He’s not the first, but he is the latest ventriloquist to take home the 1 million dollar prize on last night’s season finale of America’s Got Talent. Congratulations are in order for Paul Zerdin. Following in the footsteps of season 2’s winner Terry Fator, who joined the British ventriloquist last night on stage, Zerdin delivered what it took to take home the crown. And funny enough, Jeff Dunham, currently the most well known ventriloquist, is debuting his latest special Unhinged in Hollywood tonight on NBC. Do we sense a resurgence here? Should we have all of these ventriloquists in the same location at the same time? Zerdin and his puppet Sam have come quite a long way since appearing on and winning The Big, Big, Talent Show nearly 20 years ago in the UK. He was able to fend off mentalist Oz Pearlman, comedians Drew Lynch and Gary Vider, and two comedic magicians Derek Hughes and Piff the Magic Dragon among others to win the cash. Acts infused with comedy have all done well on AGT, however we’ve yet to have a straight stand-up win it all despite the constant support from judge Howard Stern who signed off the show for the final time.
In his farewell segment, Stern stated, “I thought it would be really cool to be a judge, because I think I have something to offer,” he says. “If I had any dream about this, it’s that I could take someone who was struggling and seriously give advice. I was told over and over again that I had no talent. I was in college radio. No one was banking on me.” Stern continued, “I’ve had such incredible moments on this show. I really have… It has been phenomenal.” As for what’s next with winner Paul Zerdin? He will headline America’s Got Talent Live in Las Vegas from October 22 to 24 at the PH Showroom at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. And open-call auditions for Season 11 are right around the corner on November 7 in Detroit. No time wasted. Here’s Paul Zerdin joined by Season 2 winner Terry Fader from last night’s finale.