Dunham: Playing with dolls brings down the house

Comedy Impact Report 2012: Standup - Jeff Dunham

“If you walk on stage with a doll, it’s like Kryptonite,” says ventriloquist and standup comic Jeff Dunham, who has managed to turn his use of dummies into comedy gold, raking in $24 million touring in 2011 alone. This year, Dunham put together a Halloween-themed DVD, “Minding the Monsters,” in just four months — an extremely short period of time to produce a comedy spesh, especially when conceived while touring in Australia, South Africa and Europe.

Of all touring acts, Dunham ranked 27th this year. “I’m not going to call myself the McDonald’s of comedians; I’m more like burgers and fries,” Dunham says of his widespread appeal, which has been built on playing to auds from churches to clubs. Coming up for the comedian is a possible toon series looking for financing along with future domestic and international tours.

As for whether Dunham would ever abandon the dummies, he says, “One of the biggest compliments was when one of the haters on ‘Minding the Monsters’ said, ‘He’s funny enough without the dolls!’ I love doing the standup by myself, but I don’t think I’d be selling these kinds of tickets if it weren’t for the characters.”

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Legit News from Variety