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Piff the Magic Dragon is producing his own puppet partner

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July 06, 2019 By John Katsilometes

Piff the Magic Dragon has a great appreciation for the ventriloquial arts.

Meaning, he has appreciated that ventriloquists have helped render him “The Loser of America’s Got Talent.”

Paul Zerdin topped the disaffected comic-magician for the season 10 championship. Darci Lynn Farmer finished higher than the Piff in “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” in February. She was runner-up; he was run off.

Piff, who headlines at Flamingo Las Vegas, is also aware that former champ Terry Fator has been running his ventriloquism production in his self-named theater at the Mirage for more than a decade.

Bowing to the trends, Piff has developed his own a puppet partner: A figure named Mr. Stuffles. He’s named that until Piff, whose real name is John van der Put, can think of a better name.

“After multiple defeats at the hands of the puppet masters, I have decided if you can’t beat them, join them,” Piff reasons. There is no time line to introduce the puppet into the act, as Piff has a lot of projects under development.

Piff also finishes filming on his debut special this next month, which features Penn Jillette as Pop the Magic Dragon (Piff’s father).

The show has been pitched to cable channels and streaming services. As Piff says, “I expect a fierce bidding war to break out between Netflix, Amazon, Showtime and ‘America’s Funniest Home Videos’ — 99 percent of the special is of me, falling over.”

Long-term, Piff is creating a large-scale, Broadway-styled, “extravaganza” with a live band, singing, dancing and larger magic routines. As he says, “I want to become the medieval David Copperfield!”

Piff emphasizes that the use guillotines and sawing people in half in boxes were commonplace in that era, but he says his are strictly for entertainment purposes.


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