Jim Barber & Seville a hit on David Letterman

Jim Barber’s recent performance during the Late Show’s “Ventriloquist Week” was not only enjoyed by the enthusiastic studio audience in the historic Ed Sullivan Theater, and the hard working staff of the show itself, but also by the estimated 4.1 million viewers who tune into the show on an average night.

“Being selected to appear on David Letterman’s show was not only an extreme honor, but a surprisingly fun experience. The staff, stars and crew of the show are the best in the business and they helped make this brief performance one of the highlights of my 35 year career as a professional entertainer. Congratulations to my fellow ventriloquists that have also appeared on Late Show as part of this special “tongue-in-cheek salute” to our rare and wacky art form. Big thanks to David Letterman and everyone at Late Show. ” – Jim Barber

Over a week later, the Hamner Barber Theater’s e-mail box continues to receive many letters of support and congratulations from friends around the globe, both old and new who saw Jim’s act. Some were from inspired young ventriloquists, while others were from well-seasoned professional entertainers who offered a pat on the back. Most however, were from average Letterman viewers who just wanted to say hello and thank Jim for the fun.

“I’m humbled by the hundreds of letters I received in the days that followed my appearance,” said Barber. “I didn’t expect that and am truly thankful for the kind words and appreciation of my act.”

Jim’s performance also caught the eye of some television “Insiders,” including Michele Greppi of Television Week, the community newspaper of the entire television industry.

Her article featured a multi-photo spread of Jim and Seville with a very positive “mash note” to “Late Show With David Letterman” for booking ventriloquists on the show.

Greppi wrote, “If it hadn’t been for rib-tickling “Ventriloquist Week 2,” The Insider would have gone all post-nuclear on everyone…”

Referring to Jim Barber’s act she added, “In addition to making himself appear to be the dummy of his two operatic dummies, Mr. Seville does an inspired bit with a hand in a glass of water.”

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Jim Barber & Seville to appear on Late Show with David Letterman

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 artform. He is an advisor 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 simultaniously awarding the Hamners a Merlin Award as “Entertainers of the Year.”

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Jim Barber nominated “Best Comedian” for 2006 Branson Critic awards

The Hamner Barber Theater is pleased to announce that Jim Barber has been nominated as Branson’s “BEST COMEDIAN” of 2006 by BransonCritic.com, a volunteer organization of writers and researchers of Branson shows with over 2,000 reviews currently online.

In 2005 BransonCritic also honored The Hamner Barber Variety Show as it’s pick for Critic’s Choice as Branson’s “MUST SEE SHOW OF THE YEAR.”

Created by Doug Holland, the awards web site is a sophisticated method of ranking shows and entertainers by allowing fans of these shows to submit fair reviews to inform other potential Branson visitors of what there is to see and do in Branson, Missouri. It’s not a “push button” voting system, so awards are presented based on the quantity and quality of the reviews received on behalf of the nominated performers.

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