Hit Ventriloquist Terry Fator Coming to Blu-ray23 Mar, 2009 By: Erik Gruenwedel
Ventriloquist Terry Fator believes he can bottle the past 24 months of his storied life in a disc.
After winning $1 million in 2007 on “America’s Got Talent,” Fator landed a gig at the Las Vegas Hilton, which led to a bidding war among major casinos and a reported $100 million, five-year contract (with an option for five more) headlining at The Mirage.
The 90-minute opening VIP performance March 16 at the Terry Fator Theater — which included interacting with nine character puppets (Winston the Impersonating Turtle and cowboy Walter T. Airdale are his favorites) and singing in separate voices — was the talk of Vegas.
“Just like that, Terry Fator is a new standard on the Strip,” wrote Doug Elfman in Las Vegas Review-Journal. “This is very important for Las Vegas.”
It’s also vital to Image Entertainment, which in September is slated to release Fator’s show for the first time on Blu-ray and DVD.
The untitled discs, exclusively produced by Image, will include 60 minutes of a show and requisite bonus material, including audio commentaries and featurettes highlighting Fator’s history and how he prepares for a performance.
“It’s going to be the most spectacular comedy DVD ever released,” Fator said matter-of-factly. “It will be exactly what people would see if they came to The Mirage.”
Bill Bromiley, chief acquisitions officer at Image, earlier this year characterized the Fator Blu-ray/DVD as a major coup for the Chatsworth, Calif.-based distributor.
Image has built a successful franchise around comedy DVD, including original “Blue Collar” comedians
Ron White, Jeff Foxworthy and Larry The Cable Guy. It apparently also wants to dominate ventriloquism, taking into account Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special DVD shipped 750,000 units, according to Image.
Fator said he is a “huge” fan of Dunham and considered the ventriloquist an inspiration when entering the comedy business. He also finds it amusing that the top ventriloquist acts in the United States all originate from the Dallas area (“Must be the water,” he said).
So, does Fator feel a competitive urge to usurp a childhood idol?
“Totally,” he said. “It’s like anything, if I was playing racquetball I would want to beat him. I would love to outsell Jeff as a friendly competitor.”
The ventriloquist said he owns “thousands” of DVDs (he also collects laserdiscs), to the point that he could open a video store. A fan of sitcoms and comedies with an occasional classic movie such as Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock and Frank Capra’s Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Fator said a recent favorite is “South Park.”
“I’ve got all of the seasons and have been trying to catch up and watch every episode,” he said.
Fator is such a fan of Blu-ray he had BD players installed throughout his Vegas home.
“I have a Blu-ray player in the guest room, my bedroom, family room and living room,” he said.
He said watching the recent re-release of Disney’s Pinocchio on Blu-ray impressed upon him the marvels of technology.
“I’m watching a movie on TV that is in better resolution than what the people saw in the theaters when it originally showed,” Fator said. “They could not have fathomed how good this movie could have looked in the future.”
Then again, watching Fator sing like Michael Jackson without moving his lips is equally impressive.