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TV Review: Comedy Central's 'The Jeff Dunham Show'

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'The Jeff Dunham Show'
One star
8 p.m. Thursday on Comedy Central

I've always felt that ventriloquism was a lost art for a reason. Blame it on an evil-dummy episode of "Fantasy Island" that I saw at an impressionable age, but I don't enjoy comics with clenched jaws and bobbing Adam's apples. Especially when they're not funny.

I may well be alone in my prejudice. "America's Got Talent," after all, validated the craft with its first prize. Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham is the top-grossing standup act in North America, a legend in Las Vegas, and a Comedy Central favorite - his Christmas special last year drew 6.6 million viewers.

I ask you all: Why?

In this new series, Dunham puts his mannequins in situations with real people. His characters include Sweet Daddy Dee, Jose Jalapeno on a Stick, Achmed the Dead Terrorist . . . You see where I'm going with this. I won't spoil the first episode for you, except to reveal that there are gay jokes, bathroom jokes, racist jokes, and a bit that will surely be offensive to White Trash Americans.

Oh, and a cameo by Brooke Hogan.

At best, you won't laugh. At worst, you will weep for the half hour you have lost and destroy all the puppets in your home.

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12 Comments

>While lower socio-economic folks might mistake Dunham's hateful 'jokes' for humor, what they really are listening to is Fox News Agenda read in puppet form. Of course, like most preaching, his show is extremely boring. Hopefully it will be taken off the air soon.

Hypocrisy much? "Oh don't make fun of other races, you stupid poor people!" And by the way, while your assessment that it is pushing a hidden right wing agenda, or shall I say "vast right wing conspiracy", is absurd, I'll concede that Dunham probably is. And so what? Aren't there plenty of left wing comics for you to smugly chuckle at? I may not agree with it all, but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it. By the way, I'm actually not a big fan of this show, and think it was somewhat ill advised to try and put the puppets in the outside world. A talk show format would have been better. But long live offensiveness!!! You "progressives" really need to grow a pair.

I had only seen parts of Jeff Dunham's act on YouTube, so I was looking forward to seeing his new show on Comedy Central; hoping it would be entertaining. My family has watched several episodes now. Here is our impression:

Dunham seems extremely right-wing and uses his puppets to push this agenda. He strikes me as the sort of guy who is too shy to say things outright, so he uses his show & his puppets passive-aggressively to push his conservative world view. Far from being a family-friendly, The Jeff Dunham Show is so racist , disturbing and unsavory that I cannot in good conscience allow my son to watch it anymore. This sort of ugliness isn't appropriate for kids even if it is hidden in puppet form.

While lower socio-economic folks might mistake Dunham's hateful 'jokes' for humor, what they really are listening to is Fox News Agenda read in puppet form. Of course, like most preaching, his show is extremely boring. Hopefully it will be taken off the air soon.

You know, defending Dunham from charges of racism by pointing to the Bubba character is no defense at all.

Bubba is simply a classist stereotype, rather than a racist one. Haw haw, poor Southern whites are STUPID! See, I'm not racist! I make fun of poor people too!

Combining racism with classism does not somehow make racist jokes not racist. It just makes him both racist and classist.

I been wanting Jeff Dunham to have his own show for a while now, and WTF did you all expect it to be like Seinfeld?. As predictable you people don't like it. I can't tell you all what to like and dislike, but it just seems everytime I go to a review site it is written by an unfunny biased guy who just never got his own show and Jeff beat him to the punch. It was going to happen one day to a guy who was a hit on Comedy Central and on Youtube. Hell I bet half of you were excited to hear that he got his own show, but then threw a fit when the first episode sucked. I like the show, but I guess you all want it to be canceled soon. To the reviewer sorry he is too lowbrow for your high society taste in comedy.

Sweet, glad to hear his show is going down in flames.

Jeff Dunham's "comedy" is profoundly unfunny. I swear that he's stolen material from Bazooka Joe. And the whole racist shtick? Not cool. It's like he found a loophole...putting on blackface and doing a minstrel show is a no-go in 2009, but if you portray racial stereotypes with puppets, it's okay!

The racism might even be forgivable if he were funny or insightful, but he's not remotely either one of those things. And he doesn't even have the courage of his convictions...so Ahmed is not Muslim, huh? Nice save, Jeff!

I would rather watch "Ow my balls!" than another Jeff Dunham show.

I think that Jeff Dunham is funny in his regular comedy shows but when his first episode of this new show came out I cried.....It showed way too much of the puppets and thier "lives" and it will make me uninterested in the upcoming live shows. The camera was all blury or the coloring was all strange or somthing and when it showed that jeff dunham was not controlling the puppets it threw away the symbiotic relationship between the puppet and jeff dunham together. It was alot funnier to hear the stories of the mischeif that they got in than to watch it. And he dyed his hair black or somthing and put on leather? He looked like John Travolta to me....which isint really a bad thing....just not good for a comedian.

Yep, this was Jeff at his worst. I aggree that he is just grabbing all the cash he can, but it goes along with the Foxworthy TV shows, dull and a repeat of all we have seen before. Why cant the networks give these guys a real forum to be creative in. Seinfed made it with a host of good writers. Guess the budget isnt there for Dunham. I'll give it one or two more shows then decide. Maybe we forget how bad Sonny and Cher show was too.

I have been an admirer of your live shows until I saw your recent premier of your Not-Jeff TV Show. Your live shows where unique, showed your excellent ability to handle complex conversational switching and gave the audience a fantastic sense of reality. Best show on the comedy channel, clean jokes, you kept us laughing for the length of the program, and placed us back on to the mood of believing that there was still hope in finding human excellence based on real values.

It is sad to see that you gave up such tremendous unique treasure to the leaches of Hollywood. I imagine that those scavengers jumped all over you and filled your mind with the shallow sense of their twisted values. You even sold your integrity to dress-up at your own taste and placed yourself in the hands of a third-class Hollywood stylist. Sadly, you became another puppet, doing for them what your own puppets did for you prior to this show.

I hope you didn’t sign a long term contract that will impede a recovery from this horrible mistake. If done, don’t let that decadent gang vaporize in one season a lifetime of sacrifice and the immeasurable potential that you had on your own.

i have been a fan of Jeff Dunham for a few years now, and followed his career. i have thought he was VERY funny and as for racist jokes, well, it a matter of perception, but i think that, in the right context - such jokes are acceptable. hey, if something hurts - laugh about it, it's the best cure. and racism is a subject i find painful.
last night my bubble burst, this show was, in a word - terrible.
shame on you Jeff, for someone so witty and smart, who has such great "comebacks" and sarcasm (i found a lot of it in his past acts) i expected much more than what you provided.
it just proves the old saying - stand up comedians should stick to the stage, not write scetches.
even the legendary Seinfeld needed help in that department (honestly, after seeing his stand up routine - he was much better at the T.V thing, not so brilliant on stage).

Jeff DunHAM is a good name for you man - last night you porked out.

This is going to be exactly what Frank TV was - awkward, misguided, and flat. Both guys had massive spikes in popularity, but became overexposed. By the time you see the material on TV, 1) you "get" it already, so it's repetitive, and 2) the same stuff just doesn't quite work on TV the way it does in a standup act.

Now, I know Jeff sees that his "window" is still open and he's doing the smart thing - he's getting all the money he can while he's still widely popular - so I won't criticize him for that. At some point his popularity will dry up, so why not take advantage of any high-paying work you can get? I just wish that he and/or whatever writers work on the show would realize how lame this is and fix it somehow.

But the racist thing? You know he does make fun of white trash folks to just as large an extent as those who are Middle-eastern, black, Jewish, etc... In fact, I think he does too much of the Bubba Jay character, despite it not being as funny as the others. If you can't handle your race or ethnicity being poked at a bit, that's your problem, not Jeff's.

Yeah, the show was terrible, but i wonder, how can the reviewer criticize the show for being racist, while throwing out that it should entertain white trash america...kind of a double standard.

Where can I view some a video , or Utube ,about this ventriloquist

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This page contains a single entry by Paige Wiser published on October 22, 2009 4:53 AM.

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