Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jeff Dunham comes to Austin

On Friday, Feb 24th, the whole family went to see our favorite ventriloquist Jeff Dunham perform live at the Frank Erwin Center!  We saw one of his specials on Comedy Central quite a while back and laughed ourselves silly.  After that, we started watching every show of his we could.  When Santa heard last year that Jeff was coming to Austin this year, he made sure to put 6 tickets in our stockings.  Great present, Santa!

If you haven't heard Jeff perform before, you should take a look at his website and search YouTube for clips of his funnier material.  He's hilarious.  His shows have been the highest rated shows on Comedy Central.

Here are some of our favorite shots from the evening!

We arrive at the Erwin Center for our awesome seats. We're just one or two rows off of the main floor, which was terrific. We were high enough to see over everyone but still close enough to see the action. Now we just have to wait for the show to start!
(L-R: Mason, Jessica, Clark, Dane, Ed)

Jeff came on stage and spoke directly to the audience for more than 30 minutes, sharing some interesting personal photos of himself through the years as he developed his skills and honed his act. He spoke humorously of his love for ventriloquism since he was perhaps 9 years old, how he took school photos and family portraits with his dummies, and how he never could seem to keep a girlfriend.

After getting warmed up, Jeff brought out an audience favorite: Walter, the grumpy old man who's never hesitant to say, "Aw, shut the hell up!" In the photo, you can see Jeff and Walter near the bottom of the picture. Their images appeared on the large circular screen overhead to give a good view to everyone in the Frank Erwin center. (It was packed.)

After Walter finished colorfully cussin' everyone and everything out, he retired to his box for the evening. Jeff then brought out Bubba J, whose favorite sport is "drinkin' beer and watchin' NASCAR, huh huh huh!"

Bubba's taken a job as a night security man at the local brewery. Asked what he'd do if someone broke in, Bubba replied that he'd drink as much beer as he could before the bad guys took it all away.

Intermission: Everyone stuffs their face with cotton-candy.

After the intermission, we were treated to Achmed, the dead terrorist!
Achmed's tag line: "Silence! I keel you!" Best part of the whole show, in my opinion.

Jeff introduced a new character during this tour: Achmed Junior, or simply "A.J." A.J. is Achmed's long-lost son, and the two have been reunited after years apart. A.J. lost part of himself when (if I remember right) one of Achmed's suicide bombs detonated prematurely. The two don't see eye-to-eye.

After Achmed and A.J. left the stage, Peanut came out to play! Peanut was the second funniest portion of the show. He's too high-speed and animated to get a good picture, but if you watch some of Jeff's interaction with Peanut, you'll understand why he's a favorite. Too goofy! Our cheeks hurt from laughing after just 5 minutes of Peanut.

Peanut is, of course, the opposite of José Jalapeño on a Stick, another of Jeff's truly funny characters.  José is dead-pan to Peanut's flurry of motion.

To close out the evening, Peanut declared himself a ventriloquist and brought out "Little Ugly Ass Jeff" as his puppet. Pretty soon the three of them were in a heated argument that went on for a couple of minutes without missing a beat. It's amazing that Jeff can keep all those voices in his head straight.

We had a fantastic time at the show. I encourage you to watch Jeff's act if you can. He is an outstanding performer who entertained us for more than 3 hours! What an awesome show!