One of the world’s top comedians, Jeff Dunham rose to fame with his ventriloquism turned comedy act that made his characters Achmed the Dead Terrorist, Walter, and Jose Jalapeno, youtube sensations. On March 3rd, Dunham will come to Ottawa on his Passively Aggressive Tour, and will bring with him his original characters and two (possibly three) new ones. Dunham spoke about the inspiration behind these new characters in our January interview with him.
“Lately, we can’t get away from American politics. I know in Canada, you guys just grab a beer, sit back in your La-Z-Boy, turn on the TV and laugh at us. But then again, when I head to Canada, the Trudeau jokes are unending. I’m dumbfounded every time one of the characters says his name, the negative response that I get. I wonder what the actual split of support and non-support is for Trudeau Jr.
My latest response to what’s going on in the world, and you can’t ignore the politics, is to continue to use comedy as a form of escapism. Just like the movies. I created a couple of characters to reflect the current political situation.
I try to play it down the middle as much as possible. Johnny Carson and Jay Leno had a really great way of making fun of both sides and keeping it even. You never really knew what their politics was. I try to do the same thing by making fun of both sides.
I tried to imagine the worst possible job in the White House, working under Donald Trump. I came up with a guy who works in the shadows and he has a stressed-out job. His name is Larry and he’s Trump’s personal advisor who helps him with everything, including his tweets.
The other one I’ve come up with is representative of the divide in America right now. I think it’s the most divided it’s been since the Civil War. So, I came up with a character that’s been the most challenging to build, operate and voice. He is a conjoined twin that’s a double-headed dummy, I’ve never seen this done before, and one is completely left-wing, and the other is completely right-wing, and they hate each other. Their names are, of course, Richard and Happy – Rich and Happy – and you can guess which side is which.”
Tickets are still available for tomorrow’s show on the CTC website.