Britain’s Paul Zerdin will fill the stage with cheeky preadolescent Sam, belligerent pensioner Albert and precocious Infant Baby as seen on his winning performance of NBC’s America’s Got Talent in 2015. Supplied Photo
He’s performed three times for the Queen and will entertain us commoners at the Vic Juba Community Theatre with his hilarious ventriloquism, comedy and charm.
Britain’s Paul Zerdin will fill the stage with cheeky preadolescent Sam, belligerent pensioner Albert and precocious Infant Baby as seen on his winning performance of NBC’s America’s Got Talent in 2015.
“I’ve got my whole family coming just for one day,” joked Zerdin in an phone call to his home in Wimbledon, England.
His May 16 show will be Zerdin’s first visit to Lloydminster, but he’s no stranger to Canada.
“I’ve just come back from some gigs in Windsor and I’ve been to a couple of other places in Canada in the last couple of years, but I’ve never been to Alberta,” he said.
His international TV appearances include Montreal’s prestigious Just For Laughs and ITV’s Comedy Rocks.
His critically acclaimed live shows have seen him sell out theatres across the globe.
“If you’ve seen me on America’s Got Talent then you come and see me live— the show is so much better live,” said Zerdin.
The Vic Juba show, presented by the Lloydminster Regional Theatre Foundation, is billed as a Fantastic Evening of Great Comedy and will raise funds for a 2,400 sq. ft. expansion of rehearsal space.
Tickets are $100 each with a reception and silent auction at 6:30 p.m. following by Zerdin’s act at 8 p.m.
Since America’s Got Talent, Zardin’s been working on some new characters that he is still tweaking to make them work for a Canadian and American audience and sense of humour.
“They’re not quite ready yet, but I’ve got lots of new material which you want to see,” said Zerdin.
His three core puppet characters Sam the kid, Albert the senior and Infant Baby appeal to different types and all ages of people.
“The kids love the baby and Sam and the grown-ups, they like the old man—he’s a bit naughty,” said Zerdin.
The puppets were inspired by Zerdin’s idol Jim Henson, the inventor of Sesame Street and the Muppets.
“I knew I wanted a character that looked like one of the Muppets because everyone loved the Muppets,” he said.
Zerdin’s been a ventriloquist for 25 years starting in comedy clubs, holiday camps and cruise ships, to become one of the world’s most in-demand performers.
He said winning $1 million on America’s Got Talent meant accumulating air miles including six months of gigs in Las Vegas and Hollywood.
“I’ve been travelling between America and the U.K. and I toured America for the first part of last year,” he said.
“I spent the rest of the year touring the U.K. because my British audience said it felt like I’d abandoned them.
“I wanted to come home and make sure my U.K. base was happy,” he said.
The first time he performed for Queen Elizabeth on the The Royal Variety Show he called it nerve wracking, but he gained confidence and embraced it on his final appearance.
“I learned she said afterword that I was her favourite act on the show that night,” he said.
Zerdin is the third ventriloquist winner of America’s Got Talent with Terry Fator in season two and Darci Lynne last year.
He thinks ventriloquism is popular with audiences because it’s a unique talent that few people do and learn to master.
“Not only do you have to talk without moving your lips, you’ve got to learn puppetry, you have to learn stagecraft and you have to learn stand-up comedy,” he said.
“So there are a lot of things that factor into it and it takes a certain kind of person to persevere—you don’t see too many ventriloquist generally.”