Soap aired for four seasons on ABC between 1977 and 1981, and it featured ventriloquist Jay Johnson as son Chuck Campbell and his sidekick Bob. Chuck believed that Bob was real and demanded that everyone treat him like everyone else. Johnson had planned to use one of his existing puppets for the role but nasty Bob was specifically created for the series.
Johnson is still performing with Bob to this day, and he even brought Bob to Broadway for his for his two “man” show, The Two and Only. He won the 2007 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event for the show.
Johnson does credit Soap with launching his career though. In an interview with the Washington Times, he said:
“It was an open call. At first they thought, like most people think, the easy way would be to just hire an actor, teach him to work the puppet and maybe loop the voice. That seems easy. But it is so much harder to do it that way. It was Jay Sandrich, the director on “Soap,” who said, “I think it has to be done in real time.” So they put out an open call for ventriloquists, and I answered that call.”
The rest as they say is history. Were you a fan of Soap? Do you remember Jay Johnson and Bob? Tell us what you think.