Comic Ventriloquist Joe Gandelman's Content and Laugh-Filled Assemblies on Special 2014-2015 School Year National Tour Help Keep Art of Ventriloquism Alive

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Nationally performing comic ventriloquist Joe Gandelman celebrates his 24th year of doing entertaining school assemblies with strong messages by going on his second major national school tour. Schools can pick themes such as no bullying, anti-drug, pro-reading, Internet safety, diversity, and Secrets of Ventriloquism in shows that feature a big cast of characters, several highly interactive segments -- and a how to do ventriloquism segment aimed at helping keeping the art alive.

It's not easy to keep both parents and students entertained for an entire hour, but that's exactly what Joe Gandelman did.

Comic ventriloquist Joe Gandelman, the reporter who quit his newspaper job to do shows in schools and at fairs across the nation, is marking his 24th year of school assemblies with a big cast of characters, blending big laughs and strong messages, by embarking on his second major national school tour.

In November 1990, after writing from South Asia and Europe for newspapers such as The Christian Science Monitor and working as a staff reporter on newspapers in Wichita and San Diego, Gandelman quit the news business to do ventriloquism full-time, with the encouragement of longtime mentor Jimmy Nelson, the ventriloquist made famous in the 1960s with his legendary Nestle Quik commercials. During a special nine-month national school tour during the 2011-2012 school year, Gandelman drove 49,000 miles and did his show at 260 schools of all levels—usually several programs at each school.

"The organizers got great feedback from schools and asked me to do a second, intricately routed national school tour," Gandelman said. "This tour started in Mobile, Alabama, on September 9, and schools are now being added as I'm routed literally all over the country."

His show features a big cast of wooden dummy and puppet characters. Gandelman says, ”Since I'm a former full-time journalist, the actual message-content of the show is extremely important to me. It's not just about entertaining. I incorporate the message each school requests and will customize a theme at no extra cost." Interactive segments include a ventriloquism lip-sync using students, a student wearing a ventriloquism mask that "talks," and Gandelman's popular “how to do ventriloquism” segment, where a student tries an expensive dummy by following his instructions on how not to move your lips.

"My goal is to get kids to laugh, think, and retain," Gandelman said.

Gandelman is included in the nationally distributed The Great Ventriloquists collectors cards. He has appeared on NBC's hidden-camera SPY TV show and on Margaret Cho's VH1 reality show "The Cho Show" in an episode where he taught Cho, her assistant Selene Luna, and her mother how to do ventriloquism. Joe Gandelman & Friends is an extremely popular act at fairs and in family variety shows.

SOME QUOTES FROM SCHOOLS FROM PAST YEARS:

"It's not easy to keep both parents and students entertained for an entire hour, but that's exactly what Joe Gandelman did. He had an entire auditorium mesmerized with his unique humor and amazing puppets and even tied in our reading theme into his presentation. Every time he brought out a new puppet, the kids roared in excitement. Then his humor would take over. Joe Gandelman also stuck around after his presentation and talked to kids about the behind the scenes of puppetry. He was very patient and answered all their questions. Great all-around presentation!"
--Clearview Elementary, Chula Vista, CA

"Our middle school students loved this assembly. The message about bullying is a very good one! He did the message with laughter and positivity. Thank you!"
--Wind Gap Middle School, Pen Argyl, PA

"Very impressive! Our students really enjoyed the show!"
--Rankin Jr. Sr. High School, Rankin, TX

"Students enjoyed the whole performance."
--Izard Co Cons High School, Brockwell, AR

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Amy Cook

Joe Gandelman

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