Review of Ventriloquist Jeff Dunham's Show in Manchester, NH

This review of Jeff Dunham’s show was sent to me by Paul Mallett. He is a fellow that my son, Jason, works with. The show was last Saturday, December 6th in Manchester, NH. Here’s his review:

Being a long time fan of Jeff Dunham, it had been quite a while since I had seen him live. I have bought all the DVD’s, watched the YouTube videos, and visit his website from time to time; I keep up with his works. What I didn’t expect or know was that Guitar Guy, Brian Haner, would be his opening act.

Let me start off by saying that this guy can really play the guitar. He played some bits of Hendrix – Purple Haze, Michael Jackson’s – Beat It (hilarious joke to go with this), and even a bit of his son’s music – Avenge Sevenfold and the music he played sounded unbelievable. His comedy routine is mostly his life’s story – the highs, lows, failures and successes from the 70’s to today. Pretty good stuff, however, it could get old if you see the show more than once. In my opinion, what makes his comedy pretty good are his facial expressions. I don’t want to give too much away because if you are going to an upcoming show you might be pleasantly surprised and if you have already gone then you know what I am talking about. He’s a pretty talented performer and his inclusion in Jeff Dunham’s act makes him a perfect opening act.

After a quick 15 minute intermission, Jeff Dunham took the stage to an unbelievable roar. His opening dialogue was pretty good, not as good as some that he’s done on the DVD’s, but it was definitely different. It was about an alleged incident that took place three weeks previous to the show at a closed airport outside of Medford, OR. It turned out to be a military base and they had landed there illegally.

After an ok opening bit, out comes Walter. He appeared to be in his normally grumpy mood. Happy to be in 2 degree weather, or so he says. His funny moments included a natural disaster leveling the one-story building in downtown Manchester and how the two homeless men the city has thought it was a bummer. Of course, he questions Jeff’s sexual preferences a few times and picks on Indians, Natives and those from India. He only spends about 15 to 20 minutes with Walter…some real funny stuff.

Next, he brings out the crowd favorite, Achmed the Dead Terrorist. The puppet has such great detail and looks so much better in person than on TV or even a Blu-Ray DVD. The routine seems to follow the Christmas show, but he adds so much more. I was waiting for the part where Achmed wanted to talk about all “his problems” because Poliosis was absolutely hilarious on the DVD and I was curious about one of Achmed’s comments where this is the part where Jeff makes stuff up; it appears to be adlib because it was different. Matter of fact, I thought guitar guy was going to fall over or off the stage because he was laughing so hard.

My personal favorite was next, Peanut. I could see him a thousand times and it’s funny every time. This act mostly followed the Christmas special with a few twists here and there, mostly from Spark of Insanity. The one thing I noticed is how good Jeff is at talking with Peanut; there is virtually no lip movement when he talks. The “Night Before Christmas” reading was even funnier in person. There was again newer material added in and the picking on Guitar Guy went on for over 10 minutes. At one point Peanut starts yelling at him because they’re “making a killing on this gig and he doesn’t want guitar guy to blow it.” Guitar guy finally agrees with him and gives him two thumbs up.

The show ends after 1 hour and 30minutes of pure entertainment or so we thought. Jeff offers to do an encore with Bubba J, however, claims he doesn’t know the lines because it’s been so long since he’s done his routine that he’ll have to use notes; this was the only part that seemed silly since during the course of 10mintues he hardly ever referred to the notes. Even stranger was that the audience seemed to finish all the punch lines. Bubba J would start to answer and stopped as the crowd finished for him. Great one liner by Bubba J, it’s like being in some kinda weird church were 10,000 people all answer at once.

Overall this was a great show. I was really impressed at how well it went in front of 10,000+ people. I remember seeing Jeff Dunham about 14 years ago at the Comedy Connection in Boston with about 400 people. It was really a great show then and it’s even better today. I can’t wait to see him again.

Thanks for reading,
Paul Mallett
paulmallett@yahoo.com

Paul, thanks for sharing your review with us at Ventriloquist Central.

Dan
www.ventriloquistcentral.com

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Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. His collection of ventriloquist figures now numbers over 100 figures of which there are over 50 Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com

Copyright 2008 by Dan Willinger

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