Some kids dream of becoming firefighters when they grow up. Some kids beg incessantly for ponies. Others wear sheriff badges to preschool to show their commitment to becoming police officers. And there are a few like Todd Oliver who constantly toted around a book about ventriloquism during his childhood, reading and re-reading the pages to glean information for his future.
Oliver cultivated passions for music, ventriloquism, and animals throughout his upbringing. He decided to make all of them a part of his dream job and has made himself famous as a result of this unlikely compilation of talents and interests. Although located in Branson, Oliver has established an act that has led to nationwide success and recognition. He’s made appearances on the Late Show with David Letterman, Tonight show with Jay Leno, Today Show with Matt Lauer, and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. If the fact that he’s been invited to perform on such well-recognized shows doesn’t entice you to see the show for yourself, Oliver also has gained local fame in Branson by successfully performing on the Showboat Branson Belle for several years before moving to his current location in The Americana Theater.
Despite the tornado that affected Branson a few months ago, The Americana Theater has been completely repaired and is welcoming the hoards of people that show up to see Todd Oliver & Friends. The audiences that flock to see Todd Oliver, his band “The Smiling Eyes”, and of course his talking dogs, are a mixture of young and old. Todd Oliver provides a lighthearted, family-oriented, clean comedy act that has everyone laughing out loud by the end of it. As an entertainer, he is extremely personable and seems genuinely interested in getting acquainted with audience members (as well as throwing in a few harmless jokes about them later). His act is packed full of jokes, original music, and ‘friends’ that make his show different than any other out there.
Todd Oliver’s friends range from Pops and Miss Lilly (two elderly puppets) to his pack of talking dogs that consist of Irving, Lucy, and Elvis. The versatility in personality among all of his ‘friends’ make the show completely unpredictable and humorous in every turn it takes. From Pops trying to woo members of the audience, to Irving and Lucy poking fun at Todd Oliver himself, you’ll see it all (and more) in the various segments that Todd Oliver has compiled. And if the humor isn’t enough, there’s some good ole’ rock and roll to enjoy. Todd Oliver is the lead singer of “The Smiling Eyes,” a band that performs original songs written by Oliver and his bandmates. They sing a variety of easy-listening rock complete with a montage of funny dog pictures during one song, and a moving tribute to service men and women in another. The variety in this show is incredible and makes you realize that dream careers do come true; even if it’s a dream combining ventriloquism, talking dogs, and rock and roll.