An accomplished ventriloquist, comedian, actor and master of ceremonies, Gary Brodeur has been on stage for over 40 years. He performs his own full-length stage performances and has been the opening act for such country artists as Hal Ketchum, Toby Keith and Lee Roy Parnell. His audiences have ranged from 150 in small comedy clubs and coffeehouses to 5,000 in outdoor concerts and indoor arenas.
Off-stage he has worked extensively in television, films, and radio over the years with entertainers as diverse as John Lennon, Garth Brooks, The Three Stooges, Shania Twain & Jay Leno.
Gary Brodeur's talents don't end at being a great ventriloquist; they only begin.
From his work behind the scenes as a producer, writer and director to his work in the spotlight as a comedian, ventriloquist, puppeteer, actor, interviewer and radio personality, Gary is a sure promise of entertainment.
Brodeur began his career in show business at the age of eight when he was using puppetry to entertain classes throughout his grade school years.
Gary credits three ventriloquists with his success. They are Paul Winchell, Jimmy Nelson and Edgar Bergan. Brodeur became interested in ventriloquism when he first saw Paul Winchell and his partners Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff on their television show. Gary received a Jerry Mahoney ventriloquist figure and a pamphlet entitled, "How To Become A Ventriloquist" by Paul Winchell, from his parents for Christmas one year.
At fourteen, Brodeur continued to pursue his career as a ventriloquist when he met Jimmy Nelson. Nelson and his partners Danny O'Day and Farfel, provided the needed encouragement, advice and assistance at this critical time in Gary's career.
Ventriloquism was a hobby of Brodeur's during his later school years. It wasn't until he was a junior in high school that he began performing semi-professionally when Rusty Daniels arrived in April of 1969.
This was the beginning. Gary and Rusty began performing publicly. They started doing everything they could: high school shows, local television appearances, amusement parks, holiday parties, gas station openings, etc.
It was the beginning of college in September 1970 and Rusty took a back seat to studies. It was during this period that Brodeur became interested in Edgar Bergan and his partners Charlie McCarthy and Mortimer Snerd.
Gary became involved in radio broadcasting during the college years and he had several radio programs of his own including, "The Morning Maniac Show." Brodeur also did a lot of freelance interviewing. He conducted interviews with such celebrities as Jimmy Nelson, Leonard Nimoy, John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, The Three Stooges, Arlo Guthrie and many more.
In 1977 Brodeur created, wrote, produced and hosted a one hour weekly comedy radio program called, "Aboard The Starship Blunder". He played the role of Captain Boomer in this program. Other characters on the show were: First Officer Mr. Crock; Chief Engineer John Potty; Starlet O'Hara, an interplanetary hooker; Luke Mudhopper, an interplanetary scout; and AC-DC, a re-wired robot. The program aired on Monday evenings 10 PM to 11 PM from February 1977 through November 1977.
Zacery the Dog joined Gary and Rusty on the stage in 1979. Gary, Rusty and Zacery were regulars on the television show "Odyssey" during the 1978-1979 season. The show was cited by Action for Children's Television (ACT) for "a significant contribution toward improving children's television".
Brodeur created, produced, wrote and starred in a television pilot entitled, "Gary & Rusty's Traveling Machine" in 1986. Gary and Rusty were joined by Zacery in this thirty minute children's educational production.
As a spinoff of the pilot came a sixty minute documentary entitled, "An Enchanting Evening With Margo Rose". Margo Rose and her husband Rufus Rose were the puppet builders for the "Howdy Doody Show". Rufus Rose was also the puppeteer who operated Howdy Doody. Both Rufus and Margo are very well respected in the world of puppetry. Brodeur's guests for this program were: Margo Rose, Frank Ballard and Muppet creator Jim Henson.
The Razcal Corporation, the makers of a soft drink called Razcal, hired Gary to create a "character logo" for their company. Razcal the Rabbit was created and built for use in television commercials as well as performances at fan festivals, shopping malls, corporate functions, and trade shows.
Gary Brodeur created a children's radio show called "Gary and Rusty's Funshine Radio Show" that aired from 1992-1994. It was a 30 minute program that included children's music, jokes from Zacery, and book reviews by Ashley (Gary's daughter). The Funshine Radio Show ran in syndication for two and a half years and recieved national recognition from parent organizations. The show won "Best Childrens' Program" from the Massachusetts Broadcasting Association. Ted Kennedy comments in a letter to Gary, "To win in Massachusetts is no small accomplishment, for the remarkable quality of the competition is something very well recognized. So once again, let me say well done. You have every reason to be very proud."
Gary Brodeur and Rusty Daniels were the morning air personalities on WPVQ 93.9 - 97.1 - 105.3 Pioneer Valley's Country FM and also worldwide on the internet at www.wpvq.com. "Brodeur and Daniels in The Morning" was heard Monday through Friday from 5:30-9:00 a.m. for six years and was the number one morning show in the market for all six years. Gary and Rusty had many country artists on their show during the years, highlighted by Garth Brooks, Shania Twain, Faith Hill and the Dixie Chicks. Brodeur comments, "It was kind of funny because all of the artists wanted to come on the show just to 'play' with Rusty on the air."
Otis has been around a long time and takes great pleasure in pointing out to Gary that he has not aged a day in years while Gary seems to have aged quite a bit. To the point that he likes to mention that now the two of them look like the two old guys from the Muppet Show.
Otis is pretty much like a lot of senior citizens you may know. He has seem the world...lived his life...and does not care to hold his truthful comments about anything anymore.
Rusty Daniels is originally from Kirkland, Washington. Offers came in during Rusty's early years as an entertainer for parts in television series and movies, he declined them because he felt those parts offered didn't allow him to stretch as an artist. Rusty told us, "I remember one part called for me just to sit on a chair with a blank stare on my face and say nothing. I needed more. I felt I could do more."
After working comedy clubs as a solo performer for a few years, he joined Gary Brodeur in 1969. Times were tough at the beginning, but he enjoys being able to interact with his audience. He eventually wants to have his own designer line of clothes for short people. When asked for a serious comment on life, Rusty replied; "As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point your way."
Zacery was born in Northampton, Massachusetts. For several years, Zacery worked as a street performer, though his dream was to become a stand-up comic. Zacery spent his off time sitting outside Starbucks drinking coffee and making wise cracks at people walking by.
After being impounded in 1990 (for disturbing the peace and making a public nuisance of himself), Gary agreed to let Rusty adopt Zacery. To Gary's surprise, not only was he able to talk, but he was the ultimate stand-up comedian. Gary and Rusty decided to ask Zacery to join their comedy team. (He still finds it hard to keep his irreverent behavior to himself.)
Chad is the latest addition to the troup.
He works in the business world and has gone through a lot in recent years.
As you can see, he is obviously more than a little stressed out and a little more than hyper.
He tries to fly below the radar at work so they won't see that he is still there for fear he will lose his job when they find out that both he and them are not really sure what he does.
Originally from a long line of Fairy Godmothers descending from England, Agnes moved to Punta Gorda, Florida in 1979 to begin her "fun in the sun" retirement.
Agnes joined the act in 1986 after retiring from the Fairy Godmother business which she worked in for 149 years. When asked why she didn't stick it out for one more year and make it 150, she replied, "I just couldn't take anymore wish granting. I got sick of all the whiny people."
Agnes met Gary at one of his shows when he was on the road and made an appearance in Florida. Gary invited her to join the group. Agnes still dabbles in the business on occasion and grants a wish, even though her skills are not quite as sharp as they used to be.