Wenceslao Moreno (April 17, 1896 – April 20, 1999), better known as Señor Wences, was a Spanish ventriloquist and comedian.
He became very popular with American audiences from his many appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show in the 1960s.
Señor Wences had a very funny and charming routine, featuring his distinctive puppets like Johnny, whose face was actually a pair of eyes and lips drawn on Señor Wences' hand.
Another popular character was Pedro, a talking head in a box.
Señor Wences was known for his sweet nature and generous support of fellow performers.
In fact, he gave his puppets to ventriloquist Michele LaFong, who performs with them today.
In the late 1980s, he sent me a signed drawing of all of his favorite figures, done by his own hand, to frame and hang in my latest magic shop.
It now has a place of honor in my library.
Señor Wences retired at age 100.
He died just after his 103rd birthday.
He had been living in New York City's Upper West Side on 54th Street, just around the corner from the Ed Sullivan Theater.
That section of 54th Street has been named Señor Wences Way.