As seen on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” New Jersey ventriloquist John Pizzi will debut his crew of “politically incorrect” dummies at the Everett Theatre.


As seen on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” New Jersey ventriloquist John Pizzi will debut his crew of “politically incorrect” dummies at the Everett Theatre.

“The Unique Comedy of John Pizzi & Andy” will kickoff at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Showtime
Pizzi (a versatile entertainer who started his career in the late ‘80s, and who can alter his show to accommodate both family and adult audiences) will mostly share jokes about ethnic humor through his colorful, yet mostly disgruntled, motley crew of puppets, resulting in “a roller coaster of highs and lows, and ups and down of interactive humor,” he said.

His ragtag group of dummies includes: Andy (a lovable bad boy who tells it how it is, no matter your race or gender); Smokey (a pimp who “hates white people”) and Uncle Smiley (a cranky old man that “hates everybody,”) Pizzi said.

While Smokey – who prefers the title of “physical relationship facilitator” instead of “pimp” – is arguably one of Pizzi’s edgiest characters, the ventriloquist says his act is done with the best of intentions to unite people of all races and backgrounds.


IF YOU GO
WHAT The Unique Comedy of John Pizzi & Andy
WHEN 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21
WHERE Everett Theatre, 47 W. Main St., Middletown
COST$12-15
INFO everetttheatre.com

“All this ethnic humor and types of putdowns is not something that rips us apart if we laugh together,” he said. “I’ll do ethnic humor in my characters, but I’m not a person that would walk around and be racially motivated. I’m making an observation; I’m making a joke.”

Pizzi says the idea to shape his act around ethnic humor was born out of the desire to give people what he thinks they want.

“Politically incorrect comedy is grown from the need to release tension,” he said. “I don’t use any of it for vengefulness. There isn’t any malicious intent behind it. I want [puppets] that are extreme. I don’t want puppets that are atypical. Look at Lady Gaga, why is she so popular?”

Love for the dummy
Though Pizzi is aware many people believe the popularity of ventriloquism has waned over the years, he strongly disagrees.

“I think it’s more popular than ever,” he said. “Most people are fascinated when they see them and how they work.”

He says the millions of page views fellow ventriloquist Jeff Dunham has generated on YouTube is reflective of the interest in ventriloquism. In addition, Pizzi mentioned that ventriloquists are more appealing than standup comics, since the market is oversaturated with standup comedians and he feels audiences are getting “burnt out” with them.

At 49, Pizzi’s passion for sticking his hand up a puppet’s back is as enjoyable as when he received his first dummy as a kid. 

“You take an inanimate object, and breath life into it, and make it whoever you want it to be,” he said. “I’m happy to go out every day and make people laugh.”