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Review: Jeff Dunham at Covelli Centre

October 9, 2009 - Andy Gray
For Jeff Dunham’s encore Thursday before a sell-out crowd at the Covelli Centre, he brought out Bubba, his beer-drinkin’, NASCAR-watchin’ little guy. After a couple minutes, he apologized and said he needed his notes because he hadn’t done that material for awhile.

As he continued, I actually thought for a moment, “Gee, Jeff keeps looking at the notes, but Bubba hasn’t looked at them at all.”

That’s right. I’m expecting the puppet to be reading the notes.

That’s how realistic the characters are that Dunham creates on stage, and it’s the reason he’s one of only a handful of comedians who can sell out arenas.

The faces of Walter, Peanut and even Achmed the dead terrorist are wonderfully expressive, and Dunham creates a real sense of interaction with them. Dunham makes the audience believe he is surprised by the things his characters say.

The material sometimes isn’t as strong as the characters, especially when Dunham brought out opening act Brian Haner (the Guitar Guy) to join him. They amused each other more than they amused me. It was almost like the presence of another human detracted from Dunham’s connection with his little guys.

But there was no shortage of laughs in his 90+ minutes, whether it was explaining to Achmed how a comedian likes to “kill” and “destroy” an audience, but he doesn’t want to “bomb” or Walter telling Dunham that he doesn’t need Wii Fit because he already has something white that complains when he doesn’t do something right – a Wii-fe.


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