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Anti-Bullying Program: The Most Requested School Assembly
In Joe Gandelman’s 22-years of doing ventriloquism assemblies across the country no version of his show has been requested more - and rebooked as often - as his anti-bullying program. This was particularly true during school year 2012-2013 when he did his show at 260 schools (often more than one show at school) and drove more than 40,000 miles. Ninety-five percent of the schools (elementary, middle, junior and high schools) requested a program on bullying.

See more feedback from schools and Joe's demo video on the HOMEPAGE HERE.

Here’s what the show entails:

MESSAGE CONTENT: The anti-bullying, respect message is constantly fine tuned. Several key themes are: the importance of good, smart choices; consequences; treat people BETTER than you want to be treated; the pain of bullying lasts for years; the importance of reporting bullying; the difference between tattling and reporting; ways to respond to bullying (Joe will check with school since this varies); ways students as a community can combat bullying; Internet bullying – and more. Joe Gandelman double checks these themes while booking with the person who books the program, and will also go over them upon his arrival at the school.

ENTERTAINMENT CONTENT: Joe Gandelman uses his highly popular Learning Through Laughter technique. When educators check afterwards they find that audiences of all grade levels retain the messages. Each program (adapted to each age group) features a BIG cast of puppet and dummy characters that have separate personalities in shows that have lots of laughs and special bits of interaction. The strong family entertainment content comprises much of the un-themed version of the show Joe does at fairs and festivals all over the United States. Schools recently asked for and Joe now offers a short how to do ventriloquism bit at the end of the program where one or more kids get up and try a dummy. This segment is akin to the how-to-do-ventriloquism segment he did on Margret Cho’s VH1 reality show “The Cho Show” several years ago.

INPUT FROM TEACHERS, STAFF AND STUDENTS CONSTANTLY SHAPE THE BULLYING ASSEMBLY MESSAGE: Joe Gandelman often asks schools to send him five of their key concepts that they teach kids (optional) so he can incorporate them as well in his show. Each anti-bullying show contains some concepts (and jokes) that have been suggested by principals, teachers and kids.

School feedback from Joe’s assemblies can be seen on this website’s main page and on the school assemblies page under Joe’s Shows.

WHY JOE GANDELMAN IS AN ESPECIALLY GOOD CHOICE FOR AN ANTI-BULLYING SHOW: He doesn’t simply do a show that has an anti-bullying theme, he’s constantly reading about bullying and discussing the issue with educators. Before he became a full-time entertainer in 1990, Joe Gandelman was a reporter who had written from Spain, India, Bangladesh (his two main papers were the old Chicago Daily News and The Christian Science Monitor) and who had worked as a staff reporter on newspapers in Wichita, Kansas and San Diego, California. He also did two writing projects for several non-profit organizations. Today, he writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column for Cagle Cartoons.

He has devoted several columns to bullying. Here’s the latest that ran in July 2012, making some general observations about what he saw and learned in schools about the bullying issue: Click here to read the article

Want to know more? Click here to send Joe an email at

See more feedback from schools and Joe's demo video on the HOMEPAGE HERE.
(Click on any of the shows listed below for more info.)
Corporate Shows
Fairs & Festivals
School Assemblies and Family Nights
Anti-Bullying Program
Adult Private Parties and Group Shows
Children's/Family Private Parties, Shows
Scout Troups
Learn from Joe
What people have said ...


"You and your "family" were a great hit with the kids AND staff. I especially want to thank you for your workshops throughout the day. Our students were so impressed, especially our Jr. High wing." --Hayfork Elementary School, Hayfork, CA

"I was extremely pleased with the assemblies (K-2 and 3-6). Mr. Gandelman was entertaining for all groups including our teachers. He spoke concerning alcohol, drug and tobacco abuse. He was funny and serious. He did an excellent job educating students with a clear message appropriate for each audience. My own children thought the assembly was great, too!" --PTA, Marie Curie Elementary School, San Diego, Ca

"We ve used Mr. Gandelman several times. The programs were excellent. Mr. Gandelman is a true professional with a strong affinity with his audiences. His programs are wonderful for Red Ribbon Week and can be adapted (with advance notice) to different themes. --Caesar Chavez School. Coachella, CA. (Bilingual show for lower grades)

"Our students were absolutely delighted with the show. Teacher s comments were "Best assembly we ve had all year...I m ready to start bake sales, if I have to, so we can get him back next year!" --Mammoth Elementary School, San Manuel, AZ

"A wonderful program! Everyone -- students and teachers alike -- thoroughly enjoyed it! Parents commented the following day that your program was the topic of conversation at the dinner table that night."" --St. Cornelius School, Long Beach, CA

"Our students, especially since 95 percent of them are English-language learners, were able to enjoy your presentation as active participants. Your style is both entertaining and educational." --Chualar Elementary, Chualar, CA

"The students were completely enthralled (in your assemblies) to promote drug, alcohol and tobacco abuse prevention. By humorously weaving the theme throughout your presentation, students are more likely to internalize your message." --Luther Burbank School, Santa Rosa, CA

"It was obvious that Mr. Gandelman was enjoying what he was doing -- and equally as obvious that our children enjoyed his visit and assemblies." --Lindo Park School, Lakeside, CA

"We would like to recommend your assembly program to other elementary schools especially for the unique way you tie anti-smoking and anti-drug material to your humorous presentation. We also appreciated the skill in which you adapted the level of your presentation to our age groups

"Our teachers relaxed with the laughter and our students loved the participation. Thank you for a talented, well-crafted, educational day!" --Mission Park School, Salinas, Ca

"I never HEARD such laughter! Your positive rapport with students is rare among visiting performers!" --Jack s Valley Elementary, Minden, NV

"Both students and staff found his performance highly entertaining and extremely informative. Mr. Gandelman brought out a variety of (dummies and puppets) to entertain the children, each of which had its own unique personality and sense of humor. He performed three assemblies for students ranging in grade levels from kindergarten through junior high and did an excellent job adjusting each program to best suit the ages for which he was performing. It was a pleasure having him visit our school!" --Carlton Hills School, Santee, CA (elementary and middle school age)

"The children never took their eyes off you! My students immediately went to the puppets in the classroom to imitate you." --McKinley Elementary, Redlands, CA

"We were so delighted! I have been telling principals of all our district s schools to book one of your assemblies!" --John C. Fremont School, Merced, Ca

"A dream come true! This show is definitely a TEN!" --Grenada Elementary School District, Grenada, CA

"Joe Gandelman performed at our school with a great reception. Students and teachers alike enjoyed the program. The puppets were fun, the students were engaged throughout the performance, which included a clear no-use tobacco message. I would recommend Joe for your school assembly." --John Tyler Elementary School, Stockton, CA


Joe Gandelman's Friends were brought into Princeton, Indiana by Broomfield Elementary School to do school assemblies on an anti-tobacco grant. Here are comments from the teacher who set it up and excerpts from a small portion of student testimonial letters about the presentation (last names not used for security reasons).
  • "On behalf of Brumfield Elementary School, we would like to thank Joe Gandelman for his wonderful show! His presentation was not only entertaining but educational. Our staff was impressed by Joe s ability to send such a strong message in a manner that really seemed to reach our students."
  • "...I must admit that booking someone that I had learned about from the Internet scared me a bit. Yet our principal contacted some of Joe s posted references, and he heard nothing but good things."
"Brumfield Elementary School operates on a tight budget. However, Mr. Gandelman was more than willing to work within our grant budget guidelines to make our show happen. Joe even went above the call of duty...(He) performed three anti-tobacco shows...and then he conducted three small 'meet and greet' shows for selected students who wanted to learn more about his talent. Our school cannot thank Joe enough." --Mary W., 4th/5th grade teacher, Brumfield Elementary School, Princeton, Indiana


As part of Brumfield s anti-tobacco grant, students were asked by their teachers to write comments about the program. Here are some excerpts from the many written comments:

"(Your program) was entertaining and I think you are a great influence on kids my age, younger and older. I truly believe you help stop the increase of tobacco (use) with kids my age and older." -- Mollie

"You taught us in a fun way." -- Alicia

"Thank you for telling us about tobacco. I told my brother about it. Then he told his friends. You did good with the puppets." -- Nick

"I loved the jokes...I just wish my Mom could have seen it. She has been a smoker since she was in her late teens and she s now in her early 30 s. To tell you the truth I almost cried. So I wanted to tell you, THANK YOU!" --Kailee

"The show was very good, it was funny and educational." --Craig

"I learned so much from Joe Gandelman. He is really amazing. He showed me what can really happen to people who smoke -- not just lung cancer (but) lip cancer and all others. (The assembly) told me cigarettes don t just harm the people that smoke them but the people around them."

"It wasn t about the dummies or the jokes or the songs -- it was showing us what smoking can do to your body. So I made a choice. Did I really want that to happen to me? I don t think so. One thing is for sure. I ll never smoke." -- Dominic

"I really learned a lot about ventriloquism and no (on) tobacco. My parents smoke but I don t want to because it is a nasty habit and it s hard to quit...I liked the show. I will say no to tobacco." -- Jessica

"I learned a lot about smoking and chewing tobacco and how it can give you cancer. And about how it can kill you. And I really liked your show out of the whole year the best. And I hope you ll be back next year." -- Sarah

"You were great! I liked it all...You taught me a lot..." -- Tyler

"I liked how (Joe) informed us about how we can get sick and even die from using ANY kind of tobacco including pipe tobacco, chewing tobacco, cigarettes and cigars. From hearing that I will never use any of those. I also like how (Joe) incorporated the idea of ventriloquism into his act. He didn t just use puppets and dummies he also used people. His act was educational and fun at the same time." -- Arik

"I really loved everything about it...I would like Joe the ventriloquist to come to Brumfield Elementary again and again." -- Danielle

"You taught me not to smoke when I get older. I do not want to have anything that has to do with tobacco...(because) I do not want to get any kind of cancer." -- Che

"You are one of the coolest people I know. I want to be a ventriloquist just like you...I laughed through the whole thing. And I was lucky to be picked to see you after lunch (at the workshop). I will keep practicing until I get it right." -- Keenan

"You taught the kids lots of interesting facts. You re a cool dude." -- Adam

"Today we went to a program called the anti-tobacco show. It was fun! The guy who did the ventriloquism is Joe Gandelman. I hope he does a lot more shows at our school! He does cool stuff. Every since I was little I wanted to do something like that." -- Keely


"I especially enjoyed watching some of our rougher students become involved with your performance. They began by laughing quietly in the rear of the room and slowly worked their way to the foot of the stage to be closer to your act. Your ability to successfully include both staff and students in your skits made the performance even more meaningful for our students." --Gavilan View Middle School, Salinas, Ca

"I admit I was a bit apprehensive about using a ventriloquist to entertain junior high school-age students, however, you had no problem keeping their attention with your contemporary themes and audience participation. Judging by the laughter I heard throughout the show I would say it was a great success. I ve received many positive comments -- and have since seen several students trying out the techniques your taught them." --Buena Park Jr. High School, Buena Park, CA

"Excellent Students and staff learned, and laughed and experienced a message presented in a novel format. Mr. Gandelman established instant rapport with the audience. It s obvious that Joe has invested a great deal of time in perfecting his presentation and continues to adjust to meet his varied audiences needs." --Mesa Verde Middle School, Poway, CA

"Terrific assembly. You taught, entertained and involved our 7th and 8th graders. Many teachers and students expressed their delight with your informative and humorous approach." --Wilson Jr. High School, El Centro, CA


"I recommend Joe Gandelman and his teaching of ventriloquism to promote the theme of anti-drugs and building self-esteem. Mr. Gandelman performed for our 310 students in grades 7-12 in an assembly and taught our students how to be ventriloquists in the process.

"After the assembly, Mr. Gandelman stayed all day and taught our 7th and 8th grade reading classes how ventriloquists use the dummies and throw their voices. At the end of the day, our 11th and 12th grade Theater Arts students were also taught the art of ventriloquism and showmanship.

"Not only did our student body of 310 junior high and high school students learn about the tragedy of drugs, but they also learned the hands on experience how ventriloquists operate and perform. He does an outstanding job of entertaining -- and teaching -- our kids." --Ganado Jr. High-Senior High, Ganado, TX (FOOTNOTE: Many of those high school students turned out to see Joe that weekend at a nearby fair)

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