I just watched a late night TV show done by, and about, the ventriloquist Nina Conti, who is completely new to me. Very good. Such are the wonders of the internet that I can immediately now share my pleasure with you, complete with a link to a much shorter but equally funny video. That’s her and the monkey doing the Montreal Comedy Festival.
What I find so funny about Ms. Conti is that her personality on stage is so unstagey, so unshowbizzy, so un-actressy, just precisely as self-consciously embarrassed, yet gigglingly entertained, as she would be if she were talking to an actual monkey, on a stage, in front of lots of people. Yet what she is doing is the oldest of old school showbizz. Brilliant, I think. Acting of the highest quality.
She is very ambitious. Not willing to be a regular old school ventriloquist. She will either take the ancient art to new heights, or fall off the mountain trying. Very admirable.
Favourite line in the short video:
“Stop pretending it’s not your fault.”
“Jim Henson knew his place.”
The monkey sounds ever so slightly Welsh. I wonder why.
“Let’s go home and get some therapy.”
She seems totally sane. Apart, that is to say, from having an imaginary monkey attached to her arm. Does that make her mad? Or does it keep her sane?