The ‘Magic’ of Chuck & Bob

After a few false starts this month, I finally got back to working on Soap! The Inside Story… today. (I really should consider a shorter title…)

I should be starting a new interview in about an hour — more on that later. In the meantime, I’ve been working today on the story behind the creation of Chuck & Bob, and how Jay Johnson kept that character fresh throughout the series.

For those who’ve always suspected as much, you’re right — the characters were Susan Harris’ riff on Magic, William Goldman’s 1976 novel (and later, 1978 movie starring Anthony Hopkins) about an unbalanced ventriloquist who believes his puppet is alive.

As Johnson says, the trope of the insane ventriloquist is “as old as our artform itself, that they’d be seen as villains, or at least shady or crazy…or something.”


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