Striking Ventriloquist’s Dummies Begin Fourth Week Without Pay

Posted on July 10, 2012


Members of IBWE local 405 in Miami, meeting to discuss details of their ongoing labor dispute Thursday.

Striking members of the International Brotherhood of Wooden Elocutionists elected to begin “phase 2” of their protest Monday, further prolonging a work-stoppage that has crippled geriatric entertainers and comedian Jeff Dunham.

The “dummies,” among whose demands is the stipulation that they be referred to as “vocal reception engineers,” walked out, as it were, on June 15th, after “talks” broke down in the Catskill Mountains community of Hamden, NY.

Local ACLU representative Bruce Halloran, acting IBWE spokesman explains, “Many entertainers like to talk, figuratively, about how they live out of a suitcase. The sad fact of your average vocal reception engineer is that he lives in a suitcase. Literally.” Halloran adds that the dummies’ demands of subsidized health care, paid sick leave and better travel accommodations are reasonable requests being unreasonably ignored by an industry of antiquated entertainers who refuse to engage in fair labor practices.

For their part, the ventriloquists adamantly refuse to yield an inch. “A dummy is a dummy is a dummy,” fumes Catskill entertainer Marv “The Magnificent” Blutarsky. “I’m the one throwing my voice. I’m the one with my hand up your back. All you gotta do is sit there and look stupid. Stop acting like you’re something special, dummy.”

Industry experts predict a protracted impasse, though many think the dummies’ unnerving negotiating tactics – inscrutable, wide-eyed expressions of enigmatic passivity accompanied by deafening silence – will eventually wear down their opponents. As one observer close to the proceedings put it, “I spent 20 minutes in a room with those creepy wack-jobs staring at me and not saying one damn word. I was ready to jump out the window.”

Posted in: Marginalia