m hands-free!” Sam bantered with the audience and judges but when he heard Paul’s footsteps, he shut his mouth and went limp. Paul had a good comeback line ready as he strode back onstage: “Ladies and gentlemen, please don’t get caught up in the world of make-believe. He is, after all, only a puppet.”
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