FOR more than 25 years Paul Zerdin the ventriloquist, has been entertaining audiences with his cheeky brand of stand-up puppetry. In 2015, he hit the big time when he was crowned winner of the tenth season of America’s Got Talent. As well as collecting the million-dollar prize, the talent show boosted Zerdin’s Stateside status, and he scored his own Las Vegas residency.

But now he’s back in his home country with a new solo show, Paul Zerdin’s Puppet Party, which visits the Regent Centre in Christchurch this Sunday, October 13.

“It’s a fresh, funny, fast-paced show – and a bit edgy. I describe it as stand-up comedy where I happen to use puppets. There’s something about a ventriloquist doing ventriloquism without a puppet – I like the idea of that.”

His show includes a few new puppets such as Roger and the Urban Fox.

“The idea with Roger is, when I did America’s Got Talent they gave me a bodyguard, and I can’t get rid of him. He’s paranoid and thinks everyone’s out to get him and me. The Urban Fox stowed away in my luggage when I was packing and couldn’t get out, so he’s now involved in the show. I’ve never had any animal characters, and I’ve always liked the idea of having one.’

He adds: “It takes a long, long time to develop new characters – it takes me years. My favourite character is probably Albert. He’s got selective deafness and he can talk utter b******s and get away with it. You can do anything with Albert. We all know someone, parents, grandparents, of that sort of age, so it’s easy to relate to. My father is 92 and he gives me an amazing amount of material for Albert.”

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