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Tap Payne and his ventriloquist dummy, Benny Woodman, during the Mighty Variety Show 2005. There will be a retirement reception for Payne on Saturday, Dec. 1 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

Tap Payne takes final bows in Morris

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Tap Payne isn't a ventriloquist, but he's played one on the stage.

Payne and his dummy, Benny Woodman, have made regular appearances in the PlayRights' Mighty Variety Shows, but, fortunately, Payne has never had to finish his opening joke because the bit was always interrupted by a murder backstage or Benny's unfortunate beheading.


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Kim Ukura
Kim Ukura has served as the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune since August 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota, Morris in 2008 with degrees in English and journalism. She earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2010. Prior to returning to Morris to work at the Sun Tribune, she worked in trade publishing.