So who here remembers when ventriloquist dummies weren't creepy? Who remembers a time when ventriloquism was sure-fire hilarity? Nobody, that's who. Because those Howdy Doody-lookin' motherscratchers have always been weird and scary. Always. Think I'm kidding? Just look at what we've got for you today!
I think when the caption says we're frightened of things that "look too much alive," it's groping in the dark towards what we'd later call the "uncanny valley." But there's plenty uncanny about this story, which originally appeared in Adventures Into The Unknown back in the late 40s and was later reprinted in one of those cheap black and white reprint horror mags flooding the market to take advantage of consumers stupid enough to think they were buying "Creepy" or smart enough to realize this was an inexpensive way to grab some pre-code horror. What's NOT uncanny is why this dummy is murdering. You'd be angry too if somebody named you "Oswald Foop!"
Remember, ACAB - All Cops Avoid Burlesque - so they don't know how menacing and dangerous ventriloquist dummies can be!
It's no use Sam. You're a fine ventriloquist but your act stinks and your dummy is beat up and ugly. So maybe you aren't such a fine ventriloquist after all. Get out of my office, loser!
Give the thing a hat, a beard, a new suit, put a space helmet on the thing? Sell him to a kid just getting into the business? Nope, into the river with you!
This extraordinary Egyptian puppet comes directly from the tomb of the great Egyptian queen... um, yeah, Rhamen Ishtar, that sounds pretty Egyptian. Rhamen Ishtar. And there's a strange story too! Yours for only five grand. A bargain!
Marked down to the discount price of "a brick," the Egyptian curse doll is now in Sam's hands - if only he can evade the police, who have orders to shoot to kill anyone caught stealing antiques. Harsh, but fair!
Shove a knife into somebody's back, yeah, you might get bit.
Slick new hairdo, tiny tuxedo, and a booking at the Mocambo, and Wayne Newton is ready to begin his career!
Edgar Bergen, Senor Wences, Shari Lewis, Jimmy Nelson, Paul Winchell, Willie Tyler and Lester, Lisa Whelchel and Arthur, all are left choking in the dust of Sam and Oswald Foop's meteoric rise to fame.
"Easy honey, you've been under a strain lately. Me? I committed felony theft, was shot at by cops, mutilated a doll that bit me, and am now stealing all of Charlie McCarthy's gags - just another day in the biz."
Either Sam is pushing the boundaries of comedy and his crowd is "too square" to get it, or that dummy is manifesting occult powers from beyond time! Either way, Sam's act is in trouble.
Mister Egypt Puppet has been pushed around and carved up and laughed at long enough! Time to take out his frustrations on the hired help.
The valet - murdered! The police - baffled! Only Clair, with her amazing powers of "looking at things," can detect a possible source for this violent act!
You know how women are. Just nerves. Not me, officer, I'm as cool as a cucumber standing here next to the body of my murdered personal assistant and the dummy I smashed-and-grabbed.
It's amazing how many residential and commercial buildings didn't have screened windows back in the day. Anything could get in!
Clair is in danger! Somebody save her! Where's Doll Man when you need him? Somebody has to stop Oswald Foop's career of terror, an ironic counterpoint to his recently-concluded career of humor!
Great guns! Clair is hotboxing her hotel room and forgot to put a towel under the door!
Hey guys, when you find yourself taking the side of the evil demon puppet against your girlfriend, maybe it's time to rethink your priorities?
Ugly painted noodle, huh? I'll show YOU ugly painted noodle!
Should Clair sit idly by and watch as one more ventriloquist act is removed from the world? It's a tough call, I know!
In ancient Egypt you might not have cleaned your clothes with highly flammable liquid, but here in the modern 20th century we do it all the time.
Remember, have *your* clothes dry cleaned in a licensed and inspected dry cleaner! Don't try to clean your clothes at home with dangerous chemicals (this has been a public service announcement from the National Association Of Dry Cleaners).
Sam can always get another dummy but Clair has HER dummy right there. Sam. Sam is her dummy.
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