When I was eight years old, I got a dummy for Christmas and started teaching myself. I got books and records and sat in front of the bathroom mirror, practising. I did my first show in the third grade and just kept going; there was no reason to quit.
When I was in third grade I taught myself ventriloquism... What's hard is to learn to be an entertainer and make people laugh. I was a few years out of college before I felt I had enough material. Then in 1988 I moved to L.A. and started to do some shows at comedy clubs.
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My mother and my father have always supported me. Now in their eighties, they actually clamor onto the tour bus with me once or twice a year so they can watch the performances and hear the crowds. Traveling with eighty-something-year-olds on a tour bus… there has to be some sort of reality show in that.
It’s strange because even in the vaudeville days, ventriloquists were never the main attraction. They were the guys brought out to stand in front of the curtain while sets were being changed. Ventriloquism wasn’t even celebrated as an art until Edgar Bergen came along in the 1930s.
The best place to find material is in real life. I’ve always maintained that it’s not until the mid-20s that you have enough of a life to draw from. There’s nothing better for a comic than to go through some bad stuff – and some good stuff, like getting married.
|Birth:||18th April, 1962|
|Profession:||Comedian, Screenwriter, Television Producer, Ventriloquist|
Jeffrey "Jeff" Dunham was born in Dallas, Texas, USA. He is an American stand-up comedian, ventriloquist, TV producer and screenwriter who has also appeared on numerous television shows, including Late Show with David Letterman, Comedy Central Presents (Also writer), The Tonight Show, and Sonny With a Chance. Forbes.com ranked Dunham as the third highest-paid comedian in the United States behind Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock. He achieved the Guinness Book of World Records record for "Most tickets sold for a stand-up comedy tour" for his Spark of Insanity tour, performing in 386 venues worldwide. He has written his autobiography, All By My Selves: Walter, Peanut, Achmed and Me. His role in several films include: Delta Farce, I'm No Dummy (Documentary film), Dinner for Schmucks, From Up on Poppy Hill (Voice), The Nut Job (Voice), Smurfs: The Lost Village (Voice), and The Nut Job 2 (Voice). His role in television include: History of the Joke (TV Documentary film), The Jeff Dunham Show (TV series, also writer and executive producer), and The Batmobile (TV documentary film).
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