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Published: Thursday, 12/26/2013 - Updated: 9 months ago

PEACH WEEKENDER

Jeff Dunham returns to Huntington Center

BY KIRK BAIRD
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Dunham Dunham
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Jeff Dunham must like Toledo. Certainly Toledo likes him.

The popular comedian-ventriloquist was the first act to play at Huntington Center — a sold-out show, no less — and at 7:30 today makes his third appearance at the arena.

He's in town as part of the winter leg of his 2013 “Disorderly Conduct” worldwide tour. Tickets are $48.50 and available through the Huntington Center box office, TicketMaster, all TicketMaster outlets, ticketmaster.com, and by phone at 800-745-3000.

Dunham’s dummy act features, among others, Walter, Bubba J, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, Peanut, Jose Jalapeño, and Little Jeff, a doppelganger for the comedian.

His shtick has resonated enough with audiences that he was ranked fourth by Forbes magazine in its annual top-earning comedians of 2013 with $19 million in revenue from merchandise and ticket sales.

He's also starred in several Comedy Central specials, and is the author of a best-selling book, All By My Selves.

Given the importance of his voice, the ventriloquist doesn't do phone interviews. And given how busy he is with the tour and other media requests, Dunham had time enough to answer three email questions. Here they are.

Q: Talk about your evolution as a comic and ventriloquist. 

A: I've been a ventriloquist since I was 8 years old. I performed as a comedian/ventriloquist all through elementary school, junior high, high school, and college. I started performing in comedy clubs my freshman year in college. I moved to Los Angeles in 1988, when I then pursued the "big time" in comedy. I started headlining all the major clubs throughout the country. In 2006, my first hour-long Comedy Central special aired followed by four more specials. Here it is 2013 and we continue to sell out theaters and arenas across the country and around the world. It's all been great fun!

Q: Which sidekick personality most closely resembles your own?

A: Each character is me, just exaggerated beyond the socially acceptable point for anyone living outside a suitcase.

Q: You're a mega-popular entertainer. So what's the worst aspect of having that kind of success?

A: I walk on stage, tell a few jokes, get big laughs, they hand me this big check and then I go home. What’s the downside of that? I enjoy what I do for a living, there’s nothing better than that. 

Contact Kirk Baird at:kbaird@theblade.com or 419-724-6734.



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