The 2007 Jeff Dunham DVD Spark Of Insanity is by far superior to his previous release Arguing With Myself where Dunham's material was not as smart as what I expected and uselessly dirty. Not that I mind a dirty comic but I do when it's just artifice.
This once former Jeff Dunham fan is happy to say he is back on the bandwagon after watching Spark Of Insanity.
The show features the classic Dunham puppets like Walter the curmudgeon, Peanut, and Jose Jalapeno on a Steeek. The ventriloquist also introduces two new characters: Achmed the Dead Terrorist and Melvin The Superhero. I rather enjoyed the freshness of a couple of new characters even if the old gang is still funny. Ahmed is a particularly original puppet and allows Dunham to not only use a new voice but also do some totally different material (even if he does milk the "I kill you" line). I especially liked the interaction between Achmed and Walter.
Dunham is still more adult than he used to be (okay, that was some fifteen years ago) but on Spark Of Insanity he is not as blue as on Arguing and the jokes work. With Achmed, Jeff Dunham can also be a bit darker that what his audiences are used to and he gets off a few very different and original lines.
Melvin the Superhero, however, does not do it for me. He does not really have a different personality aside from the usual superhero stuff. Dunham does have a good bit where Melvin gives his take on other superheroes.
The interaction between Peanut and Jose Jalapeno on a Steek is a bit too facile and standard wetback jokes for my taste and something I also did not appreciate much in Arguing With Myself. Still, the dueling voices this allows Dunham to show off is always an interesting part of the show.
Extra features on Jeff Dunham Spark of Insanity include The Making of Melvin and What Would You Put On A Stick.
If you like Jeff Dunham you are going to love ventriloquist Terry Fator
Other Jeff Dunham Reviews
Arguing With Myself: Disappointing, uselessly blue and risque performance from an excellent ventriloquist who is better than that
Jeff Dunham Very Special Christmas Special - The Comedy Network Dec. 5th 20th 22nd 25th 2008: Very good comedy Christmas show by ventriloquist
Very Special Christmas Special DVD: The ventriloquist, Peanut, Walter, Jose Jalapeno et al in a longer version of the Comedy Central Christmas Special
The Jeff Dunham Show - The Comedy Network: Decent but not worth making a special effort to watch.
The Jeff Dunham Show DVD: This situation comedy lasted all of 7 episodes for obvious reasons.
Controlled Chaos: Could have been good but just redneck racist by the end.
Minding the Monsters Blu-ray: This is the ventriloquist s best show ever.
Achmed Saves America: 60 minute cartoon about Achmed coming to America. Pretty good.
All Over the Map: Ventriloquist on an entertaining world tour.