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At least Oklahoma’s talented young ventriloquists are doing okay…

10:19 AM EDT on August 17, 2017

Like most Americans, I've experienced a wide range of childhood traumas that helped transform me into the flawed, chemically dependent, semi-functioning adult human that I am today. One of those was early and excessive exposure to my dad's terrifying ventriloquist dummy, Mr. Freddy.

Here's the photographic evidence:

Yep. That's not a set photo from a Stephen King movie or a Polaroid from a serial killer's scrapbook. That's a real photo of me, my dad and Mr. Freddy in 1978. It makes me nauseous just looking it. Seriously, imagine not doing your chores and then being told Mr. Freddy's going to come out of the box to sing to you? It helps explain things, doesn't it?

Although I now have occasional nightmares about being chased through the streets of Bricktown by evil red-haired dummies, I must say that I'm very proud of local ventriloquist Darci Lynne Farmer. We first learned about Darci when KFOR featured her in a 2016 segment. Now she's reached the big time and made the semifinals of America's Got Talent – one of the defining shows of today's American idiocracy.

Here's a clip of Darci's last performance with her pal Oscar:

Personal childhood fears and phobias aside, that's pretty cool. There's not a lot of good news coming out of Oklahoma these days, so it's good to see Darci make it to the big time. She (or Oscar) is going to make a great governor someday.

Oddly enough, Darci isn't the first Oklahoman with a puppet named Oscar who aspired to be a reality TV ventriloquist star. In 2013, Oklahoma Christian student Halie Hilburn made it on American Idol after auditioning with her Oscar:

Halie didn't make it far, but that didn't stop OCU from releasing this video in an attempt to get Halie on America's Got Talent:

I wonder how Halie has taken Darci's rise to the top? I bet she watches the show and has Oscar point at the TV and say through tears "That should have been me, Halie. That should have been me."

Anyway, I'm now going to pop a couple of Xanax and take a long bath. We wish both Darci and Halie the best of luck in future ventriloquist endeavors. If you have any childhood traumas involving red-haired dummies (Aaron Tuttle doesn't count), please leave them in the comments.

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