Ventriloquist, comedian Terry Fator brings his number to the Route 66 Casino

Terry Fator watches Emma Taylor, 12, taking selfies and still texting, during her show at The Mirage in Las Vegas, Nevada (Courtesy Denise Truscello)

Terry Fator has always had a knack for entertaining people.

He started singing at age 6 and took up ventriloquism at age 10. He then took his show on the road to various fairs and halls, but his act as a ventriloquist, impressionist, comedian and singer didn’t quite take off.

Fator had all but given up when he made an appearance on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2007. Fator not only won the show, but also won America’s hearts with his cast of characters, including Winston the Impersonating Turtle. Fator’s newfound fame opened many doors for him, including giving him his own show at a theater named after him at The Mirage casino and hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Fator has taken his show on the road and will perform tonight at the Legends Theater at the Route 66 Casino Hotel. Fator said his road show was deliberately different from his show in Vegas.

“I tell the story of how Winston ended up on my show and being part of my act, and I tell the story of who my first puppet was and I take out my first professional puppet and have him do stuff , so yeah that’s really the story of how I got to where I’m kind of bringing the audience into this world so they can know, and it’s a lot of fun and I don’t in a moralizing way,” Fator said. “I do it in a playful way with a lot of humor, a lot of impressions. I do some of the very first singing impressions I ever did when I was young – things like that. It’s just a blast It’s really fun, a fun show, but at the same time, it won’t stop them from coming to see me in Las Vegas.

Rusty the Robot has big ambitions to take over Terry Fator's show at the Mirage in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rusty the Robot has big ambitions to take over Terry Fator’s show at the Mirage in Las Vegas, Nevada.

All of Fator’s characters featured in “America’s Got Talent” are part of his road show. Emma Taylor will be there to sing Etta James. Johnny Vegas will play Tony Bennett, and country puppet Walter T. Airedale will be there.

Fans may remember Airedale performing Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” on “America’s Got Talent.” Fator will also sing solo.

“It’s just a lot of fun, and I know people who come to see the show in Albuquerque are going to love it,” Fator said. “They’re going to have a great time. My goal when I do a show is for everyone in the audience to get a high, to feel high for what they just saw. I want them to feel an emotional uplift, and I want this high to last two to three days, I want them to be like, “Wow, I had a great time.” I left that show feeling like a million bucks, “and that’s really my goal when I write my shows”

One of Fator’s new characters won’t be part of the road show, but Fator is happy to introduce him to the public as part of his show in Vegas.

“Rusty (the robot) is a character that arrived last year in 2015,” Fator said. been on my show for about a year and he’s had a lot of fun. He’s been a great character to do. There’s a surprise with him. … Basically he claims the Mirage is going to hire him to take over all the work , that everyone goes automated and he even takes my work. He shows it by doing a lot of impressions that I’ve already done while singing. It’s kind of fun.


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