The ventriloquist/comedy act of Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy was a huge success during the "Golden Age of Radio" but ventriloquists and their dummies also made excellent fodder for radio thrillers and horror shows. The ventriloquists portrayed in these shows were often down on their luck, tortured souls working in seedy places -- a stark contrast to the perennially sunny Bergen & McCarthy Show.
(Bergen & McCarthy are pictured here from their appearance in the movie Stage Door Canteen in 1943. Bergen is the one in the turban.)
The Suspense episode "Flesh Peddler" follows a typical "haunted" ventriloquist plot but it remains interesting because of the casting.
This is an old radio show with two performers who are familiar to any Gen-Xer. It stars Deforest Kelly, whom we all know as Dr. McCoy on Star Trek, but it also has Daws Butler, who was the voice of Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound, Elroy Jetson and numerous other cartoon characters. Anyone who watched cartoons in the 1970's will recognize his voice.
Deforest Kelly plays a booking agent who takes an interest in a ventriloquist act he finds at a carnival. Daws Butler provides the voice of Arthur, the slow-witted knife-thrower. It is unfortunate that they did not choose Butler to play the ventriloquist, given his enormous talent for providing character voices, but this was before he became famous for his work in cartoons.
This show was broadcast on August 4, 1957.