Open Letter to Jeff Dunham

Dear Jeff,

For the love of Edgar Bergen, please stop not flapping your gums… at least on Thursday nights on Comedy Central.

You are a talented comedian and maybe the finest ventriloquist performing today. I’ve watched your concerts on TV and YouTube so many times I know most of your lines by heart. And they never fail to make me laugh.

I was eagerly awaiting the premier of your new weekly series. Fresh Dunham every week, how cool was that going to be? But instead of laughing on Thursday nights, I weep… for you. For you and Achmed, Walter, Bubba J, and the whole gang, sentenced to this hideous show format that’s turned your magic into Muppets Gone Wild.

What makes ventriloquism work is the interplay between the puppet and the performer. That razor’s edge duality of two personalities seeming to spew simultaneously from the same person. The viewer suspending belief, then not, and back again. It is a craft born of the stage. That is its natural venue, perhaps its only one.

When the puppets venture into the world sit-com style and become independent characters, you get Alf—with fewer cat jokes.

Please Jeff… Silence… I k-e-e-l you…. Dumbass.

A. Fan

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