Wing Tip Shu
In his appearances for clients like IBM, Kodak,
the Mark Merchant show is custom tailored for the individual
client. The audience involvement is complete and the message
is delivered with carefully scripted comedy.
When Mark Merchant was eight years old in Atlanta, Georgia, his parents were so concerned with his tendency to talk to himself they had him examined for multiple personality disorder.
The jury is still out on his level of disorder. However that same talking to himself, without moving his lips, has taken him around the world, paid for his home, and introduced Mark to his wife of 21 years.
A chance meeting with legendary ventriloquist Jimmy Nelson, of the Nestle's Quik television commercials in the 1960's started Mark on the path on which he is still thriving. Nelson's record of ventriloquism instructions featuring the characters Danny O'Day and Farfel led to the development of Mark's vocal characterizations and superb technical skill.
In high school Mark was known to call himself out of class by using his voice tossing ability and make it appear to come from the PA system. Totally devoid of athletic ability, the penchant for making others laugh was his ticket to fun and girlfriends, not always in that order.
At Georgia State University School of Journalism, Mark wrote for the school newspaper. His instructors frowned on his tendency to make up the news. It did hasten his descent into fantasy and real jobs at Atlanta radio stations where fact checking was not as important as on the air humor. Mark graduated from Georgia a full six years into a difficult four-year program. While achieving his BA in Broadcast Journalism, he also attained a degree from Clayton College in Dental Hygiene. He loved the nitrous oxide, but the real fun in cleaning other's teeth was in making them talk while their mouths were full of dental instruments.
Mark's first professional engagement as a comedy ventriloquist was on a USO tour for American service men and women at bases all over Europe. He continues his association with the USO and has recently entertained American forces at bases in Georgia and the Middle East.
A 30-year career in comedy ventriloquism has traversed from cruises to casinos and corporate events all over the world.
Atlantic City Magazine awarded him “Best Variety Act” for his performance. Crystal Cruises gave him the award for Entertainer of the Year. This was a great honor to Mark and offered him a balcony stateroom for one voyage!
Mark's time on stage features original material as fresh as the day's news headlines and political humor with something for everyone. Never partisan, he entertained for leaders as varied as President Jimmy Carter and Governor Sarah Palin. Valley Magazine reviewed Mark's act as, “Clever, edgy and so funny we were wiping the tears from our eyes with cocktail napkins.”
The Reno-Gazzette commented, “This act is politically incorrect and makes fun of its own political incorrectness by pointing out the ridiculous nature of that term. He and his friends are a talented and good humored team!”
In July he will be making his Las Vegas debut at the Las Vegas Hilton. When not entertaining on Crystal Cruises or corporate events with Zelda, Alonzo, Wing Tip Shu, and an ever changing cast of characters, Mark enjoys time at home in Stone Mountain, Georgia with his lovely wife Cindy and their seven year old girl, Nixie, who has four legs and lots of fur and loves her Michael Vick chewtoy.
Enjoy Mark's show and laugh as he talks to himself with hilarity and love."
Mark and Wing Tip visit Mark's sister and nieces.
Just a quick note to say thank you for the outstanding job you did as the MC/Entertainer of the Membership Extravaganza at the Civitan International Convention in Detroit! I truly appreciate all the hard work you put forth in preparing your ventriloquism material to include so much about our Civitan organization. Plus, you did a great job as the master of ceremonies, you kept the program moving so we ended on time.
You are a true professional with great skills as an entertainer, and it has been a honor to work wth you.
Louis Stephens, VP Growth & Retention, Civitan International
I never dreamed anyone could be so talented. Mark, you are
What a show! I have received comments from most of the 500 people who
you entertained and they were raving about your show. It was the finest
finishing touch I could have added to our three-day convention.
A. William Carson, Executive Director,
Home Builders Association of Indiana
Once again you and your friends delighted our audiences. The pleasure of working
with you made your visit especially successful in my point of view, Mark. That puts you
right at the top in my books.
Richard Ksiazek, Recreation Supervisor, Aramco Oil company
...We were very pleased with Mark's performance.
He was very creative and imaginative in using the information we furnished him about local
personalities. He developed an excellent rapport with the audience.
Helen B. Franke, Provost, Palm Beach Community College
...The entertainment was great. Our people thoroughly enjoyed the evening.
Gene Jenkins, Supervisor, Supervalu Southeast Division
...Thank you again for such an outstanding show. You certainly
prepared with great knowledge of the company and our Board members. This knowledge was cleverly woven into the show which was humorous
and very outstanding.
Jim J. Mulva, Chairman of the Board, Phillips Petroleum Company
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