Fun_People Archive
24 Apr
S'ok? S'awright. So long...

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 100 19:44:40 -0700
To: Fun_People
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Subject: S'ok?  S'awright.  So long...

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649  -=[ Fun_People ]=-
Forwarded-by: Mark Boolootian <>

 Senor Wences: Loved as ventriloquist on TV

 April 21, 1999


 NEW YORK -- Senor Wences, the master ventriloquist who delighted
 "Ed Sullivan Show" audiences with his puppet-head-in-a-box, Pedro,
 and his falsetto-voiced hand-puppet, Johnny, died Tuesday at 103.

 The Spanish-born ventriloquist, whose real name was Wenceslao Moreno, died
 at home in New York City.

 During the 1950s, Mr. Moreno bickered and bantered with his puppets while
 he drank, smoked and juggled.

 He conversed with Pedro, a head in a box ("S'OK?" "S'AWRIGHT"). And he
 was defeated by Johnny, who boasted, "Deefeecult for you; easy for me."

 Mr. Moreno created Johnny by scrunching up his fist, drawing a mouth where
 thumb and index finger met, and draping a blond wig over the top.

 His character Pedro was a gravelly voiced head in a box, born of necessity
 when Mr.  Moreno's ventriloquist's dummy was accidentally damaged and only
 the head was spared.

 Mr. Moreno would talk to his puppets with his face right in theirs, as if
 daring the audience to watch his lips -- which, of course, never moved.

 He would stuff a hankie in Johnny's mouth and have the puppet speak with
 a muffled voice while he himself smoked a cigarette.  Then he would give
 Johnny a drag, and the puppet -- that is, Mr. Moreno's hand -- would
 somehow emit perfect smoke rings.

 Mr. Moreno also entertained four presidents, toured with Dean Martin and
 Jerry Lewis, did a Broadway show with Danny Kaye, and played casinos in
 Las Vegas. He was born in Penarada, Spain.

 A memorial service and burial will be in Spain this weekend.

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