Reviews are in!
“Todd you were fantastic! A ’10’, I didn’t want your act to stop.”
– Sharon Osborne, America’s Got Talent/NBC
“Todd, your act with Irving is absolutely wonderful.”
– Paul Harvey, Nationally Syndicated Radio Host
– Ralph Emory, Nashville Now
“If you have never thought a dog could talk, think again!! Todd Oliver & his talking dog captivated our students and brought a show they will never forget!”
– Wendy Sparks, Operations Manager, The Center for the Arts, Russellville, AR
“The funniest show we’ve ever had. A perfect show for the family and a great value for a great price.”
– Phil Kuhn, Performing Arts Center Director, Warsaw Community High School, Warsaw, IN
“Thank you, Todd, your program was the best school assembly this school has hosted in all my years as principal.”
– Tom Ray, Principal, Washington Elementary School, Warsaw, IN
“As a PAC executive director, I’ve never seen anything like this! He was truly amazing to work with.”
– Amy Frank, Executive Director, Sun Prairie Performing Arts Center, Sun Prairie, WI
“The audience loved Todd. It was one of the best family shows we’ve had.”
– Don Volk, Executive Director, Paramount Theatre Centre, Anderson, IN
“The audience, young and old alike, laughed from beginning to end!”
– Louanne Lewitt, Claremont Opera House, Claremont, NH
“Todd is a consummate performer and the most congenial man I have ever worked with. His work ethic is astounding and he treats everyone with respect and kindness – which makes him the very best role model for the students ALT provided programs for. Our packed houses for three shows are proof that the audiences adored him and the crew happily worked beside him for very long hours with nary a complaint. In short, his visit to our area and his presentations were the highlight of our concert series this year!”
– Lee Cox, Marketing & Development Director, Alton Little Theater, Alton, IL
“The show was awesome!”
– Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc.
“Original…fresh…a top-notch professional”
– Jim Everett, Princess Cruises
“The response from everyone, from inside the U.S. and from other countries, was unanimous…you were great!”
– Francis Seppala, 3M Corporation
“To sum up Mr. Oliver’s performance: It was fantastic, the highlight of the convention.”
– Educational Funding Company
“I am writing to offer my highest recommendation to Todd Oliver as a performer for any venue or setting.”
– Richard Friedman, General Manager, Theatre at the Center [read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”]
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing to offer my highest recommendation to Todd Oliver as a performer for any venue or setting. We had the pleasure of hosting Todd and his friends (both canine and wooden) at our theatre this past weekend. A very large turnout of adults and families had a thoroughly enjoyable time – laughing at both Todd’s amazing skills as a ventriloquist and the inventiveness and wit of his presentation.
Todd volunteered to arrive in the Chicago area several days early to help promote the show and involve our community directly in his residency. This resulted in a great appearance on Chicago’s highest rated morning news program and performances he donated to two local schools. The bantering news anchors loved being gently mocked by Irving, Todd’s acerbic Boston terrier, and the schoolchildren were transfixed by Irving and one of Todd’s “dummies” named Joey Clark. His message to the children was especially empowering as Todd credited the great teachers who encouraged his passion for using his voice to entertain people in unexpected ways.
The main performance began with a lovely short film as a young Todd is supported by his family to pursue his dreams. Todd lets his superstar Irving get things kicked off right away hilariously, before moving into some delightful magic tricks involving some eager audience members. We meet Joey and a very funny and surprisingly touching older couple – Pops and Lilly. For the piece de resistance, Todd asks Irving to respond to a series of questions that the audience has submitted before the show.
For venues considering presenting Todd, please know that he is a true gentleman, thanking our crew genuinely from the stage and making sure that all his on-stage volunteers were treated with respect. He travels in a van with his small menagerie and is low maintenance. He brought a very wholesome and positive energy to our Theatre and the audience response was wildly enthusiastic. Many people thanked me for booking Todd as they left the theatre, where Todd patiently greets people in the lobby and is happy to take photos or sign program books.
Don’t hesitate to call if you have any questions about our experience hosting Todd Oliver. I’m certain that you and your patrons will be thankful if you are able to bring Todd to your town.
Theatre at the Center
[/read] “After the show, Oliver & Irving posed for many a picture, with Irving even shaking hands — well, paws in his case.”
– Elsie Hodnett, The Anniston Star [read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”]
Todd Oliver & Friends put on a ‘something-for-all-ages’ performance Saturday at the Historic Ritz Theatre
– By Elsie Hodnett, Home staff writer / Posted: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 11:38 pm
The Anniston Star
If you’ve ever wondered what a dog thinks, the Todd Oliver & Friends performance at the Historic Ritz Theatre on Saturday answered those questions and more.It was a great event with truly something for all ages, with about 50 to 60 kids in a crowd of almost 300.
Oliver travels the country with “talking” dog Irving and a “real” cast of characters — Pops, Miss Lilly and Joey.
And Irving had quite a lot to say – -both on the subjects of pets and doggy thoughts, but also on things like upcoming presidential elections.
It was clean, great humor that had everyone laughing.
And it did exactly what Ritz Executive Director George Culver wanted; it brought the theatre a show that makes a great fun outing for the whole family.
“He is so wonderfully unique, and with his humor with the dogs and other ‘friends’ is so universally appealing,” Culver said. “That’s why we wanted to bring Todd to The Ritz.”
Oliver shared his journey to becoming a ventriloquist, which related with his keyboard-playing skill (nicely shown) and sent the message to work hard at whatever you do to become successful.
And Irving, ham that he was, kept sneaking back onstage for another shot at voicing his opinion, much to the enjoyment of the kids in attendance.
Oliver’s interaction with the crowd showed that if you try to “volunteer” a friend, you just might end up onstage yourself.
After the show, Oliver and Irving posed for many a picture, with Irving even shaking hands — well, paws in his case.
It truly was a show where I laughed myself silly, enjoying every moment as much as the 4-year-old two seats over.
“A crowd with people of all ages at the first show of this month laughed out loud during Oliver and Irving’s eight-minute skit.”
– Steve Palisin, The Sun News [read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”]
Animal Antics | Act with ‘Talking Dog’ Brings Out Laughs at Theater
– By Steve Palisin / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sun News
No bones about it: Irving “the Talking Dog” never shows one iota of stage fright.
With his owner, Todd Oliver, the lines fly from the 6-year-old Boston terrier nightly during “One the Show,” at the Alabama Theatre, in Barefoot Landing in North Myrtle Beach. After they walk together on stage, Irving goes leashless in his own seat.
The pair will continue with their skits through Oct. 26, but will be out of town Sept. 27-Oct. 1. Animals star on stage and in the limelight at several places across the Grand Strand, especially on the equestrian end year round at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament.
Look for a lot more from Irving besides maybe singing the trademark line from “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?” at the Alabama Theatre. He’s quite the bouncing board for punch lines.
A crowd with people of all ages at the first show of this month laughed out loud during Oliver and Irving’s eight-minute skit. Asked what he thinks “of Myrtle Beach,” Irving will get frank from envisioning a female: “I don’t know. Where is she sitting?”
When the subject turns to who scratches whose back, Irving voices his approval, never mind dealing with fleas: “That’s good; I like it.”
Theatergoers flocked around Oliver and Irving for photos during the whole intermission. Again, Irving looked used to the whole setting, never flinching with nerves.
With mic in hand, Oliver also got serious for just seconds, reminding the audience about the mutual benefits of adopting a pet. “They know it,” he said, speaking for so many pets in need of a home getting a second, or only, chance.
Speaking more leisurely a few hours before another show, Oliver said his 17-pound sidekick’s favorite treats are bites of cheese, American and Cheez-Its.
“He loves anything that comes out of the refrigerator,” Oliver said. “You have to watch it.”
Oliver declared Irving isn’t a show dog. He’s never attended a “live dog show” to pick up points and ribbons at a kennel club gathering to meet his breed’s standard.
“He’s a personal pet,” Oliver said as Irving dozed beside him on a couch. “He’s my dog that comes and does the show with me.”
Irving is one of three dogs at home in Saddlebrooke, Mo., along with two “good ranch dogs” found on a roadside and welcomed into the family.
Outside of the show, when he and Irving visit school assemblies, Oliver shares a “subtle message: about using time wisely and amassing skills and talents to use as adults.
“That’s what happened to me,” Oliver said, voicing the path that ventriloquism paved for him.
Frequenting the local library often as a child and fatherless from age 10, Oliver said “my dreams have come true” since that time and first “working my act for free, and the audience is a great teacher.”
“You get a great education when you volunteer,” Oliver said of visiting schools, building on many years of school assemblies and visiting places such as a Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Paul, Minn.
Oliver also voiced the importance for “families to laugh together,” such as on a picnic or watching entertainment.
“My folks were always laughing when I was a kid,” he said, remembering that although his father, an airline mechanic, endured three strokes and lost his expression of vocabulary, “he never lost that sense of humor.”
Oliver has performed on various TV series and shows, including “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Show with David Letterman,” the latter for which he was among five featured ventriloquists taking turns in one week.
A TV pilot with Irving, “Todd Oliver & Friends,” is being pitched (www.funnydog.com) to networks for a series, and Netflix carries “Todd Oliver: Funny Dog.”
He has enjoyed this summer in a setting among a “top notch” cast at the Alabama Theatre he praised repeatedly, adding to his resume of performing around the world, “the Bahamas and Tokyo included.”
Having grown up in the 1960s and ’70s, Oliver said that era provided more venues for entertainers to work their craft.
“A live show in a theater is a new experience for a lot of people,” he said, “because they’re used to viewing entertainment on phones, computers and television.”
Oliver also pointed out how a few minutes twice in a revue such as “One the Show” – amid genres of hit songs such as Chicago’s “Saturday in the Park”; the Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”; Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September”; and “Bring Him Home” from “Les Miserables” – provide a different challenge in building “a relationship with the audience,” hence the need to connect and “work fast” with a routine.
“The great thing for a ventriloquist,” Oliver quipped, “is you get to see what the dummy has to say.”
Just some of what we’ve heard audiences say…
“I’ve never laughed so hard in my life, amazing!”
“A great act!”
“Our whole family loved it!”
“Wonderful, the highlight of our trip to Branson!”
See for yourself! Book Todd Oliver & Irving the Talking Dog!