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Resch Center amplifies comedian Jeff Dunham

Alli Rivera, Entertainment Writer
February 13, 2013
Filed under Entertainment

Every child has a favorite toy growing up. Few, however, take a memorable toy and turn it into a career. Jeff Dunham gave a well recieved performance to the audience at Green Bay’s Resch Center Feb. 8.

At 8 years old, Dunham received a Mortimer Snerd Dummy and an instructional record from his parents. Mortimer Snerd, or Morty, was a well-known ventriloquist dummy Beaky Buzzard in the Warner Brothers classic “Simpleton.”  He was known for being cheeky around the ladies.

By age 10, Dunham was performing acts in front of any audience willing to listen.

After graduating from Baylor University, Dunham headed straight for Los Angeles where he quickly became a hit in comedy clubs. The New York Times Magazine declared Dunham “the most successful comedian working in America.”

Currently, Dunham is an international comedic sensation. He has been on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list of the most powerful entertainers three years running.

His television series on Comedy Central, “Controlled Chaos,” received 5.5 million viewers, making it the third most viewed show the night it premiered. His short-time television series “The Jeff Dunham Show,” had a large fan base and was ranked first on Comedy Central. Dunham’s DVDs have reached more than seven million in sales, and live shows have sold-out arenas worldwide.

Topping off his accomplishments thus far, Dunham was Pollstar’s No. 1 comedy tour in North America for three years running as well as the Top Worldwide tour for the third year in a row.

“I think he is funny and creative”, said Justin Just senior, democracy and justice major. “His ability to argue back and forth and change voices so easily is incredible.”

Jeff Dunham’s New York Times best seller and autobiography, “All By My Selves: Walter, Peanut, Achmed, And Me,” hit shelves in 2010.  The book recollects Dunham’s journey from a 10-year-old boy who charged $5 per show, to the current Dunham and his recognized comedic status. It takes the viewer on a hilarious journey while Walter, Peanut and Achmed correct Dunham’s memory lapses.

“It’s so real. Just watching him makes you forget his puppets aren’t real,” said Rebecca Nelson junior Education major.

Dunham’s comedic crew consists of Walter the grumpy retiree, Achmed the dead terrorist, the beer-fueled redneck Bubba J, the overexcited purple creature Peanut, the spicy pepper José Jalapeño, and Peanut’s own mini-me ventriloquist dummy Little Jeff.

Dunham’s puppets have coined phrases, including Achmed the dead terrorist’s quote, “Silence! I keel you!”

Jose Jalapeño also has his own catchphrase, “On a steek!” Both phrases can be heard coming out of Dunham lovers everywhere.

“The saying ‘Dumbass!’ by Walter is my favorite saying. He only says it when there are unexpected sarcastic moments,” Nelson said.

Vibrant green hair, a quirky personality, a purple body and his own puppet have captured a lot of attention for Peanut. Peanut is notorious for stealing the show and has the hearts of many fans.

“Peanut is my favorite because he is just so funny”, said Jessica Peterson freshman undeclared. “I love when he runs his hand through his hair!”

Dunham’s current worldwide tour, “Disorderly Conduct,” is giving his global fan base a new line up of comedic relief. Be prepared for stomach splitting laughter.