On This Day In Comedy… In 1940 Comedian And Ventriloquist Willie Tyler Was Born!



Ventriloquist, Willie Tyler was born in Red Level, Alabama.

Raised in South East Detroit, Michigan

Tyler got introduced to the public in 1972 on the NBC hit show, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.  From that launching pad Tyler and his dummy Lester have worked in practically every medium. If you could watch it or hear it – they did it.

In the 80s they were big.   Every sitcom needed a ventriloquist and his dummy to guest star otherwise you just can’t call yourself a real sitcom.  Willie Tyler & Lester got it in.  They appeared in “The Parent “Hood, “What’s Happening Now!!”, and “The Jeffersons”.  They’ve been pitchmen for McDonalds and Toyota.  They did game shows: “The Match Game” and “Family Feud”.  They did variety shows: “The Flip Wilson Show”, “The Staler Brothers Show” and “The Hollywood Palace”. They served as host of the Saturday morning children’s anthology series, “The ABC Weekend Special”   The duo even managed to squeeze films into their schedule.   Willie without Lester appeared in “Coming Home” with Jon Voight in 1978.  He was also in “For Da Love of Money”.

You name it – they were on it: “The White Shadow”, “Pacific Blue” and “Frank McKlusky.   Willie was himself at the BET Comedy Awards in 2004 and the first ventriloquist to appear on the Late Night with David Letterman on Ventriloquist Week (who did you expect?)

By Darryl “D’Militant” Littleton


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The Humor Mill Magazine is a on line digital magazine, website and TV show that’s about the Urban Comic & Urban Hollywood for the general audience. Its for comedians/actors who are looking for that outlet to be seen, and its also about the under-served Urban Hollywood scene. The Humor Mill Magazine features comedy, music and movie news, while we also discuss some important issues. We also feature comics who have been on the scene for a while but haven’t quite become a household name yet. We also feature articles on Hollywood actors who we see all the time but just don’t know their name yet. All that, plus what’s going down for the week in the latest issue, The Humor Mill covers it all as it keeps you IN THE KNOW!


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