Branson comedian Jim Barber will “throw his voice” across the national airwaves when he performs his award-winning ventriloquist act on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman,” Thursday, February 15.
“The opportunity to perform on David Letterman’s show is incredible,” said Barber, “and quite frankly, something I hadn’t expected. I’ve always been a big fan of the show, but it seemed there was a standing policy of no ventriloquist acts until Letterman’s clever concept of an entire week devoted to ventriloquism. It sounds a bit hokey and perhaps what I do is considered a novelty, but according to the Late Show ratings, America is ready for some good ol’ fashioned entertainment once again. That’s what Branson is all about and I’m honored to have this opportunity to share a bit of my humor and imagination with the entire country.”
Jim Barber was selected as one of the five top professional ventriloquists to appear as part of the Late Show’s “Ventriloquist Week” which pulled in extremely high ratings for the program last fall when the concept was first launched. The idea came from Letterman himself during a writer’s meeting. According to writer and producer Eric Stangel, his efforts to seek out the best ventriloquist acts in the country turned up a “list of legends and people who are currently getting it done in the world of ventriloquism.” It is also fitting that the show is taped in the Ed Sullivan Theater which hosted so many amazing variety acts during the early years of television.
Barber is a rare variety entertainer who has not only mastered the technical aspects of ventriloquism, but has achieved a level of respect among his peers for his contributions to the art form. He is an adviser to the world’s largest private collection of ventriloquist memorabilia, Vent Haven Museum in Ft. Mitchell, KY and was voted “Ventriloquist of the Year” at the Museum’s International Convention.
With his entertainment partners, Dave and Denise Hamner, Jim is co-star of the “Hamner Barber Variety Show” which performs nightly from February through December at the Hamner Barber Theater in Branson, Missouri. Last year, the International Magicians Society selected Jim as the first ventriloquist in history to receive their coveted Merlin Award as International “Ventriloquist of the Year,” while simultaneously awarding the Hamners a Merlin Award as “Entertainers of the Year.”
The 2007 season for the Hamner Barber Variety Show opens on Saturday, February 17. Tickets may be purchased by calling the theater box office toll-free at 1-888-335-2080 or by visiting their website at HamnerBarber.com