Tales from the Crypt (1989–1996)
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The Ventriloquist's Dummy 

Amateur ventriloquist Billy Goldman learns that being a ventriloquist might not be the best career for him.


Richard Donner


William M. Gaines (comic book), Frank Darabont (screenplay) | 1 more credit »




Episode cast overview:
Don Rickles ... Mr. Ingels, Ventriloquist
Bobcat Goldthwait ... Billy Goldman
John Kassir ... Crypt Keeper (voice)
Shelley Taylor Morgan Shelley Taylor Morgan ... Sally
Symie Dahut Symie Dahut ... Hooker (as Symie)
Steve Susskind ... Dick Feinwold
April Clawson April Clawson ... Singer
Joycee Katz Joycee Katz ... Mrs. Goldman
Courtney Mellinger Courtney Mellinger ... Young Billy
Jacqueline Jacobs Jacqueline Jacobs ... Wife (as Jaclynne G. Jacobs)
Robert Katims Robert Katims ... Husband
Mindy Rickles ... Girl at Bar


Aspiring ventriloquist Billy Goldman tracks down his idol Mr Ingels, who dropped out of show business following a mysterious incident involving a fire and now lives in seclusion as a bitter recluse. Billy finds out that Ingles has a very dark secret pertaining to his success in the profession. Written by Woodyanders

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Richard Donner, the episode's director, has a cameo as the guy talking to the lady at the bar when Don Rickles has a drink. The lady is Mindy Rickles, Don's daughter. See more »


Dick Feinwold: [backstage, while a baton twirler is singing 'Camptown Races'] Amateur night. Boy, you said it. Sounds like a cat in heat.
Billy Goldman: I think she's pretty good.
Dick Feinwold: Big tits. That's the secret to amateur night. Always be sure you got big tits. Otherwise, you're sunk.
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Featured in Top 10 Tales from the Crypt (2009) See more »


Tales from the Crypt Theme
Composed by Danny Elfman
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User Reviews

A strange ending mars this silly, but fun Tales from the Crypt episode.
20 June 2008 | by TOMNELSee all my reviews

Ventriloquist dummies can be scary with their lifeless eyes staring you down and their wooden mouths agape. This episode goes for the humor in ventriloquism, with a few elements of horror. I really like this episode, all except the ending which felt like the writer of this episode (Which happened to be the enormously talented writer of "The Shawshank Redemption", Frank Darabount) was just pulling ideas out of the blue how to finish off his masterpiece. The rest of the episode is sort of funny, very silly, but definitely a worthy addition to the second season of Tales from the Crypt.

All his life Billy (Bobcat Goldthwait) has wanted to be a ventriloquist just like his hero Mr. Ingles (Don Rickles). Years ago Billy had seen Mr. Ingles' final show, which ended in a fire and a disfigurement of Ingles' hand. Now Billy wants Mr. Ingles to teach him about ventriloquism so he goes to his cabin and asks Ingles to see his act. After the horrible show, Billy is ashamed, not only of himself, but at Mr. Ingles too for murdering a woman. A secret is revealed about the deformed hand, which leads to an amusing climax.

This episode is meant to be silly, and it succeeds quite well. I normally find Bob Goldthwait to be annoying, from his acting to his voice, but he worked well here. His voice added to the character, making Billy seem more uncomfortable than he might if played by another actor. Don Rickles is fine as Mr. Ingles, and Don and Bobcat work well together. The direction is flashy and fast paced, as it should be for this type of plot. The "twist" ending is stupid, but leads to a funny scene so I suppose it sort of worked. I didn't like the very end, as it made no sense and felt very random, but overall this episode is worth checking out for a Tales fan, or just a fan of goofy cinema.

My rating: *** out of ****. 24 mins. TVMA

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Release Date:

5 June 1990 (USA) See more »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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