Paul Zerdin has helped make ventriloquism cool again. His appealing combination of masterful ventriloquism, charm and impeccable comedic timing, gave him the winning edge on America’s Got Talent. During his performances he brings to life several very different characters including cheeky pre-adolescent Sam, belligerent old-age pensioner Albert and precocious infant Baby. Zerdin’s critically acclaimed live shows make him one of the world’s most in demand performers.
Paul’s unique talents have seen him invited to perform for The Queen multiple times, rack up international TV appearances and sell-out theaters across the globe. Paul’s fresh twist on this traditional comedy art has impressed everyone including Her Majesty the Queen.
“I see myself as a one man Muppet sitcom, reining the characters in” commented Zerdin. “The old man has a thing for the ladies and so does Sam who is about to become a teen and knows naughty words. Between the two of them they lead the baby astray and the baby, of course, wants to know everything. I think it is important to have characters that people can relate to rather than, say, talking sheep which are less believable”.
When Paul was 10, a family friend made him a puppet theatre which he used to put on shows. As he is the first to admit, his hobby quickly grew into an obsession. “The real turning point was when I was given a book on ventriloquism by the legendary Ray Alan. By the time I hit my teens I was spending half an hour a day in front of the mirror practicing talking without moving my lips.”
Having failed his GCSE’s in spectacular style, Zerdin got a job in a magic shop, developing his magic skills along the way. Simultaneously, he was also developing a sideline as a children’s entertainer. “Compared to my friends and their measly paper rounds, I was raking it in!” he laughs.
Zerdin made his TV debut as a magician on the BBC’s Tricky Business and shortly afterwards, at the age of just 20, landed a two year contract presenting the Disney produced kids’ program Rise and Shine for GMTV.
In 1996, Paul was the first outright winner – by over 100,000 votes - of The Big Big Talent Show. The experience not only raised his profile, but introduced him to Nigel Lythgoe, the man who would go on to create reality shows such as Popstars and American Idol.
Lythgoe took the 22 year old Paul under his wing, paving the way for appearances on scores of shows. It was Nigel who gave Paul his first brush with Royalty when he secured him a spot on the Prince’s Trust Gala Show in 1997. “That was a totally surreal experience”, he laughs. “I was sharing a dressing room with Julian Clary, Alan Davies and Frank Bruno with The Spice Girls next door”.
By the late nineties it was obvious that traditional variety shows were losing their appeal and it was then that Zerdin decided to introduce stand-up into his routine, a decision that has paid off handsomely. Ventriloquists have been a staple of UK entertainment for years, but it has taken Paul Zerdin to bring his mix of stand-up and ventriloquism to the forefront of contemporary entertainment to truly put ventriloquism on the comedy map.
Winner of America’s Got Talent!
Sunday, April 2, 2017 7pm
Tickets: $34 - $49
Paul Zerdin has helped make ventriloquism cool again. His appealing combination of masterful ventriloquism, charm and impeccable comedic timing, gave him the winning edge on America’s Got Talent. Zerdin’s critically acclaimed live shows make him one of the world’s most in-demand performers, at the forefront of contemporary entertainment.