A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this comedy series showcases the talents of ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and his collection of sidekick puppet characters, including a crotchety old man, a cadaverous terrorist skeleton, and a beer-swilling redneck. The jokes range from tame situational comedy to slightly racist and sexist cracks. There’s also moderate swearing and some sexual innuendo -- all of which means that Dunham’s act is better suited for older viewers than for kids.
What's the story?
In THE JEFF DUNHAM SHOW, comedian/ventriloquist Jeff Dunham brings his stage act to the small screen, accompanied by the diverse cast of puppet sidekicks that form the heart of his humor. Each character has his or her own distinct personality and quirks -- the gang includes crotchety old man Walter, dim-bulb redneck Bubba J., and a skeletal corpse known as Achmed the Dead Terrorist. Every episode of the show combines performance footage filmed in front of live audience with pre-taped skits featuring the comic and his pals in a variety of unusual situations -- Jeff and Walter go to a therapist, Bubba J. goes to a shooting range, etc.
Is it any good?
Here’s the thing about ventriloquists: Jokes that wouldn’t be funny if a traditional comedian told them don’t really improve when they come out of the mouth of a puppet. Dunham plays the straight man while his characters frequently spout mildly racist and sexist lines and mediocre one-liners. Watching a teenage boy go on and on about a woman’s breasts isn’t funny, and the lines aren’t any more entertaining when they come from some horn-dog made out of foam.
Dunham isn’t even that impressive a ventriloquist; it’s easy to see his mouth moving, especially since there aren’t any compelling reasons to watch the puppets.