Imagine my surprise when I came to the conclusion that, relative to the rest of Latin America, Argentina is Ventriloquism wacky! La Argentina es ventriloquia loco!
There's even a website - http://www.mundoandino.com/ (Andean World, or World of the Andes) -that has a page dedicated to just to Argentine comedians. They are wacky for all comedy, too! La Argentina está loca para la comedia!
First, let me present ventilocuo Karim Araujo . His specialty is doing imitations with his ventriloquism. Here, he does an impressive Andrea Bocelli, the famous Italian Pop tenor and crossover artist. Having been recently diagnosed as a tenor*, there's even more reasons I find this interesting.
And then there's who I imagine is the grand old man of Argentine ventriloquism, Rodolfo Aredes. He's got a great website - http://www.pepitoaredes.com.ar/ - and I am having a blast seeing what I can figure out without knowing any Spanish. Rodolfo was born in 1943 (so he's 67) and he's been performing with his puppet, Pepito, since 1956. That means he started when he was 13, and he and Pepito have been getting laughs for 54 years. That alone is worthy of this salute.
I found two interesting videos of them. First, here's Rodolfo and Pepito being interviewed on a show called "High Profile." I am always so impressed with the ease and comfort that great ventriloquists have as they practice the Art of Kings**.
And here's the two performing for an audience at the Garden Theater in Salta, Argentina. There's three reasons I love this one:
- He put am microphone in front of Pepito. That is a piece of stagecraft that I think is so important to the illusion that I can't believe how rarely I see it.
- He is obviously not hiding a secret microphone or speaker in his hair.
- Rodolfo and I share the same hairline. It gives me great hope for my future that male pattern baldness and laughter will still go together for years to come.
***ventriloquía = ventriloquism
ventrilocuo = ventriloquist
ventriloquía, arte del ventrílocuo = ventriloquism, the art of the ventriloquist
muñeco de ventrílocuo = ventriloquist's dummy
Don't bother to ask, you know what the answer is: Yes, it will be on the test.
**** Yes, being called as a tenor after all these is like being diagnosed with a tumor - A benign tumor, but a tumor nonetheless. I'm not allowed in the baritones' locker room anymore, either.
** Yes, I'm still on a crusade for ventriloquism to be referred to as the Art of Kings. Hard to argue with, I think. I mean... why not?