Comedy’s most prominent ventriloquist and his crew of puppet friends are coming to a city near you! Jeff Dunham is doing what he does best: make audiences laugh in sold out arena-sized venues around the world. The superstar comedian is currently in the middle of a 60-city international tour dubbed “Passively Aggressive,” and he has tacked on more dates that will take him through spring of 2019.
The tour will commence on July 11 in Las Vegas at the prominent Caesars Palace, where Dunham is a regular. From there, the comedian will hit several cities including Atlantic City, Charlotte, Kansas City, Lexington, Chicago, and Atlanta. The trek will wrap next year in Fresno's Save Mart Center.
Joining Dunham will be his hilarious cast of characters, including Bubba the redneck, Walter the grumpy old man, and Achmed the skeleton of a blown-up terrorist. Describing his characters, Time magazine said, "All of them are politically incorrect, gratuitously insulting, and ill tempered."
Often credited with reviving ventriloquism, Dunham holds the record for most tickets sold for a standup comedy tour. He has made a name for himself with his live shows, his TV appearances and his popular YouTube channel, which has more than a million subscribers.
His TV specials include Arguing with Myself, Spark of Insanity, A Very Special Christmas Special, Controlled Chaos, Minding the Monsters, and All Over the Map. His memoir, All by My Selves: Walter, Peanut, Achmed and Me, landed him on the New York Times' bestseller list.
Who Is Jeff Dunham?
Jeffrey Dunham was born in raised in Dallas, Texas, where he ventured into the art of ventriloquism at the ripe age of 8. His parents gave him a Mortimer Snerd dummy for Christmas, and a how-to album. By the fourth grade, Dunham decided he not only wanted to be a professional ventriloquist, but the best one ever.
Dunham began performing for audiences as a teenager, in various venues such as school, church, special events like banquets, and during his job at Six Flags. He caught a break in 1985 when he was asked to join the Broadway show Sugar Babies with Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller, replacing an outgoing variety act. After graduating from Baylor University in 1986, he continued honing his act in comedy clubs in the Southwest with new characters.
By the end of 1988, Dunham felt his career went as far as it could go in Texas, and he moved to Los Angeles. That same year, he was offered a spot on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The invitation was later revoked the day of the scheduled taping after Dunham was told he was not ready for The Tonight Show.
In 2003, Dunham appeared on Comedy Central Presents, his first solo appearance on Comedy Central. The appearance was successful, but Comedy Central resisted giving Dunham more airtime, feeling that he was not a good fit for them. By 2005 Dunham decided to finance his own comedy DVD, Jeff Dunham: Arguing with Myself, which aired on Comedy Central the following year, drawing two million viewers.
On the rise, Dunham cemented his stardom with his second special, Jeff Dunham: Spark of Insanity in 2007, in which his most controversial character was introduced. Achmed the Dead Terrorist became a viral Internet sensation, with a YouTube clip attracting over 140 million hits – the ninth most watched video on the site.
In 2008, Dunham’s career reached new heights as he began performing in arenas filled with tens of thousands of people. Dunham was somewhat wary of such large venues, but adapted by adjusting the timing of his rapid exchanges with the puppets so that audience members farthest from the stage could have time to react.
Dunham has been called "America's favorite comedian" by Slate.com, and is the top-grossing standup act in North America with considerable success in Europe as well. A Very Special Christmas Special was the most-watched telecast in Comedy Central history, with its DVD selling over 400,000 in its first two weeks. Dunham is the third-highest paid comedian in the United States. He achieved the Guinness World Record for "Most tickets sold for a stand-up comedy tour" thanks to his Spark of Insanity run, performing in 386 venues worldwide.