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The Two and Only

Professional ventriloquist Alan Ende earns his living by the ancient art of "throwing the voice". He is also the proud owner of the largest private collection of ventriloquism memorabilia in the United States. In this country, it is second only to the collection of the Ventriloquist Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, KY.

Ende explains that there are only about 3 professional figure makers. He has a preference for the old-time figures. "The craftsmen of the past were the true masters" he says. Figures range in size from that of a thimble to a full-sized, 42-inch partner

Among the more unique figures he owns is "Flip and Pip", the world's only two-headed figure. Vaudevillian great Roy Douglas formerly owned it. Ende obtained it from the Flosso Museum in New York.

"Another highlight of my collection are ten figures made by the great Frank Marshall. Mr. Marshall built all famous television figures, including Jerry Mahoney, Knucklehead Smith, Charlie McCarthy, and Windy Higgins."

 
RUDY VALLEE

Few fans remember that the great crooner of the 20's and 30's, Rudy Vallee, was a ventriloquist buff. He owned three figures made by the McElroy Brothers. These were the Rolls Royces of the trade. Each McElroy figure would have up to 13 different animations, including rolling, winking, crossing eyes, raising brows, flapping, movable tongue, wiggling nose, and raising wig, as well as smoking and other effects.

Rudy Vallee used a black figure named Linoleum, and a girl figure named Sally Ann. Ende purchased both of the dolls directly from Vallee, and Vallee was able to refer him to a number of other ventriloquial collectibles that have since become part of his collection. Linoleum has 16 mechanical movements, and is considered by many to be the finest figure ever made. Ende adds, "Linoleum is my personal favorite, and the number one highlight of my collection."

He continues, "I also own figures from all over the world, including England, Austria, and Mexico. Each area features its own unique characteristics."

 
VENTRILOQUISM LIBRARY

Ende, however, has not limited his collection to figures alone. "My library contains over 500 books on the art and history of ventriloquism." One of the books, 'Ventriloquism Made Easy', was published in 1866. Only two inches high, it is considered to be the single most rare book on the subject. He also has publications dating back to the 1700's, as well as an assortment of books in foreign languages.

 
VENTRILOQUIAL HISTORY

Alan Ende's ventriloquism collection is more than just a collection of "dummies". Its ultimate purpose is to present an educational history of an important section of the world's popular culture.
 


"The Odd Couple"
This site is dedicated to my best friend and mentor....
Jack Flosso
Jackie your the Greatest!!!

On September 26, 2003 Jack Flosso passed away from complications of diabetes at the age of 77.  Jack was the funniest and friendliest guy I have ever met.  Very seldom in life do you get to meet an individual who changes your life.  I was one of the fortunate ones.  As I write this I know that jack is schmoozing with the likes of Keller, Thurston, Houdini, and Edgar Bergen.  GIVE 'EM HELL JACK!!!

- Alan Ende


"The King in his Court"

Jackie Doing "Who's on First"

"Jackie, June Miller, and Me" at Tavern on The Green"


 THE LAST HONEST MAN
 By Ben Robinson

Jack Flosso and I met in 1976 just before his father, the great Al  Flosso, the  Coney Island Fakir, died. But it was not until 1982 when I came to New  York  after my college graduation that Jack's interest in me was aroused. He  Had  read the national publicity I received for pulling a bunny out of my College  graduation mortarboard, and he liked the idea. Still, Jack played it close. 50  years in the theatre produced a skin that was not penetrable to newcomers --  you had to earn your spurs before he'd open up. As time wore on and I brought  producers of theme parks and Off B'way shows to him for large orders  that he  hailed me an angel sent by his father. 

Once I was to go on the road  with a  touring show, and he had me come to his apartment. I finally felt I  was accepted. He regaled me for 2 hours with stories of him on the road with USO shows, and he finally said, "Kid (that's what he always called me), you know what's appealing about you? No bullshit. That's right, you're real up  front and it takes a while to get used to. You're like me, you don't suffer  fools gladly."

I miss Jack every day. I owe him a tremendous amount I tried to repay  in part  by brining him coffee and a donut or two, and taking him to the Dr. in  the  final years. Jack was the last honest man and if he liked you, he'd fight to the death for you. Today in the so-called "friends" world of Facebook and twittering, jack would not have approved of so called "friends." Just wasn't  his style. He was a character of the 30's who was held in the arms of the great Houdini when he was born in 1926, the year Houdini made his final escape.

There will never be another like him: comedy writer, performer par-excellence who could handle any crowd, and shop keeper with morals. Jack Flosso  once got me an apartment. When I questioned the price, he slapped me on the side of the head and whispered in my ear, "Schmuck, Sinatra eats across the street. Take it!" In a way, I'm glad he never lived to see the world we now live in...he would have been so disappointed. Yet, to him, Life was a kick -- and I think, most of the time, he had a good time.

Writer credit and link:
Ben Robinson's website is and is a full time performer in New York City


Jack Flosso, Jeff Sheridan, Mike Bornstien, Ben Robinson



Alan and Andrea in Amsterdam


A visit to the Flosso Hornmann Magic Shop
(By: Conrad Hartz)

In the mid 1970s, I made a trip to New York City for a week's stay. Being a magic fan, this was Mecca to . me as you had the play, "The Magic Show" with Doug Henning on Broadway and Houdini's grave somewhere across the river in Queens.

I remembered a magic shop near Macy's and I caught the subway to visit it. It was Flosso-Hornmann Magic Shop. Once owned by Houdini himself. I found the little shop and went upstairs to take a look. I arrived and the tiny owner himself, AI Flosso, looked me over and said, "a tourist... ... got any money?" This was his greeting and I learned he was very friendly despite the money question. AI Flosso was a magician and friend of Houdini himself. AI had a stage name of "The Coney Island Fakir." He did comedy magic and did it better than anyone else. Back to the shop: It was dusty all over. Floors, magic and everything was covered with dust. AI didn't mind and I learned to ignore it. AI was very knowledgeable on every magic trick I knew of. He was the same on ventriloquists and ventriloquist figures. The best thing about his shop was AI himself. Not a clerk selling magic, but a walking encyclopedia of twentieth century magic and ventriloquists. I felt I could learn from him. AI told me that I came to the "right" magic shop. In other words, I didn't need to go to others. I told him I was going to see the play, "The Magic Show." I was interested in on effect Doug Henning did called the Zig Zag Illusion. This was a hot magic illusion in the 1970s. Girl gets into a cabinet and two blades pierce her and her middle is pulled to one side. I did see the show and then returned to AI's shop and ask him about it. He didn't want to tell me how it was done. Several days passed and I had found Houdini's grave in Machpelah Cemetary in the Queens. I returned to AI's shop again near the end of my week's stay. I saw AI's son, Jackie, but didn't get to talk with him. AI showed some someFrank Marshall figures whick I didn't have the money to purchase at the time. I purchased an appearing bouquet of flowers trick from AI and he showed me the proper way to produce the flowers from nowhere. It was a beaLitiful bouquet of feather flowers and AI proceeded to put them in a used McDonald's hambuger bag to my horror. For some wise reason, I didn't question this odd procedure as he didn't have custom bags for customers. I was getting ready to leave New York and I tried one more time on the Zig Zag Illusion. AI drew a small sketch of a cabinet and ask me how I thought it was done. I drew my answer where the girl must be in the cabinet and he looked up and said, "You got it, Kid." I really liked my visits with AI Flosso and his dusty shop. What a magician's magician.


Robin Lane - New York City based cult and underground "performance artist" using one of two owned "ugly babies ventriloquist figures" he bought from my collection

"Alan, thanks - you're class personified"

Robin Lane

 
(another satisfied customer)

"Hey - the freaks come out at night"


Tom Ferranti (A.K.A "What's His Name The Magician??)

Alan Ende with Tommy Ferranti, 
(A.K.A "What's His Name The Magician??)


"Messing with one of the authentic "Howdy Doody" marionettes in South Carolina!"

"Alan Ende with Buffalo Bob and Conrad Hartz" at Conrad's convention. 
March 2, 1996
WHAT A BLAST!!


"Alan Ende with Lou Dupont" at the "Royal Las Vegas"


"Linoleum and Joe E. Sefus"

"Just Hangin' out"...

Alan - I Love your site and view it regularly. Linoleum is the ULTIMATE ventriloquist treasure!! VERY COOL!!"

Morgan Brodie

Aledo, Texas

Alan, you are a quality individual, my friend. THANK YOU! The Semok figure is beautiful and the Flosso goodies you sent my way are VERY COOL! Your really are a class act and I am very pleased to know you. I will stay in touch.

Ken Souza


"Clarence" -
"Where Fats at??"

"McElroy" - Clarence
"Rack 'em"

"
Joe E.Sefuse's Crib"

Dick Weston


Letter from Pleasant Valley Saddle Shop

I am enclosing a check to cover the cost of the publication plus the shipping.  I had been searching for that book for over 30 years!

Thanks  again  for your time.

 


"Puppet Masters," by Micheal Starr, New York Post, November 27, 2020

Puppet Masters by Micheal Starr, NY Post

George Harrison and son Steve at the Boot Hill Saloon in Daytona Beach.

 

George Harrison shoots a game of pool with his long lost stick at his home in Palm Coast on Dec. 14. (N-J | Sean McNeil)

 

George Harrison's long lost pool stick. (N-J | Sean McNeil)

 

Jackie Gleason as Minnesota Fats in the 1961 movie "The Hustler." (Photo | Twentieth Century Fox)

 

Paul Newman plays Fast Eddie Felson in the 1961 movie "The Hustler." (Photo | Twentieth Century Fox)

 

 

 


BIZARRE MOM HAS 500 HORROR DOLLS

'A demon toddler in a black crib was always my fantasy': The woman with 500 life-like horror dolls that she treats like real babies



An eccentric doll collector with 500 life-like plastic babies, who she looks after as if they were living; changing their clothes, washing their hair and taking them to the park, has unveiled a sinister side to her collection.

Showing off the blood stained horror toys in her Staten Island apartment, 33-year-old Marilyn Mansfield says she is happiest among her collection of Krypt Kiddies and Living Dead Dolls.

 

The married mother of three never leaves the house without one of her dolls, which are so sought after by 
collectors they are valued up to $2,500 each - an overall collection worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
House of horror: Showing off the blood stained horror toys in her Staten Island apartment, 33-year-old Marilyn Mansfield says she is happiest among her collection of Krypt Kiddies and Living Dead Dolls

Mrs Mansfield said she first fell in love with the idea of horror dolls by watching the infamous 1980's Hollywood slasher movie, Chucky, starring a homicidal doll of the same name.

'I have always loved Chucky dolls,' admited Marilyn. 'To have a demon baby in a black crib, that was always my fantasy.'

Mrs Mansfeild is so devoted to her dolls that she has turned her hobby into a business, and now creates her own horror dolls, selling them to customers for up to $300.

The doll collector is also obsessed with dolls designed to be as close to real babies as possibly - called 
'reborners'.

She also creates 'portrait babies' which are crafted to look like her customer's children.

'I would say a lot more work goes into making a doll look life-like and real than goes into making a scary-looking doll,' she said.

'I find it more challenging to make them look realistic.'

Mrs Mansfield said she has mixed reactions when she takes the dolls out in public and often elicits shocks from strangers who come to coo at one of her 'babies'.

'I take them out with me and my family in a car seat and in a stroller. I don't do it for attention, it just makes 
me feel very content, and if someone thinks the doll is real or asks me questions, I'm always sure to tell them
it's only a doll.

'One woman who saw one of the dolls in a store recently said: "Your baby looks a little pale. Is he OK?" She 
touched him and screamed when she found out it was a doll.'

Mrs Mansfield, who has featured on the TLC show My Collection Obsession, said that her children are not jealous of the playthings.

Her seven-year-old son has his own doll collection and her 12-year-old daughter helps her mother change and wash the dolls.

She said that her husband has no interest in the dolls, but has grown used to their large 'family'.

'Holding these dolls is so calming and relaxing - the experience is very absorbing,' she said.

'When your own kids are babies, it's a special time. Having a reborn doll is like having that all of the time.'

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 09:15 EST, 17 July 2012 | UPDATED: 14:32 EST, 17 July 2012

 



For More Information please contact Alan Ende at:
Endeendea@aol.com
or
(518) 263-5127
 

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Last Updated January 4, 2021