David is an American ventriloquist, stand-up comedian, actor, voice artist, and comedian. He is best known for his ventriloquism act with Chuck Wood and Ted E. Bare.
After a visit to the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California, Dave asked his father to purchase some professional magic tricks which led to his interest in magic and ventriloquism. This led to him performing for local children in his neighbourhood. Dave started his education in Ventriloquism in junior high school where he undertook a ventriloquism class as an elective alternative, taught by local Chicago children’s television host Steve Horowitz.
Strassman studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Instead of proceeding to the second year, he chose to be a street performer, performing in New York, London, and Paris. Unable to perform in French, Strassman got a job performing magic and mime at the now-closed L’aiglon nightclub in Pigalle.
He started performing in New York’s comedy clubs, with late-night spots at the Improv and Comic Strip. Throughout the ’80s, Strassman worked at comedy clubs throughout the United States, as an opening act, then middle act and headliner. In 1980, Strassman (along with his main ventriloquist character Chuck Wood) came out in Roger Corman’s horror movie Humanoids from the Deep.
In 1986, Strassman placed robotics in Chuck, inspired by his remote-controlled airplane hobby, and originated in the early 1950s by New York ventriloquist Stanley Burns. At the end of his act, Strassman would get into an argument with Chuck Wood and leave the stage. Chuck would then appear to come to life, using radio-controlled robotics with Strassman speaking into an off-stage microphone.
In 1991, Strassman performed at The Comedy Club, Melbourne, Australia as part of the Melbourne Comedy Festival. Strassman has since performed frequently throughout Australia on national tours. He also performs in theatres in New Zealand and the UK.
In 1996, he performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. He received the “Critics Award for Comedy” and the Glasgow “Herald Angel” award.
He had an eponymous television talk show called Strassman on Channel Nine, Australia, where his puppet character, Chuck Wood, interviewed celebrities. Subsequent series were produced in England on ITV, and in New Zealand on TV2.
Strassman has 4 DVD titles. Strassman Live (1999) – Volume 1, The Chuck You Tour. (2003) – Volume 2, The Get Chuck’d Tour (2007) – Volume 3 and Ted E’s Farewell Tour (2010) – Volume 4.
In 2010, he performed the play Duality, written and directed by Steve Altman, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Strassman’s latest show “Be Careful What you Wish For” is in run in Australia until December 2013.