#BGReviewer: Jeff Dunham Gets Passively Aggressive

Jan 25, 2018

As early as 6:00p.m, fans were eagerly lined up around the building. As we made our way to our seats, we watched the arena go from scarce to a full house practically in less than an hour. Many fans had spent a lot of the time before the show buying merchandise, which led to a sea of Peanut, Bubba J, Jose Jalepeno, Achmed, and Walter within Budweiser Gardens. It was obvious that many people were, like myself, massively huge fans of Jeff and his entourage of puppets, and we were more than eagerly anticipating another entertaining evening.

Jeff came out to a great ovation as he acknowledged the fans in the arena. He then welcomed people who were returning fans, as well as apologizing and welcoming new fans that had been "dragged here and have no idea what to expect". He then spent some time delving into his standup routine which consisted of topics from his personal life to his opinion on current issues. One highlight of his standup was when he spoke of his two young twin boys. The pride he had as a dad as he told great stories about his boys could be seen by everyone.

Jeff then told those in attendance that he was going to be introducing a never-before-seen, brand new character later in the evening, which drew great excitement from the fans in attendance.

He then introduced Walter, to a great ovation from the audience. He and Walter shared in their infamous banter back and forth, making jokes about everything from politics, to being booked in Canada in the middle of winter. They made jokes about Jeff's personal life and Walter's wife while also expressing other great vintage Walter and Jeff shenanigans, which was met with great laughter from the crowd throughout.

Then it came time for his new character. The audience erupted in anticipation as he introduced Bob, the advisor to President Trump. Bob definitely had a different personality and way of carrying his bit than the other puppets that people have come to expect from Jeff Dunham, but not in a negative way at all. It was a fresh new character, based of course on the political state in the United States presently. This new and refreshing act drew much laughter from the audience at various parts throughout.

Following Bob, Jeff went back to the classics as he brought out Bubba J, which created a great ovation from fans in the crowd. Bubba J and Jeff shared their views on various topics from family to beer to other major topics of the day. Bubba J delivered his beliefs in the same outrageous, crazy manner that Jeff Dunham fans have come to expect as they cheered and laughed without missing a beat.

After Bubba J, came Peanut to a great ovation and many loud cheers. Peanut is probably the most well-known puppet of Jeff's next to Walter. This was illustrated by the amount of Peanut merchandise fans waved in the air upon his introduction. Peanut and Jeff then went on to deliver their usual banter about everything from Peanut's everlasting assumption of Jeff being gay, to Peanut complaining about how he was mistreated by Walter, all of which was thoroughly accepted and enjoyed by the fans. Following Peanut, Jeff segued into the introduction of Jose Jalepeno (on a STEEK) as the three launched into the ever-entertaining back and forth. Their commentary made light of everything from Jeff to Jose’s family and country of origin. This banter was yet another segment that was thoroughly enjoyed by the fans in attendance.

Last but certainly not least, Jeff brought out Achmed the Dead Terrorist. Achmed probably drew the next greatest reaction to Walter on this night. They launched into a great segment revolving around everything from current events, to family, to Achmed losing limbs by simply being moved slightly on stage. The fans seemed to hang on to every word and laughed at every single mannerism, whether intentionally funny or not. It was a great way to end a great show.

The show didn’t end there. Jeff came back out on stage to a standing ovation. He then had his assistant take a selfie of him and the crowd. But it still didn’t end there. Not without Jeff bringing out a t-shirt cannon, and then an even bigger one so he could reach people further back in the audience. He then thanked the audience yet again for coming out, and the fans began to exit the arena.

The guest I had brought along had only seen tidbits of Jeff on various shows and videos. However, upon exiting the building he would not stop telling me how much he thoroughly enjoyed it. This seemed to be the opinion of various first-timers I came across while my friend and I were leaving the arena. So, as I was expecting, Jeff Dunham and his cast of beloved characters certainly didn’t disappoint. Whether you were a long-time fan or a new fan, you walked away entertained and, in some cases, with a sore stomach from laughing so much.

Thanks to Bud Gardens for allowing me the opportunity to share my experience and give others a glimpse into the comedy styling of someone I have been a fan of for years, Jeff Dunham, and his always-entertaining, hilarious gang of puppets.

Melissa Sheehan

Photos by: Bill Woodcock

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