Ventriloquist and comic Jeff Dunham takes to the stage to provide fresh comedic material with his classic puppets Walter, Peanut, Jose Jalapeño and Achmed, as well as with two never-before-seen characters with their own unique quirks.
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Jeff Dunham is back in his much-anticipated fourth concert event, with all-new material and unparalleled comedy that surpasses his record-breaking specials Arguing with Myself, Spark of Insanity, and A Very Special Christmas Special. All the favorites are here, plus two never-before-seen characters certain to unleash their own unique havoc on stage. Dunham is an international phenomenon with sold out stadium concerts, one-half billion YouTube views, and television shows that remain among the highest rated in Comedy Central history. Controlled Chaos is guaranteed to deliver an unequaled number of laughs per minute - whether you're a Dunham Maniac or seeing him and his partners for the very first time. Written by
What happened?! Where's the guy who nearly made me wet my pants when I first saw 'Spark of Insanity'? Have fame and fortune gotten the better of him?
The show starts off with what is probably the best part altogether. Jeff invites us into his past with pictures of himself growing up, though what's mostly funny about it is the fact that he used to be really geeky and the pictures are pretty embarrassing (mostly according to his daughters, apparently). First up, after his introduction, as usual is Walter. And this is where I first got a somewhat eerie feeling. See, as most fans of Jeff Dunham will know is that many of his (Walter's) jokes sometimes border on moderately racist. However, Jeff always got away with this because it's really a character he's acting out, and I was always pretty sure it was more satire than actual racism. But during the first skit of 'Controlled Chaos', I seriously got the feeling that it really was more racism than satire. He really pushed the envelope with his sketch on Native Africans and their culture and habits. You'll know what I mean when you watch the show. I could handle the "learn the f-ing language" etc. comments in previous shows, but this simply wasn't funny anymore.
But it doesn't end there. His new 'Achmed' skit was quite simply lame and very unfunny. I couldn't help but feel like Dunham must have been tragically uninspired, because most of it was just rehashing old jokes. He also introduced a new character here, which I had seen in a preview and was really looking forward to, but alas it was a bitter disappointment. Too short, too weak and no catchy jokes. Next up was Peanut. I was waiting for this part (having pretty much given up at that point) thinking "well at least this one is sure to be funny", and there he goes again... Racist remarks throughout (this time about Asian people), and then halfway through, Dunham seemingly prepared to apologise to a man of Asian descent who, having attended the show a few weeks earlier, had complained via email of being offended (and rightfully so if you ask me), and he just waltzed right over it. He made Peanut 'read' the email but he just couldn't resist continuing his mockery and he never really apologised. Whether or not this email was real, remains unknown, but I don't think it really matters. He made his point.
Besides Africans and Asians he also takes the time to insult African Americans and Native Americans. Funny, huh? Oh, and I would actually like to state for the record that I am Caucasian... Just so you know.
Another really weird element was the way Dunham dealt with his divorce during the show. Firstly, all the previous skits with Walter whining about his marriage used to be really funny because we all knew that Jeff was (as far as we could tell) happily married, which made it OK by contrast. Now that he's not anymore (and bragging about his younger girlfriend) all of a sudden Walter's remarks like "I'm so jealous (of your divorce)" seemed really vindictive and out of place. Obviously, I don't know the details of the separation, but even if it was foul, I say leave the baggage at home. During the rest of the show there were another few remarks which seemed pretty iffy and nasty (quite probably directed at his ex-wife), which really had no place in a stand-up comedy show.
Thankfully, I would say, there is some resolve at the end, where Jeff does four characters at the same time, in high-speed, which is really well executed and very funny. Unfortunately, this part is a bit short, but I guess it had to be. I can only assume how confusing that would actually be for Dunham to do. But that was good.
Probably my biggest complaint is the fact that everything goes on for far too long, all the material is stretched way too thin, and having only three main characters this time, it all just seems to go on and on. I was bored, to tell you the truth. Bored, appalled and offended. And that's not how I want a comedy show to make me feel.
I'm sure there are plenty of people who think this show is funny as hell, but I honestly feel like tonight, Jeff Dunham showed his true colours. What a disappointment. And what an oxymoron 'Controlled Chaos' has turned out to be...
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