The 2007 Jeff Dunham stand-up comedy 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

Spark Of Insanity
Jeff Dunham
Stand-up Comedy DVD
Image Entertainment 2007
80 minutes

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