You can’t call Jeff Dunham just a ventriloquist.
He’s really a comic who uses his puppets as his muses. Through those puppets, he can make jokes he couldn’t otherwise say out of his own mouth, be it grouchy old Walter or goofy redneck Bubba J or clueless Achmed the Terrorist.
After years working small clubs like the Punchline in Sandy Springs, Dunham is now a selling out 12,000-seat arenas. His trip to Philips this Saturday will be his second. His fourth Comedy Central special “Controlled Chaos” last September drew 5.5 million viewers. His Facebook fan page has 6.5 million followers.
And his voice is now so valuable, he only does interviews by email. Here are his answers to the AJC:
Q: You have been doing ventriloquism for 40 years. Are there aspects of the craft that still challenge you?
A: I realized early on that the ventriloquism needed to be just a vehicle for the comedy. It couldn’t be the focus of the act. In other words, I focus on the material. The challenge