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A comedic twist in Fountain

Fri, May 30th, 2014
Posted in Fountain Arts & Culture

Willard Twittsnoggle, James Wedgwood, and Uncle Ernie play scrabble.

Don’t let me put words in your mouth, but no one will want to miss the comic ventriloquist coming to Fountain, Minn. for the 2014 Trail Days celebration. James Wedgwood will be performing Saturday, June 7, at 8 p.m. in the city park and everyone is invited to bring a lawn chair and enjoy the show described as “The Most Fun You Can Have Without Moving Your Lips!” and involves several characters who will have the crowd laughing out loud.

“Uncle Ernie” will be visiting Fountain with James Wedgwood and is going to pop up at some point during the show. Wedgwood stated that Uncle Ernie is the quintessential old man we have all known at some point in our lives. Uncle Ernie is a little confused in his old age which brings about some hilarious comments.

Also making an appearance during Wedgwood’s time on the stage will be “Willard Twitsnoggle” who is a wacky hunter with a twist. Willard’s dog “Lukey” will accompany him as well.

No telling who else may appear during the comedic performance by the talented ventriloquist. Wedgwood has several characters to choose from as he says he has seven or eight different characters including “Bill the Bird” the prairie chicken who flew over a nuclear reactor in Monticello, Minn. and is kind of messed up because of it says James.

“Patrick McWiggins, a leprechaun, may stop by to say hello if time allows but there is one of James Wedgwood’s wooden friends who will not make it the show in Fountain. Luanda LaDouce, a sassy blues singer, has not been invited as she says some inappropriate things that are not suitable for audiences with children. Wedgwood states that “Luanda is not family friendly”, so it is best that she stays home that day.

When asked what to call these characters made of wood Wedgwood stated, “You can call them dummies when you are not in their presence but otherwise they can be called puppets because they are kind of sensitive,” he joked.

People in the ventriloquist business call their dummies ventriloquial figures but that is quite a mouthful said James so calling them puppets will be fine.

James Wedgwood lives near Fergus Falls, Minn. after living in the St. Paul, Minn. area for 30 years. He has made TV appearances on “The Statler Brothers Show” and “Crook and Chase” as well as working with well known names like Glen Campbell, Chubby Checker, Janie Fricke and Jeannie C. Riley. Wedgwood has performed many times at the Minnesota State Fair and also took first place overall in the 13th annual Jackpot Junction Casino talent competition in Morton, Minn.

Wedgwood began ventriloquism when he was 9 years old and his aunt sent him a plastic dummy and a couple records. He learned the basics as a child but never planned on doing it for a living although he always knew he wanted to perform. He studied theatre in school, did some acting and improv work, and in 1980 Wedgwood met an agent who told him to put an act together and he would get him work. Through the years Wedgwood’s career grew and developed into the successful comedian ventriloquist he has become today.

There will not be a dull moment as James Wedgwood and his puppets interact with the audience even bringing volunteers up on stage to create more laughter. He says his favorite part of his time on stage is the spontaneity and ad-libs from audience members. Even though he works within a framework for his show no two shows are the same as he never knows what a volunteer on stage or an audience member will do or say so he must react to the situation.

Wedgwood stated he is looking forward to performing in Fountain for Trail Days and said to expect lots of good clean fun and some surprises while enjoying the entertainment. He also wants people to know that there will be risers so everyone will be able to see and added, “We’ll have a great time,” saying that he is hoping for a beautiful day but the Fountain Community Center is the back- up site in case of inclement weather.

James Wedgwood’s performance for Trail Days is sponsored by the First State Bank of Fountain, Minn. and the Root River State Bank of Chatfield, Minn. There is no charge for the one hour show but free-will donations will be accepted with proceeds going to Fountain Trail Days.

Many other activities will be taking place during Trail Days including the Milk Fun[D] Run, a bean bag tournament, Farmers and Merchants ball game, pancake breakfast, children’s games, a tractor pull, a dunk tank and more. For more information on Fountain Trail Days go to facebook.com/fountain trail days.

For more information on James and to view past performances www.jameswedgwood.com or visit yahoo and look for jameswedgwood/ventriloquist and we’ll see you at the show!

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