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3/22/09

Jeff Dunham & The Guitar Guy

We worked this show at The forum and it was so easy, early in early out. Jeff Dunham was truly exciting, edgy and invigorating to watch! Between watching the comedy from his puppets, to the opening comedic monologue, to the encore presentation with puppet Bubba J. His on-stage charismatic personality made the entire night just seem to fly by.
The show began with (I guess you could refer to him as a comedian) Guitar Guy, Brian Haner. His performance started off a little slow as he dove right into ordinary jokes about his family and himself. But as he progressed into his specialty, writing and playing comedic songs, he started slowly gaining my attention. His specialty definitely was his guitar playing, but the songs that he wrote were funny because they related to things that were happening in the media; but instead giving them a different twist to make them funny. To end his set, he played part of the Star Spangled Banner in a rock-and-roll theme, which was really awesome to listen to in person; he was a great guitarist!
Next they took a quick 15 minute intermission and then Jeff Dunham came on! He started the show with a few minutes of dialogue where he told us he was held at gunpoint by military personnel in an Area 51 part of an airport. And what was even funnier was that Achmed the Dead Terrorist was the one who saved him! It was totally entertaining to listen to and the funniest part was it was all true. So after his quick monologue he went right into “Walter.”
I didn’t really have a favorite puppet, but Walter came pretty close. As someone who has only seen a few seconds of his famous Achmed, I didn’t really know what to expect with any of the other puppets. Walter was like your grumpy old grandpa that didn’t mind telling it like it was. After a few minutes of Walter, Achmed the Dead Terrorist came on. One thing is for sure is that Achmed always makes me laugh; it was definitely Achmed at his best. And then after Achmed was Peanut. I had never even seen Peanut before; he was definitely a crazy puppet. I think Peanut’s set was the longest and in the middle of his skit, Jose Jalapeño on a Stick came on. He has a much more laid back personality compared to Peanut, which made for some real funny comedy. Jeff finally ended with just Peanut and thanked the crowd. He definitely keeps ventriloquism entertaining to watch because all of his puppets have drastically different voices and different personalities.
After he thanked the crowd, he came back on stage. Jeff said he had gotten so many emails from local people to have his puppet Bubba J (I believe that he retired Bubba J for this tour) do an encore presentation because he was such a local favorite, he decided to do a quick skit with him. So as soon as Jeff started talking to Bubba J, the crowd chimed in and started mimicking Bubba J’s answers; it was so hilarious! It definitely made Jeff laugh, since the crowd knew the skit so well they could recite the lines. I thought it was the best part of the show! After his encore with Bubba J, he brought out some t-shirt shooters and shot t-shirts into the crowd. I loved that he was so engaging with everyone and even though there were approximately 10,000 people in the arena, it seemed like a much more intimate crowd.

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