The act, art, or practice of speaking in such a manner that the voice appears to come, not from the person speaking, but from some other source, as from the opposite side of the room, from the cellar, etc.
It's strange because even in the vaudeville days, ventriloquists were never the main attraction. They were the guys brought out to stand in front of the curtain while sets were being changed. Ventriloquism wasn't even celebrated as an art until Edgar Bergen came along in the 1930s. Jeff Dunham
I looked into studying psychoanalysis, wrote to the governing body and was about to start the year where they psychoanalyse you, four times a week, before you get to do it yourself. I just thought I'd taken the ventriloquism as far as I could. My act is so deconstructive, and I'd made all the monkey jokes anyone wanted to hear. Nina Conti