The phrase wildly popular ventriloquist
was supposed to have gone out of the language sometime in the 1970s, at the latest. But here's Jeff Dunham, a huge 21st-century-star and a man who unashamedly speaks through his puppets… or do they speak through him? In Controlled Chaos
, Dunham presents a live concert performance that leans heavily on three favorite dummies: cranky old man Walter, infidel-hating skeleton Achmed the Dead Terrorist, and the mischievous purple whatzit, Peanut. (Lesser roles are doled out to José Jalapeño, the talking chili pepper on a stick, and Achmed's half-blown-up son.) Dunham's act is exceptionally polished, and he gets some honest laughs from his no-dummies opening monologue, as he mocks his own childhood via some very geeky school photographs. Then come the routines: Walter makes fun of Africans who live in houses made of elephant dung, Peanut does a drawn-out routine about the challenging accents of employees at Chinese restaurants, and Achmed (by now Dunham's most consistently successful bit) rails against everybody. Dunham's alleged "political incorrectness" looks a lot like old-school adolescent humor, and there's little in the mainstream-just-slightly-racy act that your mom can't enjoy--although the DVD comes with a "Bleeped Version" of the concert, just in case. Even if you don't cotton to Dunham's jokes, his skill at presenting well-defined characters (and at creating meta-gags about ventriloquist acts) is on full display here. The disc includes outtakes of on-stage flubs and some behind-the-scenes material. --Robert Horton
Synopsis: Item Type:
BLU-RAY DVD MovieItem Rating:
Foreign Film: no
Full Frame: no
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