“Pals for over 60 years” Willie Tyler & Lester

Here’s a fun one, a great interview with Willie Tyler, one of the Nations Best Ventriloquist. Later in the show Lester drops by and answers a few questions…comedy history being interviewed! Hear about his start with Motown in Detroit, being a regular on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-in, and finally a regular at Laughs…Great comic, good singer, amazing ventriloquist, and Nice Guy… Willie Tyler and his Pal Lester!

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Podcast Transcript:

Announcer: 

This is another episode of stand up comedy, your host and emcee, celebrating 40 plus years on the fringe of show business, stories, interviews and comedy sets from the famous and not so famous. Here’s your host and emcee Scott and words.

Scott Edwards: 

Hi, and welcome to this week’s episode. We have a terrific show for you. I know I say that every week, but this one’s extra special. One of the top comic ventriloquist in the world. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Willie Tyler. Willie, so great to hear from you. We haven’t chatted in a few decades, but you have always been one of the special acts that we were so lucky to work with. Because you were already quite a celebrity when you came to laughs unlimited. And we got a chance to kind of take advantage of that and have you in many shows. And then we did the TV show. We’re gonna talk all about that. But Hi, Willie, how you doing?

Willie Tyler: 

Hello, Scott.

Scott Edwards: 

Doing great. It.

Willie Tyler: 

Yeah. Yeah, remember, I remember the first time coming up there to laptop an old Sacramento Old Sac they call it?

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah Old Sacto. And it was a way that you helped establish us as a National Comedy Club having people like you and Pat Paulson soupy sales. This was I mean, we had a lot of celebrities like Leno Carvey and Seinfeld, but they were not known at the time. You were one of the few acts that we brought in that was already famous was already a known act. And that was really a big deal to us. But let’s give the audience a little bit of background. You got your start in Detroit, right.

Willie Tyler: 

So in Detroit on pin I started in Detroit.

Scott Edwards: 

Now I was gonna ask you what what had you what made you pick ventriloquism?

Willie Tyler: 

We know we had just gotten a television set. Black and white TV with rabbit ears back in those days. And I’ve seen a gentleman on TV in a weekly show called Paul Winchell, which will my homie, it was called. I seen him. I saw him on TV with this little character wouldn’t character, two characters, knucklehead Smith and Jerry Mahoney. And I saw it and I say, how does he make this? How does this doll? How’s he talking? And it really fascinated me. So you know, the very next day, I tried to emulate what he did, I took my sister’s discarded doll and did a MacGyver took a carpet crawl and scraped in a rubber band and made the mouth move. And then I used that for a few weeks until I was able to get a store bought one from a magic shop.

Scott Edwards: 

How cool is that? And you were 10 years old.

Willie Tyler: 

10 years old. Wow. And I remember, I used to deliver papers, Detroit times. And I remember, it was laid off. And I would always come home from school. I’d go to the paperwork, come up, get out of school, go to the paper out, come home from school and get in front of the mirror in the little den that we had there now a little house there. And I tried to practice my mom was ironing and the next room near and that was doing the same stuff over and over and over and over and over again. He says can you give it a rest now? Wow. Okay, I can understand it. Because because I was just saying the same stuff over and over. You know, when you’re practicing. It’s okay with you. But somebody’s listening to it.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, we all know about annoying kids. Well, you know, it’s interesting that you mentioned that I’ve worked with several ventriloquist and it is a combination of a unique art form and being able to write and be funny, but I have to say and I know I don’t want to offend any of the other ventriloquist I know and have worked with. But you were the best when it came to enunciating the difficult words without moving your lips. It was incredible to see you perform you so all those years of practice in annoying your mom paid off?

Willie Tyler: 

It did it did indeed. Yeah. It was like a situation where when I first started out, it was a strange situation because like when I was about 12 or 12 and a half. I started doing like little amateur shows around around the city there. And I am seeing a show called Showtime at the Apollo. Yeah. Yeah, it was like in that show. They had a segment of a show where they had to amateur part of the amateur were amateurs to come out. And the audience was brutal. They would Heckle and all that stuff. They did the Apollo for years in New York, but when they did a TV show, they put that segment in there I would do shows in Detroit back in those days, it was at a theater. And there’s no class B movie. And then the lights would come up and they would show the amateur show. I mean, they present the amateur show. And then later on, they would introduce a professional act like Hank Ballard and the midnighters. They see what is that room? It was the one that wrote the twist.

Scott Edwards: 

Wow. What a great way to start and validate your career.

Willie Tyler: 

Yeah, Chubby Checker, covered it. And he made a hit. He made it a hit.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, yeah, no, definitely. But somebody else wrote a bit. You actually coming from Detroit, you must have worked with a lot of those Motown groups.

Willie Tyler: 

Yeah, was signed with Motown, but Motown for like, I guess. Eight years. I was signed with them. But I still did some shows after that with them by I got a I got an album. It’s called Hello, dummy. It’s on the table of record label of subsidy of Motown.

Scott Edwards: 

I don’t do that. That’s impressive, and really unique. That is cool. I mean, obviously, we’ve all heard of Motown albums, but I didn’t know they did a comedy album.

Willie Tyler: 

Yeah, like I think I think Soupy Sales was with them for a while Sammy Davis Jr. was with them for a while. But, you know, but again, they weren’t the like, basically the Motown sound people like the Supremes, Temptations for Topsfield, Stevie Wonder, and all those books like that.

Scott Edwards: 

Did you end up getting to work with those musical geniuses?

Willie Tyler: 

Well, yeah, we used to when it first started out. It was in the 60s, when it first started out. The Motown review was just happening. So we would travel on the road on a bus Motown review. The Supremes, temptations for top everybody what a port tops, they’ve traveled the quest. We MC less than I MC MC the show? Well, we traveled out now Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, all all those places, we would do a big check that big, gigantic arena. What matters?

Scott Edwards: 

It’s so interesting that you mentioned that and I apologize. I didn’t know about your past because we’re going to talk about it in a few minutes. But you ended up emceeing one of our big TV specials, and I had no idea that you traveled that bus tour with those famous acts. And that also I’m going to bring up a little bit, but that might be why you love to sing.

Willie Tyler: 

Yeah, that’s, that’s the reason I got into the scene. Because what we do, let’s when I would emcee the show, we would end to introduce the acts. I think the contours would always open the show. Do you love me? You know, they were they were always over the show because they were doing a physical activity, the splits chopped up and down on the stage and all that kind of sky and opening act. But and then Marvin Gaye’s Stevie Stevie Wonder and all the other Motown acts. But But I would, when I would introduce the act. And I come off stage to stand in the wings, because I had to wait to the finish. So I can pull back up and say, ladies, gentleman, the contours you know, something like that with Lester. So, but every time I stand in the wings and watch all the acts Marvin Gaye’s temptations to watch them sing, and I look at the audience, and the audience, they were like, enthralled. I say the same thing. It must be this must be something else. So what I did was like I started putting in just a few songs, and they act with laughter when I didn’t work with Motown, because they couldn’t do it with Motown, because they had hit records. I didn’t have a hit record, like, you know, didn’t wouldn’t fit. So when I would do other other clubs, I would put the thing in there in the act itself. So I enjoy the thing. It’s fun.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, when you’re really good at it. I want to delve into that a little bit later. But I gotta tell you being able to work with that level of musical talent at that young age. Were you awestruck? Were they were they friendly to you? I mean, you were part of the team. That must have been pretty amazing.

Willie Tyler: 

What happened was like, I’ll back up a little bit. What happens like I went to I went to the Air Force, I was in the Air Force for four years. And when I got out of like, 22, I think, then I went back to Detroit. And then I think was about a year after I got back to Detroit. That’s when I got with Motown. And because they were just beginning it wasn’t like they didn’t have any big acts. I think very well. My guy, the song, Mike, I think that was the biggest hit that they had going there with the Motown people. And so like, I got with them. And it’s like a basically a situation where they had a meeting at Motown. They used to have meetings at Motown on Wednesdays. So they wanted me to come over Wednesday. I came over and I went to this room and everybody has to pack room in there with everybody in there. And I did about two minutes with Lester. And then I have been adapted then by the time I got home they call me so they welcome to the Motown family.

Scott Edwards: 

Wow. That was an exciting moment in your life.

Willie Tyler: 

Yeah, that helped me a great deal of being with Motown, because he helped me to get out of Detroit to get to do the Merv Griffin Show to Mike Douglas shows where we should laugh. And

Scott Edwards: 

yeah, we should let everybody know that this was in the 60s, but your real claim to fame and in my mind, and you’ve had so many television appearances, and so many successes, and again, a World Class Stage act, but what really puts you on the map, I think Motown laid the foundation, but I think really pushed your career. I want everybody in the audience to hear this in 1972. In 1973, the last season of Rowan and Martin’s laugh in, you appeared in every episode 24 different shows. And that was a huge hit show. I mean, I grew up on laughing, my dad loved it, we move on, that was one of the best comedy variety shows ever produced. And you were a regular that last season, that had been so much fun.

Lester: 

So that was a lot of fun. A lot of fun. I enjoyed that. And at that particular time, I’d still be still with Motown when I was still little. But I got, I got that particular thing. And it was great. And, you know, what makes a lap and funny shows, things. They were they were little short bits, you know, everything was short, in a minute, little short things. And which kept, kept everybody’s attention. Because if you got something at last four or five minutes, and you tend to wonder, you walk away, or whatever. But you don’t know what’s coming. Next is the idea. That’s what that’s what may be. The show was really popular. And I got to meet a lot of celebrities on that show, too, because there are a lot of celebrities on there.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, they really did. I mean, even President Nixon made an appearance. I mean, there was there was everybody in anybody wanted to make an appearance on laughing because that was really the comedy variety show of those years. And for you to be a regular act and be able to meet all those people. What a great way to really launch your career because I’m sure that led to many, many more television it was in the 70s. Like you said, Mike Douglas Show. The Tonight Show it goes on and on.

Lester: 

Yeah, I was doing X doing it that Mike Douglas Show before. That’s how I really got laughing because by doing it my daughter to the Merv Griffin Show, and they got wind of me to do those, those particular shows.

Scott Edwards: 

And that was laughing and then laughing out loud,

Willie Tyler: 

there’s other other things. But you know, it’s a strange thing. You know, David, David Letterman, you know, because I work with them, you know, when he was at the Comedy Store out here, you know, he’s the emcee out here. Right. He’s the emcee to the to the Comedy Store. But what happened was, like, years later, they had they had a thing called ventriloquist weak, you know, so it’s like the idea. We were the first ones, less than I was first ones to do the VIN talk this week. Now what happened? You know, David Letterman. He’s a show was from the Ed Sullivan Theater, right in New York. Now, when I was growing up, I would watch their television show. And I always say, I wish I could be on that show, you know, but then when I got to a point where, where I was able to qualify to be on the show, he retired. So the show went on the air. So I’m saying won’t be on the boat will be able to be only a children’s show. But what happened was, like, years later path forward. David was having good luck this week. And so I was able to be I was the first one on Monday. It was Monday through Friday, but we were the first one. And never, it was a strange kind of situation at night. We went on stage, we did the act of laughter. And it was it was it was a great, the audience was great. Everything worked. Everything was perfect. It just everything worked out nicely. And in my mind, and when I came off, and I thought I said, Well, I wanted to be on the other Sullivan Show. But I wasn’t on the show. But yet, in a way, I was only a television show, because we was in the Ed Sullivan Theater.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah. I was gonna say being able to perform in the Ed Sullivan Theater, whatever show it is is such an honor. And I bet you knocked it out of the park that show. It was it was fun. It was like everything is like a situation where everything went perfectly. It just worked perfectly. And you know, another another side to this particular situation was going back to Sri, but again, I never did the television show. Even some people thought I did the show. But what happened was like the Mercedes, they had a commercial table. So we were in the Mercedes commercial. And you’ve seen things where the big personalities and They put them in the video, right? And they lip sync and put different things in a boy in the mind in a way they had. It’s all been there. It was heavy curtain. I mean, it’s tape, you know, getting painters tape. And I think I started doing Lester.

Willie Tyler: 

No, no, they inserted. I’m trying to think of depression as he did the Salomon boys. I can’t think of his own mannequin. Anyway, he did the seven boys. And Lester and I were we were in this Mercedes in the back of it. Somebody was driving it around. And then someone was like watching us drive around in the car, you know, and left the Lester says that must be Mercedes. And let’s say it is Mercedes. And then like a situation where, you know, we cut back the carbon. So in a way, I was on a television show. Oh, that wasn’t on it. But I was on it.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, technology at its best. Yeah. Well, so you’re already as we’ve explained to the audience, you’re already a celebrity, you’re already doing lots of television appearances. And then I opened my club in 1980. And rat rather quickly, I brought you in, because I like variety. X, I was one of the few clubs that didn’t do just straight stand up. I like variety X. And I also like people that my dad liked. He kind of gave me my his sense of humor. And you were one of those people in in the early 80s. You started working for me? Do you remember those days?

Willie Tyler: 

I remember. Yes. I remember. I used to stay at the hotel across the highway, they’re still there. They still walk to walk onto the underpass. They’re good to go under the under the freeway to get to the club. So they went I didn’t drag or walk

Scott Edwards: 

over. Right, right. And, and nobody would have known because Lester’s in a suitcase. So you’re you just look like another tourist with a suitcase.

Willie Tyler: 

That’s true. And what walking on an underpass. They used to be like, kids used to hang out there. And they and they would, they would play some some area someplace there would be playing music. And the kids hung out there and listen to that music. And too many kids were hanging out. So they start playing symphony music, right? They start playing classical music, and then the kid didn’t hang out. They didn’t hang out there anymore.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, it’s funny that you remember that? Because that was one of those things that took time over a couple of years to change in old Sacramento. And you were at the club so much you were able to recognize those differences. That’s a good memory, Willie.

Willie Tyler: 

And also, what I remember is like, you remember the New Year’s Eve shows?

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, yeah. Okay, you did?

Lester: 

Two New Year’s Eve shows.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, we would do a seven o’clock.

Lester: 

The one at nine o’clock. That was for New York.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah. New York, New Year’s. And then we did a 10 o’clock show that ended at midnight when we had a big California New Year’s bash. And we were the the only people we knew that we’re able to celebrate two New Year’s Eve in one night.

Willie Tyler: 

Right, right. What I like what I like, what you did was like, you would hand out the noisemakers, but you would tell tell the audience just me before the before the celebration before the clock stops. Midnight or whatever. So you say do not go to horns or anything like that until the countdown? Well, the audience. They were they agreed?

Scott Edwards: 

Well, I’m going to I’m going to correct you a little bit because it was kind of a fun part about those shows. Willie is right, we would pass out noisemakers during the New Year’s Eve shows. And I would go on stage and explain that we have some really talented headliners to entertain them for New Years. And we don’t want to interrupt their material with noisemakers and horns. But what I would do every time I was on stage as the emcee because I don’t matter. I would let them blow their brains out on their horns and make all the noise they want. Let them get it out of their system and then introduce the next

Lester: 

day we had gotten used to it Yeah,

Scott Edwards: 

yeah. And they had a chance to make some noise and not interrupt the show.

Willie Tyler: 

Right. And the reason I remember this is because I did a show downtown LA one time it was New Year’s Eve. It’s someplace downtown. And somehow, somebody handed out the the noisemakers doing my act. Oh, you know, almost it was like 10 minutes to 12. Two minutes to 12 they started heading and they start blowing that’s why that’s why I remember that. That stuck in my mind. Yeah,

Scott Edwards: 

because They didn’t do it right. And we did. Well, that’s interesting. We you know, we’ve been talking now for a while Willie. And I’m sure everybody’s wondering. That’s in our podcast audience. Is Lester at home is Lester around?

Lester: 

Yeah. Got my earphones on. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, yeah. A

Scott Edwards: 

long time. A long

Lester: 

time. No. See, that’s what the landlord sealer said.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, I am so happy to hear you again. Lester. It’s been many years. In fact, I had a couple questions for you. It has been over 20 years since I’ve seen you. And you look great. What’s your secret?

Lester: 

My secret is just, I just still leave. When would that? That would, wood peckers and termites

Scott Edwards: 

those those would definitely age you wouldn’t say woodpeckers and termites? Well, Lester, you look amazing for your age. And I gotta tell you, thanks for performing at my club so many years ago, but I was Thank you for having me. Well, it was our pleasure. But you know, you’ve been working with Willie. And I know he’s still in the room. So I don’t want to be in delicate. But you’ve been working with Willie for over 50 years. How’s that gone? Do you like working with him?

Lester: 

Yes. Cool. I mean, I could have gone out and on my own and done a line line act.

Scott Edwards: 

Right. Right. If you went out on your own, it would be a mind map. You’re absolutely correct. I was just hoping that after 50 years, you know, like some married couples and some business partners, things can get a little edgy. You guys seem like great friends.

Lester: 

We’re good friends. But hadn’t. But what’s happening is like, we don’t see each other that much. Unless let’s we’re talking him on stage or something like that. We don’t hang out.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh. That’s the secret have a little space in between? Well, that’s really smart. No, yeah.

Lester: 

Maybe the old saying go away so I can miss you.

Scott Edwards: 

I’m gonna have to try that. That sounds like it kept your friendship strong. Now. I was asking Willie earlier. Back in his Motown days, he got a chance to experience a lot of singers. And then later in his life, he started singing but I know that you’re a pretty talented singer as well. Do you prefer? deco him? Oh, you taught him? Yeah, I told him. Oh, I was wondering what you preferred the comedy or the music?

Lester: 

No, I can’t like I like all that kind of stuff. I like both. Because it’s like a singing thing. The same part is like it’s fun. Makes you feel good. The music’s playing and you’re singing. That’s fun.

Scott Edwards: 

And it goes well. Yeah, it goes well, with the comedy I think, you know, a lot of comedy variety shows what have a comic and then a singer. And they do tend to work well together. But last year, you’re one of the few professionals that pull off both comedy and singing so brilliantly.

Lester: 

Well, I used to when we were working like Motown. I used to watch Stevie Wonder and watch little Stevie Wonder back in those days and all the temptations. And I learned I learned from them. I just watch. Watch them. Watch the music and everything like that. It made me feel made me feel real.

Scott Edwards: 

Willie, I know you’re still in the room does. SPEAKER I’m here. You’re both there. So did did the watching those guys kind of help train you as well as Lester.

Lester: 

Yes. It’s just fun. The fun thing about boxing, music. Music is like it’s like a music. The same Ray Charles who was like Rachel’s 90th birthday anniversary, that thing is September the 23rd. And it’s like, we did a video a tribute to him on his website, celebrating his 90th birthday. And on that in that particular little thing that we did, we talked about his song in songs made you feel good. It made you feel sad. And it made you you know, and that’s the same kind of thing with music, music, it can be a situation where a particular song can make you feel, make you jump up and down and dance. And another one can make you to sit down and think about what happened yesterday or what happened to us before.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, I think that music connects with people’s emotions. And that’s why so many people like to sing and enjoy singing. And what’s interesting is that you were a very talented or are a very talented singer. But you are a tremendous stand up comic. I know Lester, you had some great jokes in those days.

Lester: 

Yeah, I used to do the punch line he used to do to he was straight man. I was I was the guy that did.

Scott Edwards: 

That’s why I remember you being funnier than when Billy

Lester: 

Yeah, that’s good.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, I had one more question for Lester. If you got a minute, Lester, back back in 1985. You, me and Willie work together on a fox 40. TV special a one hour show. And we had you and Willie as the host of that show. We had some very big names like Dave Kuya and Dana Carvey on that show. But what was interesting, Lester is I let you drive my pink Cadillac as part of the opening of the show. Have you done a lot of driving?

Lester: 

No, that was it. That was the first and last time Well, if you want to take you can see why it was my last time.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, I got to tell you, we do have all that on tape. And it was really exciting. And a little scary for me as the owner, Lester, I gotta be honest, to have you driving my car. But I was a big car. Yeah, it was. It was a big pink convertible. It was an amazing car. But you did a great job driving it. And even though it was a little, little sketchy, you were a little heavy on the brake. You there was no damage. And I just want to say thank you.

Lester: 

But I did. I was able to stop though. Oh, yeah.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, yeah. You did. In fact, if you remember you kind of fun forward and Willie had to save you.

Lester: 

Yeah, right in front of the club. We almost freaked out real fast.

Scott Edwards: 

Yeah, it was a real honor having you. And Willie, as the emcee of that show, it was our first of three TV shows. We did two short series I won for ABC and one for NBC. But it was the fox one our special having you is the professional emcee really added some validity and in style and class to that first production. So thank you.

Lester: 

That was a fun night. You know, we live we like really like that club. Because this idea of you know, the club was downstairs. Well, it’s sort of hard to explain. But it’s down. It was downstairs basement level shows, at the the shows people would go upstairs, we had a little magic stuff going

Scott Edwards: 

on the magic that bar right. And

Lester: 

then people would go out there after the shows and we will hang out up there to also. And it was a fun place to

Scott Edwards: 

be. I always thought in my personal experience, visiting entertainment venues. I always appreciated it more if I had an opportunity if I was willing to hang out, I could meet or chat with or thank an entertainer for the the previous couple hours of entertainment. And the idea of the magic hat was not only a place to hold the audience before the show on a to show night, but after the show’s celebrities like you, and Pat Paulson and soupy sales, and later on Bob Saget, cool, yay, Leno could go up and actually meet the audience and the audience would be so appreciative of that opportunity to maybe get an autograph or say thank you or just meet people that they really were impressed with on stage. And I’m glad you remember those days I is again, I can’t emphasize enough how important it was to the history and the success of the club. To have an area that was fun. While having an active your stature made a difference. from Detroit, Michigan, right?

Willie Tyler: 

Yes, cuz I remember, cuz, cuz I met him a few times. And he knows me. I know him. You know, it’s like, oh, we’re doing a documentary. We’re working on a documentary. So eventually that’ll be out. So it’s like it’s been years in the making, but it will. It’ll be out eventually.

Scott Edwards: 

Does it have a title so we can tell people? Oh, it is Hello, dummy. Oh, hello, dummy. Okay.

Lester: 

But you know, what? Mr. Excitement, what’s his name? He passed away. Man, I can’t think of his name. Oh, boy. That’s okay. But then we got a sizzle sizzle reel, and people can go and see the live excerpts from it. It’s Hello, Dash dummy.com

Scott Edwards: 

Okay, well, everybody out there in the podcast land. Hello, Dash dummy.com Be sure to check it out. I will do that.

Lester: 

And it’s an it’s it’s a nice document because it’s got a lot of other entertainers that we work with. And they talk about

Scott Edwards: 

I can’t wait to see. And I want the podcast audience to know that we do have some terrific material by you and Lester at the end of this interview to share with them so when they are going to be able to get a chance to hear some of your terrific comedy. Now you were, as we’ve mentioned a couple times, a huge entertainer to have come into the club in the 80s and 90s. But I did sell the club and move on in the last 20 years. I know you’ve continued to do something like 12 different television appearances. And I know you’re still a hard working stage comic. Now the last thing I saw was in 2019, I think it was. You did a show you’re a host or regular on. The Kids Are All Right. Is that sound, right?

Lester: 

No, we were on that particular show was the episode on that show. All right. There’s one episode but what No, but I saw the strange because that show the kids all right. It takes place in the 60s. It took place in the 60s. One of the kids, one of the kids in the household. He was a ventriloquist. And I, and I was his a mentor. I mean, he, he would watch me on TV in the 60s. He would he would watch me on TV. And he would always walk around in some episodes with his little character. And he always talked about Willie Tyler and Lester.

Scott Edwards: 

Wow. That’s

Lester: 

right. And the last, the last season of the show. They had me come on. And what happened was his brother went to Vegas. And somehow another, his brother got lost just lost his brothers, ventriloquist figure, you know. And so what happens like they finally sent the picture to their house. But it wasn’t his big it was my fingers, Lester? Oh. Yeah, he has left her and I have I wound up with this character. So it’s like a situation where, you know, he had Lester. And then they look at TV and they see me on TV with his little redheaded character.

Scott Edwards: 

Oh, that was a great way to go.

Lester: 

That was really that was nice for them to do that, you know, put us in there as it’s wonderful. Interest.

Scott Edwards: 

That’s a terrific tribute, Willie. And it’s been mentioned that several times you are one of the best ventriloquist out there. ventriloquism seems to be having a little bit of a comeback. You are still one of the main examples of how to do it right on television. I did want to ask in the last 20 years it was you I know you did that show? Was there anything else that you’ve done that was you’d like to share with the audience or you’re especially proud of?

Lester: 

We’ve done down through the years, you know, we’ve done a whole bunch of things we did. We did thing with Diana Ross is a premier years ago at the Hollywood, Hollywood. Oh boy, Hollywood Bowl. Madonna. No, not the Hollywood Bowl is a particular show. Show, please, in Hollywood here. Wait Saturday night, somebody would host the show for an hour. And we did with the supreme when the Supreme hosted the show on that show with the Jackson Five and Stevie Wonder. And Sammy Davis Jr.

Scott Edwards: 

Wow. That’s a terrific people to work with.

Lester: 

And I did it the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, when he’s doing a tonight show he would take some time off sometimes. And I guess folks would come on. And Sammy Davis Jr. was guest posting that particular night. And I was able to do tonight’s show with Sammy Davis Jr. I was up in Lake Tahoe with Sammy. Yes, I was working with Sammy up in Lake Tahoe. And he came in aggression when I used to hey, I’m doing a tonight show next week. You want to do it. That’s it. So that’s how I was able to get that particular thing. But I wasn’t even I like working in showbiz. I work with all kinds of actual Dolly Parton. You know, it was like Glen Campbell, you know, it’s like oil, a whole bunch of people that dimension that dimension. And although folks,

Scott Edwards: 

you’ve had this career, Willie, I hope you take pride in what you’ve accomplished, because it’s very impressive. And, you know, go ahead, I was just gonna say even though you got a chance to work with all those celebrities, you’re a celebrity and so you fit in naturally with those the names that you’re dropping, Willie Tyler and Lester could fit in that list and just as easily as anything else. That was a real tribute to your success.

Lester: 

As a whole by the way, that I was trying to think of before with Don Rickles Oh Don Don Rickles, no, Don Rickles did an album called Hello dummy alto. But he did it. He did it years after. I think title right was different though. But it’s that Don Rickles, but he was He, sometimes we need to go to the internet, you’ll find Hello dummy. But you’ll see Don Rickles well, as opposed to Hello,

Scott Edwards: 

it’s good to me. Right? Well, it’s good. We explain that to the podcast audience now I want to enter a show. Have everybody listened to one of your sets. But before we get to that I have one last serious question as a ventriloquist. I’ve seen on TV and met personally, many of them. And a lot of those ventriloquist will have multiple ventriloquist figures. In other words, they will use several. I hate to use the word dummies on stage because there are times they’re smarter than the ventriloquist. But the ventriloquist figures, many of the people out there now have multiple characters, but you have stayed and sharpen your skills and your wit with Lester. Was there ever any thought of doing multiple characters? Are you just so comfortable and have such a good friendship with Lester that it worked?

Lester: 

When I first started out, I was trying to I would try to get another character, I would try to put it back on board. I bought a figure for chocolate figure one time, and I never used it. And it this fat until it disappeared. I don’t know what happened to but if I had never used it, but so it got to a point where I said, what I’d like to do is like put all the energies instead of watering down the characters, I put all the energy into laughter. So people, he has a personality now so people know laughter. So it’s not like, his personality is watered down into other characters. So it’s just all the energy is put into laughter. That’s why he’s so popular people know him.

Scott Edwards: 

And I alluded to when I was chatting with Lester a few minutes ago, he has his own celebrity, his own fame. And I think that comes to that focus that you put on that relationship and that character. And I was just curious, though, if you ever dabbled with others in it makes perfect sense. And it paid off that you have been able to create this, like you said, this personality that lives today.

Lester: 

I mean, other people, you know, other people, it works for them, you know, and they’re comfortable with that. But it’s the I’ve always been comfortable with just just having Lester and this D ID because I can throw the energy into everything into that into that particular character.

Scott Edwards: 

Well, you’ve done a great job. You’ve had an amazing career. We really appreciate you being on the podcast and sharing that with us. But before I share a comedy clip of you in Leicester, is there a way that you in Leicester could lead us out of this podcast with a little bit of a song?

Lester: 

Let’s see. See. The song. Let’s let’s come over here. Let’s let’s come in. He’s over at the computer. Yo, yo, yo, yo, what’s up? We got to do a little something. musical thing real short, real show. I think we’re gonna do. Let’s see. Let’s go there now comes around again. Hey, look, go around again, please.

Scott Edwards: 

That was great. Wow, Lester, thanks so much for sharing a little bit of music with us. Thank you. You just keep it up, buddy. And we’re gonna make you look good with some comedy right now. Willie. Lester, thanks so much for joining us on this podcast. Ladies and gentlemen, sit back and relax and enjoy some great stand up material by the one and only Willie Tyler and Lester. Thanks, Willie.

Lester: 

Thank you. Thank you

Willie Tyler: 

watch out the wheel. Watch that guy. Watch that. Turn left. Dude. Dude. I thought it showed up to you pop this off. I gotta go. Laughs Unlimited

Scott Edwards: 

It’s an evening of comedy with your host, Willie Tyler and Lester

Willie Tyler: 

Thank you very much and pleasant Good evening everybody white light rail from do laughs unlimited right live you’re learning man did you park the car like the cars parked Don’t worry but like we got to like a nice parking lot outside lot of security. We got announcements somebody here tonight who has license plate number 1684 Nine your lights are gone I noticed you got a microphone there right you don’t some watching people watching your mouth man you know you really can’t tell by watching his mouth don’t watch his mouth see? Because sometimes his mouth is not moving. My mouth is not moving. And people are saying Where the hell is your willpower and determination you’re into that right now. I always say this a lot. See, when you got the willpower. You got the determination you know, you can do it. But first of all, I will give you this I want you to humbled I just did. Humbled I just did. Take me on that little link up there that’s good. What are we going to do now? No, no, no lay holding that’s easy part Linlin. Before we gonna do now we’re gonna give you what we just did, simultaneously we’re gonna when I point to you, I want you to do the exact same thing that you just did. Are you ready? You’re ready if you don’t watch me, okay. I’ll not okay thank you very much ladies and doing right now we’d like to get our show moving down the road of success this evening. Okay, now we’re gonna use a gentleman who does I guess he does voices and he does. You know, like basically sound effects. You know, he’s got his own cable show. Right? Like, okay, now you’re doing really sound effects and things like

Lester: 

Chuck Yup, yup. Yup, yup. Was that early bird catching one? What’s the Yep. For your lead one lady. Ladies, you don’t hear? Yes. Mr. Dave cool. Yay. Come on.

Scott Edwards: 

That was Willie Tyler and Lester from the opening of our fox 40 TV Show special back in 1985. And as you heard that was Lester driving the car up to the club in the beginning of the show. And then Willie Tyler and Lester doing a little opening bit before they introduced David Cuvier. Who appeared on that show. But we have a little bit more material from really Tyler and Lester. So sit back and enjoy this

Willie Tyler: 

take with you a bone to pick with me. Yeah, that’s the computer dating service. Well, that’s why I told you about that. How did things work out? I went down to my interest, my dislikes. My physical attributes are another thing. And what do they match you up with? A coffee table? Are you in the football? I love football man but last year I watch so much football that I had a nightmare. You had a nightmare. Yeah Gentile is locked in a room with own a Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders, and I couldn’t get out what’s so bad about them? They all had changed salts let me ask you something, I guess something else to ask. My partner less folks is very quick, very witty. Now when it comes to anything he can handle it because he’s like his mind is like a steel trap. We’re going to try it out. We’re going to take you back to what we call Old Time Radio. Now I’m going to show you he’ll make these things up just like that by taking you back now to Sergeant Preston of the Northwest Mounted Police on King on you Huskies. taking you back once again, turning the dial you get this return with us now to those thrilling days of guests to hear from out of the past come out honoring hoofbeats of the great white silver. The Lone Ranger Rides Again Would you mind leaving a hole to the last word so we can get into slow songs we’re gonna do it.

Lester: 

Peace. Okay, so slightly heavier. eyes keep your ear to the ground and somebody will step on your head yeah like that do you see things so you can tell when you d when I hear you sneeze a good night

Scott Edwards: 

ladies and gentlemen, always funny always professional and always such a treat to have on my stages. That was Willie Tyler and Lester doing a comedy set from back in the 90s. I know you enjoyed that and I hope you enjoyed the interview. It was a thrill to get Lester on the line with Willie and do a little singing something a little extra special. Hey, thanks for joining us on this podcast will be another new one next Sunday. You guys take care. Bye.

Announcer: 

We hope you enjoyed this episode of Stand Up Comedy you’re hosting him see. For information on the show merchandise and our sponsors or to send comments to Scott. Visit our website at WWW dot stand up your host and emcee.com Look for more episodes soon and enjoy the world of stand up comedy. Visit a comedy show room near you.

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