Fun and Entertaining School Shows
School assemblies don’t have to be either educational or fun — they can be both, which is why Joe Gandelman & Friends visit schools year after year offering entertainment for kids. All of Joe Gandelman’s school shows feature a big cast of characters, interactions, and his famous Learning Through Laughter(TM) technique, which seamlessly mixes entertainment and information, so kids can laugh, learn, and retain everything. (See the school testimonials at the bottom of the page.)
More Than 26 Years of School Shows
For more than 26 years, Joe Gandelman & Friends have performed at schools throughout the country, which included two special tours of schools throughout the US and in Canada. All of the shows are carefully adjusted to each age group. Some schools have used the show for a mixed K – 12 audience.
Just Pick, Mix, or Customize (for Free) Your School’s Theme
There are several themes to choose from; however, schools can also request mixed themes, or Joe can adopt a school’s customized requested theme at no extra cost. The most popular assemblies are:
Secrets of Ventriloquism: Students enjoy a highly educational and entertaining fast-paced show mixing comedy, interactions, and information about ventriloquism and puppetry “secrets.” Some students can get up and try a dummy themselves.
Respect = No Teasing/No Bullying: The most popular theme. It defines teasing and bullying, explains their impact on the victim and aggressor, stresses the importance of making good choices, emphasizes the meaning and fact of consequences, and underscores zero tolerance for bullying — and for cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is also covered — read more here.
Antidrug Show: Good decisions, actions, choices, and the importance of making healthy choices are covered. Schools differ on how to approach the theme, so each school is consulted, which allows Joe to include any of its preferred points. Content varies with each grade level. It’s often combined (at school request) with anti-tobacco and anti-alcohol.
Anti-Tobacco Show: Developed at the request of a Northern California school district, this program is crammed with memorable anecdotal and statistical anti-tobacco (cigars, pipes, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and updated to include electronic cigarettes) information, all neatly framed within the context of a fun show.
Pro-Reading: The joy and importance of reading books (and on computers) are emphasized throughout. Joe Gandelman is an avid reader and writer, and his lifelong love for books and reading comes across — which is why this program is booked heavily at libraries and schools throughout California. This show is often combined with the Family Nights show for an amazing, one-of-a-kind event.
Cultural Diversity: Joe draws on his experience working and living as a reporter in Asia and Europe, and as a US-Mexico, border reporter to stress the importance, beauty, and cultural enrichment aspects of diversity. He will touch on his visits to numerous countries, including India, Bangladesh, Iran, Spain, Italy, Greece, England, Israel, Mexico, France, Israel, and Afghanistan. Anecdotal and statistical information is included. All of the elements of the Secrets of Ventriloquism are included in this popular show as well.
Endangered Species: Explains the concept, dangers, and what students can do to help out.
It’s Cool To Stay in School: The importance of staying in school is stressed throughout.
Water Conservation and Protection: Specific ways students can help conserve water, how water is wasted, and how it is protected are covered.
Be Careful of Strangers: A safety message is inserted throughout the show. Internet safety is touched on, with a stronger message for middle-school students and a warning about cyberbullying.
Pretest Assembly: A show that helps prepare kids for important state testing. Topics include the importance of following directions, getting to bed early, having a good breakfast, realizing you already know the material and will do well, and not getting stuck on trying to answer one problem. School can also mix in its own suggested tips. (Joe Gandelman has a BA degree from Colgate University and a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.)
Other Requested Themes Include: Internet safety, nutrition, the importance of doing homework, and help with fundraisers are covered.
Family Nights (Recommended): Includes the 60-minute program with the show and 15 minutes on how to do ventriloquism, using student volunteers.
Special Motivational Program: Joe will mix parts of his show with a presentation about goal setting and the importance of education, persistence, research, reading, and networking — drawing on and pointing to his experiences as a college student, graduate student, freelance journalist overseas on two continents, staff reporter on two American newspapers, entertainer, and prominent “blogger” on the internet. The program is used by some middle schools and high schools.
A CROSS SECTION OF REACTION FROM SCHOOLS OF ALL GRADE LEVELS:
“Mr. Gandelman, family entertainer, is a seasoned ventriloquist. He made the trek from San Diego to the North San Francisco bay area to share his talent with our school. The kids roared with laughter and really enjoyed the show. Some of our younger kiddos were a little scared, but Mr. Gandelman took 5 minutes towards the end, took the time to share a bit about how he does what he does and showed them how the puppets work, that they are not real and it is all controlled by him for entertainment. This was a great way to share a deeper dive into his craft to the student body. Thank you, Joe, for visiting San Ramon Elementary in Novato, CA.”
“We had Joe and his friends visit our two school sites, TK-3rd and 4th-8th Grades. Our TK-3rd Grade site had an anti-bullying theme and our 4th-8th Grade site had an internet safety theme. Joe did a wonderful job building the theme into his shows. Students were incredibly engaged and of course there were many belly laughs!
Students came away with a bit more knowledge about each topic, how to be a ventriloquist, and great memories of when a ventriloquist visited their school. They are still talking about the show! Joe was very gracious and flexible. He worked around our schedule and he was so easy to work with. It is without any reservation that I recommend Joe Gandelman.”
“Thank You Mr. Gandelman! We at New Hope Elementary were very fortunate to have witnessed the wonderful world of ventriloquism! Mr. Joe Gandelman, with the help of his many characters, amazed the students with his entertaining, funny and educational presentation. His audience participation and sharing the “tricks of the trade” was especially engaging for both students and staff.”
“I had Joe and Friends come to my former school about a decade ago and was so pleased that not much had changed when I invited him to perform for my current 6th graders. His show is very funny and engaging, yet his sincere approach to anti-bullying and anti-substance abuse was not lost in the comedy. The teachers and students talked about his show for the rest of the day, many of whom started following him on Tik-Tok! He is a master at his craft of ventriloquism and is a true performance artist. I highly recommend it for any age group!”
“ROCKSTAR AS USUAL! Joe was so flexible creating a custom show special for our needs. He was so outgoing, engaging, and fun! Thank you!”
“Awesome Performance! Joe did a virtual show for 400 elementary age students and the kids were so excited! They were entertained the entire time as Joe got everyone involved and we all participated and laughed and smiled at the witty jokes. We loved all the variety of puppets Joe had to offer and appreciated how he connected to the young audience.”
“We loved the Joe Gandelman and Friends show from beginning to end. Joe kept the kids entertained the whole time. He was hilarious and kept us laughing the whole show. Highly recommend it!”
“Joe has done an excellent job with our summer virtual camp and now our virtual after school program, Dash Camp Afterschool. Joe’s show is definitely a fan favorite.In addition to his awesome show, Joe has been very accommodating, honoring any requests we may have, and providing awesome feedback on how to make the overall experience better for our campers. Joe is a huge team player, a great talent and his show is just so fun!! Both kids and adults are guaranteed to laugh a lot during his show. I highly recommend Joe for virtual or in person shows. Huge thanks for everything Joe! -Dash Camp Afterschool Team www.dash-camp.com“
Reaction to a virtual show for a PTA in the Bronx:
“Joe was great! Everything about the show was fantastic. The kids and families were very engaged and entertained. Joe kept everyone involved and encouraged kids to participate. The characters kept coming out of his sleeve. He’s super friendly and reaches out to the kids in so many ways. You couldn’t tell it was a virtual show based on the kids’ reaction. At the end of the show he even taught the kids some secrets of the profession! Highly recommended!”
“Joe was awesome. We had him entertain a group of kids aged 1 – 6th grade and they loved him! I highly recommend Joe!”
Student feedback from a special anti-tobacco elementary school program in Brumfield, Indiana: