At the beginning of June, a ventriloquist model of the actor of “Call Me By Your Name” TimothÃ©e Chalamet was listed on eBay for an incredible amount of $ 122,795.
The puppet has gone viral for its resemblance to Chalamet andâ¦ well, because it’s “scary”.
Now the viral supermodel is back in the headlines after her July 23 debut on “Tonight’s show with Jimmy Fallon “ (who bought the puppet).
The puppeteer behind the viral ventriloquist dummy? Chris Alan from York County.
Alan will admit that he didn’t expect anyone to buy the model, hence the price of $ 122,795. And while Alan is a Chalamet fan, he said the puppet was made as a joke for his neighbor.
âIt’s not that I’m not a fan (of Chalamet); I’m just not a super fan,â Alan said.
How do you decide to create a Chalamet puppet?
Alan, who lives in York, said he always wanted to try his hand at sculpting a “handsome” ventriloquist model, and that his neighbor was obsessed with Chalamet. They had watched several films together featuring Chalamet.
Alan started creating âChala-mini,â making sure to send photo updates to his neighbor, who thought the model was hilarious, Alan said.
He had planned to give the mannequin to his neighbor, but she walked away before he was finished and the puppet was too big for her to take.
Instead, he decided to publish the model on eBay. The eBay ad also included a humorous description, which told potential buyers that the doll would be “a perfect gift for any occasion, from baby shower to bar mitzvah!”
Within days of posting the doll on eBay, Alan received so many media inquiries that he had to take a day off from York Wallcoverings, he said.
He also modeled Anderson Cooper, Kelly Ripa and more
Soon after, Alan received a message on Instagram from a producer of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” asking him to buy the doll. While “The Tonight Show” did not purchase the ventriloquist dummy for the asking price, Alan received a “substantial amount” for his work.
In “The Tonight Show”, Chalamet’s mini-me joined Fallon to “discuss” the five finalists for Fallon’s second annual Tonight Show Summer Reads book club. The doll also “sang” a duet with actor Fred Armisen, who was the guest of the talk show.
This is not Alan’s first claim to fame.
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In 2014, Alan modeled TV personality Anderson Cooper, who appeared on the Cooper show at the time. Cooper then ordered a model featuring TV show host Kelly Ripa.
Model Ripa wore an authentic Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress.
Cooper gave Ripa his puppet lookalike during an episode of “Live! With Kelly and Ryan”.
âIt’s the most beautiful thing there is,â Ripa said of the one-of-a-kind gift. “It’s such a nice surprise.”
Alan said that after showing his work on “Live! With Kelly and Ryan”, he couldn’t think of anything better.
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Five years later, Alan said he was asked to work with âThe Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,â creating props the company cannot manufacture on their own.
Alan said Chalamet’s reply “opened new doors for him”. He said he had “always loved the entertainment industry” and was now seriously considering a career change.
Since he started making ventriloquist mannequins as a young adult, Alan has created around 25.
He said he grew up with what he described as a “love-hate relationship” with iconic ventriloquist model Charlie McCarthy.
âOne minute I loved him, the next I was terrified,â Alan said.
He said he had always wanted a Charlie McCarthy replica, but the only dolls he could find on the internet were too expensive. So he decided to make his own.
âI was like, ‘I bet I can sculpt it myself,'” he said.
He started watching videos and learned on his own, he said. Now, instead of being afraid of ventriloquist dummies, he said he “kisses the creeps.”
â(Ventriloquist mannequins) are,â he said. “They are scary.”
Along with the models for Chalamet, Ripa, Cooper and McCarthy, Alan has also made dolls for fashion icon Iris Apfel, Ripa’s husband Mark Consuelos and talk show host Andy Cohen.
He is currently working on a model of his favorite actress, Melissa McCarthy, wearing a replica of her 2015 Golden Globes outfit. Alan expects the doll to be completed in the next few days.
âWho knows what’s going to happen when she’s done,â Alan said.
You can follow Alan’s work on his Instagram page @TalkingHeadStudios.