Tah Dum! It’s Dunham!

Jeff Dunhum: Reviving the old school

Performing arts are slowly losing popularity in these modern days. With how accessible it is to watch shows, movies and games, performers are finding less and less people to watch their play. Although, every now and then one performer does find a way to captivate our attention. That performer is Jeff Dunham the ventriloquist. Jeff Dunham has combine modern day comedy with a old style of performance.  With amazing presentation, he became known internationally and now has numerous tv shows and 6 special on comedy channel. He has done so much for the art of ventriloquism since Edgar Bergen.

What is ventriloquism? And why aren’t more people performing this art? Ventriloquism or ventriloquy is the art of deception where the performer (ventriloquist) changes his or her voice to make it appear as if it’s coming from somewhere else, usually a puppet. Now this is rather difficult and requires much practice for the full illusion to be achieve. Most people opt to become stand up comedian instead. The ventriloquist dummy assist him on stage. Jeff Dunham uses multiple dummies, each character having their own personality. He has been bringing more popularity to the art and making people laugh around the world.

Jeff Dunham style revolves around having his puppets say risque and/or taboo things on stage. He does this with the different characters of his different puppets. He also has his puppets talking to himself, other puppets and of course the audience. He and his puppets also do observational humor in which he will look around the audience and make remarks on the audience present. This encourages audience participation and makes him and his puppets more relatable for the rest of the show.

One of his many puppets is name Walter. Walter is a retired grumpy old man with his arms crossed. He is bras, negative and often sarcastic of the current world. He is also a Vietnam War veteran and does not care about anyone, especially his wife. It seems like he’s been married for several decades.

Another of his puppets is named Peanut. Peanut is a hyperactive, purple skinned “wozzle”with white fur covering most of his body and a tuft of green hair on his head. Jeff explains that Peanut is from a small Micronesian island and that they met in Florida. Unlike the others, Peanut’s comedy is not based on a stereotype. He is mostly known as the bad kid. He often make fun of Jeff and Jose.

Jose the jalapeno on a stick is exactly as his name says, a jalapeno on a stick (wearing a sombrero). Jose speaks with a thick Spanish accent and is often paired with Peanut where he is victim of Peanuts verbal assault. Jose appeals to the Latino stereotypes and makes fun of himself being on a stick.

Achmed the dead terrorist is the last puppet we will take a look at and arguable his most popular puppet. Achmed is the skeletal remains of a incompetent suicide bomber. He is know for yelling “Silence! I’ll kill you” to the laughing audience. He is afraid of Walter and has a Christmas song called Jingle bombs.

In conclusion, Jeff Dunham has brought a lot of attention to the art of ventriloquism that would otherwise continue to perish. Maybe even inspired some young and old comedians to try to practice ventriloquism and add it to their acts. As for Jeff, he will continue to entertain us with his many puppets.

Performing Art

He is a small introduction to the world of performing arts

Nowadays there are many different forms of entertainment to take our minds off everyday life.  With the advancement of technology, we now have cinema which has grown to the top of the entertainment industry. The old arts do suffer like magic shows, stand up comedy, etc. though they are not forgotten and still enjoyed by many around the world today. Performing art is an art form in which the artist uses their body, sound or object to portray an artistic expression.

There are different types of performing arts all intended to be performed in front of a live audience. Artist who perform in front of a live audience are called performers. Performers often adapt their appearance to different stages or acts they have set up for themselves. Most performers also use some form of prop to help them on stage. These performance can be either scripted or unscripted, random or completely orchestrated; spontaneous or carefully planned with or without the help of the audience. The performer can be present or absent as long as his performance is portrayed to the audience. An artist can perform anywhere at anytime since performing arts is not restricted to a time or location. Though one can perform anywhere one of the most popular ways to perform for an audience also referred to as theater.

Theater is a branch performing arts. In theater, the performers act out stories in front of a live audience using a combination of speech, music, dance, gestures, sounds and spectacle. Any one or combination of these is considered performing arts. Theater takes many forms such as plays, musicals, ballet, mime, stand up comedy, etc.

Most people forget about these arts but they are very present in our modern digital society. Many performers have brought some of these performing arts to big stages such as the famous modern ventriloquist Jeff Dunham. These arts are still enjoyed by many and will continue to live on for years to come.

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