February 2017 - Make 'Em Laugh: Jeff Dunham
Comedian Jeff Dunham makes his way back to Albuquerque during his second leg of the Perfectly Unbalanced Tour. For over 46 years, Dunham has created some world famous characters, including Walter, Achmed, Bubba J, Peanut, and Jose Jalapeño. He also the Guinness World Record® holder for the Most Tickets Sold for a Stand-Up Comedy Tour along with setting the record for viewership on Comedy Central®. With more than 7 million DVDs worldwide and nearly a billion views on YouTube, Durham has made his mark in the comedy world. He sat down with New Mexico Entertainment to answer a few questions about this tour and what specials are on the way.
This is your second leg of the Perfectly Unbalanced Tour. What is it about this show that audiences are going crazy for?
I think the simple answer is that the little guys and I are presenting a show that appeals to a large number of people because the folks find it entertaining and funny. The multiple and varied characters and their specific personalities in the act add to the appeal, plus I feel that what goes on between us on stage is a bit of a sitcom; there are jokes, but there’s also conflict and tension between personalities, and all that makes for good comedy. People bring family and friends over and over to see it all and experience the craziness and fun, and that’s why the numbers keep growing. It’s my job to make sure that every time someone comes to a show, they want to come back again the next time I’m in town.
How long does it take for you to plan a production of this magnitude?
I actually never plan an entire production at one time. My show is constantly morphing as I bring in new material and bits and characters, then phase the older pieces out. That way, after a year or two, I have an entirely new show. We then tape a special, put it on the air, and then the process keeps moving. The real crunch time happens after a special is taped, because I have only a couple of months before it airs to make sure there’s enough brand new material in the live show that won’t be seen in the special when it airs.
You have been all over the world - favorite place to perform and why?
My favorite place to perform is always determined by the audience. I don’t care if I’m standing on a wooden crate in a cornfield or at Carnegie Hall in NYC…. Whatever audience is giving me the biggest laughs, THAT’S my favorite place to perform.
Can we look forward to more specials? What do you have coming down the pipeline?
The next special is always in the works. I never walk on stage and hit PLAY. Every show has new jokes that I’ve worked on that day or earlier that week, plus I always leave myself the time to ad-lib and develop new bits and jokes in that manner. The labor isn’t the performing; the work is inserting in the new material and building and morphing the live show into the next special. Asfor the actual next special, I’m taping in May for a Fall release! Details to follow SOON!