A number of magicians in the Philippines have told me that ventriloquism started as a magic performance. After a perfunctory research on the subject, I could not find any validation of this claim from known sources.
But then, perhaps I didn’t look hard enough.
Just the same, it is easy to believe that ventriloquism could have started as a magic performance. Even today, watching a good vent act is magical to me. What could be more magical than making an inanimate dummy come to life?
I have no trouble considering as magical the way ventriloquists (the skillful ones) manipulate their figures and make them sing and talk and drop jokes. Not only magical but thoroughly entertaining, too.
Here’s one performance I have watched over and over again. It still makes me laugh each time I do.