Jeff Dunham
Arguing With Myself
Stand Up Comedy DVD
Bleeped and Unbleeped versions
Image Entertainment 2006
70 minutes plus extras.

It is hard to understand why it took an association with the Blue Collar Comedy folks to get ventriloquist Jeff Dunham the recognition he deserves. Then again, recognition has not come without a price for Jeff Dunham.

A ventriloquist I remember as smart and witty has become uselessly blue and risqué, and, here’s the rub, facile on Arguing With Myself. I do not mind puppets and a comic or ventriloquist swearing and doing dirty jokes but I am annoyed by some of the very easy, heard them before somewhere else material here. Hell, Dunham can even get a crowd of rednecks to moan at one of his jokes: not a good sign.

Jeff Dunham Arguing With Myself is the ventriloquist’s first comedy DVD and it features material where his well-known and loved puppets constantly upstage him and get the last word in (well, sort of).

Arguing With Myself comes in both bleeped and unbleeped versions but I do not understand why anyone would want to watch the bleeped version: there is probably not much left and this is not stand-up comedy for the kiddies as Dunham’s puppets do swear and the material is sometimes plain dirty.

Jeff Dunham Arguing With Myself features all of Dunham’s puppets: Walter (my favorite) Jose Jalapeno (on a stiiick), Peanut, Bubba J. and, my least favorite Sweet Daddy Dee. Old curmudgeon Walter opens the show with some very good relationship comedy, especially his comparison of marriage to a Slurpee.

Dunham himself does a really good bit of improve when a member of the audience leaves to answer nature’s call and he and Walter wait for the poor guy to come back. Walter answering questions from the audience is also pretty good if not quite improvised. Unfortunately, Walter has to give his place to Dunham’s other characters and it is downhill all the way.

Puppet Sweet Daddy Dee is Jeff Dunham’s purported manager. He is a Black puppet and, of course (hmmm) dressed up as a pimp. Some people might find him racially insensitive and they would not be wrong. The character does take a pretty good jab at NASCAR though. Dee is just a stereotype. Sweet Daddy Dee also seems to have borrowed some of Larry the Cable Guy’s expressions such as “That’s some funny shit right there.” Honestly, I was more than happy when this character got off the stage.

Unfortunately, this allowed Bubba J to take the spotlight and if there ever was a use for a leaf shredder, Bubba J is it. The puppet is a redneck and his material is simply offensive.

Even Peanut, one of Jeff Dunham’s original puppets has lost a lot of his innocence and charm on Arguing With Myself. The Santa Anna bit really overstays its welcome. As for Jose Jalapeno, he has lost his spice.

I waited a long time for a Jeff Dunham DVD and, unfortunately, Arguing With Myself came along. Fotunately, Spark of Insanity came along a year later.

If you like this ventriloquist, you are going to love Terry Fator


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