David Strassman

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David Strassman
David Strassman.jpg
Strassman with Chuck Wood
Born (1957-09-06) September 6, 1957 (age 59)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Medium Stand-up
Nationality American
Years active 1980–present
Genres Ventriloquism
Spouse Lisa McLaughlin (ex)
Website www.DavidStrassman.com

David "Dave" Strassman (born September 6, 1957) is an American ventriloquist, stand-up comedian, actor, voice artist, and comedian. He is best known for his ventriloquism act with Chuck Wood and Ted E. Bare.

Early life[edit]

Strassman, the second of four children, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California on September 6, 1957.[1] His father, Harvey D. Strassman (September 19, 1922 – January 30, 2011), was a psychiatrist and medical academic.[2]

Career[edit]

A visit to Disneyland with his family prompted a young Strassman to ask his father to purchase some professional magic tricks that he performed for local neighborhood children.[3] Strassman took a ventriloquism class in junior high school as an elective, taught by local Chicago children's television host Steve Hart.[4] Strassman discovered he was good at it and could make money from his performances.[5]

Strassman studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York but returned to ventriloquism, busking in Central Park in New York, Leicester Square and the Marble Arch in London, and a brief stint in Paris.[6]

Strassman performed in New York's comedy clubs, including the Improv.[7] In 1980, Strassman (along with his main ventriloquist character Chuck Wood) appeared in Roger Corman's horror movie Humanoids from the Deep.[8]

In 1986, Strassman added remote control to his puppet, Chuck Wood, using transmitters, motors, and servos, from his hobby flying remote control model airplanes.[9] He discovered a remote clutch system in a NASA facility that could be integrated into his own dummies.[10] At the end of Strassman's act, he gets into an argument with his dummy, Chuck Wood, and leaves the stage.[11] Chuck then appears to come to life with Strassman speaking into an off-stage microphone.[11] He debuted this routine on The Late Show with Arsenio Hall in 1989.[11] New York ventriloquist Stanley Burns, used remote-controlled dummies in the 1950s.[12][13]

In 1996, he performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.[14] He received the “Critics Award for Comedy”[15] and the Glasgow “Herald Angel award.”[16] Strassman continues to perform frequently throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Britain.[17]

Strassman had a television talk show called "Strassman" on Nine Australia, where his puppet character, Chuck Wood, interviewed celebrities.[18][19][20] Subsequent series were produced in England on ITV, and in New Zealand on TV2.[21][22]

Strassman has 5 DVD titles. Strassman Live (1999) – Volume 1,[23] The Chuck You Tour (2003) - Volume 2,[23] The Get Chuck'd Tour (2007) – Volume 3,[24] Ted E's Farewell Tour (2010) – Volume 4,[23] and Careful What You Wish For (2014) - Volume 5.[25]

In 2010, he performed the play, "Duality," written and directed by Steve Altman, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in Los Angeles, CA. Duality is a two-character play about a mentally-ill ventriloquist, Jack, who talks to himself through a puppet named Zack.[26] Throughout Duality, Strassman's character "talks" to his ventriloquist puppet as it sits lifeless in a chair, he operates it manually with his hand in the back, and controls the puppet through wireless robotics.[27]

Strassman regularly visits children's hospitals with his characters while on tour, including hospitals in Wellington and Melbourne.[28][29]

Strassman's show, Careful What you Wish For ran in Australia through April 2014.[30]

Characters[edit]

Puppet characters voiced by Strassman include:[31]

  • Chuck Wood - A 1950s era-looking wooden ventriloquist puppet whose character makes rude and crude jokes, fun of other characters, spits and vomits. Can also be remotely controlled.[32]
  • Ted E. Bare - A soft Teddy bear hand puppet whose character is naïve, inquisitive, slow, and is often the butt of Chuck's jokes and pranks.[33][34][35]
  • Sid Beaverman - is a North American beaver whose character is an aspiring stand-up hack comic.[36]
  • Kevin - An Alien puppet made of foam latex and controlled manually by Strassman. Similar in appearance to Crazy Frog [37]
  • Grandpa Fred - An older version of the "Ted E. Bare" character who has dementia.[38][39]
  • The Dinosaurs - Strassman's robotic dinosaur puppets who sing pre-recorded songs.[40]
  • A.N.G.E.L - Strassman's first female puppet, A.N.G.E.L is a robot android. A special mechanism is required to make Strassman's voice sound female, and is currently appearing in Strassman's current show.[34][41]
  • Charlie - Chuck Wood's twin character with facial hair and a shaved head.[31]
  • Buttons the Clown - A manually operated clown ventriloquist puppet who appears drunk.[42][43]
  • Little Ricky - A baby puppet that acts extremely nice to David. In earlier performances, Little Ricky was portrayed as David's nephew.

Television shows and appearances[edit]

  • Lifestyles with Regis Philbin[44]
  • Evening at the Improv[7][45]
  • Strassman (England ITV)[21]
  • BBC Royal Variety Show[46]
  • The Late Late Show (Ireland)[47]
  • Strassman (Australia)[18]
  • Good Morning Australia (Australia Ch. 7)[36]
  • Hey Hey It's Saturday (Australia Ch. 9)[48]
  • Today Tonight (Australia Ch. 7)[49]
  • Strassman (New Zealand TV2)[50]

Australia and New Zealand radio appearances[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.myheritage.com/research/record-10182-434737/david-strassman-in-biographical-summaries-of-notable-people
  2. ^ "OBITUARY: Dr. Harvey D. Strassman". www.legacy.com. Chicago Tribune. February 6, 2011. Retrieved June 22, 2014.  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ "David Strassman – International comedy star | Coffs Coast Focus". Focusmag.com.au. 2011-04-28. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  4. ^ "Popeye With Steve Hart!". Popeye With Steve Hart!. 1983-04-16. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  5. ^ http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/comedy/new-direction-for-puppet-master-20130220-2erdu.html
  6. ^ Hello (2008-02-22). "Interview: 21st century ventriloquist David Strassman - Peterborough Telegraph". Peterboroughtoday.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  7. ^ a b "An Evening at the Improv (1982–1996) : Full Cast & Crew". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  8. ^ https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/humanoids_from_the_deep/
  9. ^ "rcwarbirds.com". Rcwarbirds.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  10. ^ "Comedy | Melbourne Comedy Clubs & Stand Up Shows | Time Out Melbourne". Au.timeout.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  11. ^ a b c http://deadline.com/2015/09/americas-got-talent-winner-paul-zerdin-stole-acts-ventriloquists-say-1201538584/
  12. ^ "Tribute to Ventriloquism | Ventriloquist Central | Ventriloquists of the 20th Century". Ventriloquist Central. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  13. ^ DAN BARRY (2003-10-01). "About New York; Puppet in Lap, And Audience In His Palm". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  14. ^ "David Strassman - Edinburgh Fringe 2010 - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. 2010-08-30. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  15. ^ "Hereford and Worcester - Entertainment - David Strassman". BBC. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  16. ^ "When the dark side speaks up for itself". Heraldscotland.com. 1996-10-25. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  17. ^ "Lunch with: David Strassman". Theage.com.au. 2012-11-17. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  18. ^ a b "Strassman Talk Show". YouTube. 2006-05-20. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  19. ^ "Ted E's Farewell Tour | David Strassman". Australianstage.com.au. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  20. ^ "TE Archive - David Strassman - And Now For Your Host". 15min.org. 1998-10-07. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  21. ^ a b Jasper Rees. "Television Review". The Independent. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  22. ^ TV.com. "Strassman - Episode Guide". TV.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  23. ^ a b c "Strassman [videorecording] : the bare necessities 5 disc box set. - Version details - Trove". Trove.nla.gov.au. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  24. ^ "Strassman [videorecording] : the bare necessities 5 disc box set. - Version details - Trove". Trove.nla.gov.au. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  25. ^ "Strassman live. Volume 5 : careful what you wish for. - Version details - Trove". Trove.nla.gov.au. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  26. ^ Fielder, Miles (2010-08-06). "David Strassman: Ventriloquism taken to a whole new level | Edinburgh Festival". Edinburghfestival.list.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  27. ^ "Duality Los Angeles Tickets - COMP at Theatre Asylum & Lab. 2010-07-25". Goldstar.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  28. ^ "To Sick Kids He's No Dummy". Heraldsun.com.au. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  29. ^ "Ted E Bear and Strassman Thrill Kids". Justforkids.org.nz. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  30. ^ "Comedy Review: Careful What You Wish For". The West Australian. 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  31. ^ a b Vicki Anderson (2013-11-22). "Trick of the lips". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  32. ^ "David Strassman - Ventriloquist". YouTube. 2012-09-12. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  33. ^ "David Strassman". Australianstage.com.au. 2010-05-21. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  34. ^ a b "Ted E's Farewell Tour - Arts Reviews - Arts - Entertainment". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  35. ^ "David Strassman, 1996". YouTube. 2015-01-27. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  36. ^ a b "David Strassman (with Chuck Wood & Sid Beaverman) on Good Morning Australia 1999". YouTube. 2009-05-16. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  37. ^ "David Strassman, 1995 (Ep. 39)". YouTube. 2015-04-21. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  38. ^ "David Grampa Fred Tells Strassman a Hilarious Story". YouTube. 2012-09-17. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  39. ^ "David Strassman". Claudine Marie. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  40. ^ Esteban, Lula (2015-05-05). "Dinosaur Puppet Trio Sings Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody - Vol 5 Strassman Live - Video Dailymotion". Dailymotion.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  41. ^ "David Strassman - Careful What You Wish For | Beat Magazine". Beat.com.au. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  42. ^ "David Strassman - iTedE | Interviews". Yawpmag.com.au. 2016-02-08. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  43. ^ "David Strassman Interview: ‘Careful What You Wish For’". Couturing.com. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  44. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=861&dat=19890118&id=GzVSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=NzYNAAAAIBAJ&pg=7089,3060169
  45. ^ "Michael Dorn hosts A&E "Evening at the Improv" 12/10/1992 Pt 1/6". YouTube. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  46. ^ "Performances :: 1996, London Dominion". Royal Variety Charity. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  47. ^ "Chuck Wood on the Late Late Show". YouTube. 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  48. ^ "David Strassman, 1998". YouTube. 2014-09-25. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  49. ^ "2011 Story Archive". Today Tonight Adelaide. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  50. ^ "Chuck moves to chat - Lifestyle - NZ Herald News". Nzherald.co.nz. 2000-06-30. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  51. ^ Stayner, Samantha (2012-11-14). "Felicity Ward, Ben Elton and David Strassman - ABC Melbourne - Australian Broadcasting Corporation". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  52. ^ "3AW Nightline - Timeline". Facebook. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  53. ^ "David Strassman and Chuck with Simon and John on 3AW Nightline - Tues 210513". YouTube. 2013-05-21. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  54. ^ "David Strassman and Chuck". 4bc.com.au. 2014-03-03. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 
  55. ^ "David Strassman and Chuck Wood Play 'Headlines or Headlies' - Video". More Fm. Retrieved 2016-10-09. 

External links[edit]