Jonathan Geffner is the world’s foremost Yiddish-speaking ventriloquist and comedian Tina Fey’s personal ventriloquism tutor.
As Leah Falk reported last week on the Jewniverse blog,
Walking through NYC’s Columbus Circle one day, he saw a ventriloquist show and felt, he recalled in an interview, a “lightning bolt of inspiration.” What he meant was: He had found his calling. The Yiddish part was happy circumstance: He was already fluent when he took up the art, and after testing his material on a Workmens’ Circle audience, he found a niche market in the world of Hasidic children’s entertainment. (His sphere of influence has expanded since then — he served as the ventriloquist consultant for Tina Fey’s Admission, in which an unlikely Princeton applicant performs with a dummy named Renee Decartes).In this video, Geffner entertains in a synagogue filled with Yiddish speaking boys. There are English subtitles in case you don't understand the mamaloshen.
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