Watching ventriloquist Jeff Dunham perform live, you might catch a glimpse of what Steve Martin used to call "creativity in action." It's the part of his set where he may try something brand new. "I come up with an idea or a premise," he explains, "and I'll stick it in the middle of the show and just start adlibbing. Literally the best stuff comes out on stage." Between his core characters, Walter, Peanut, and Jalapeño, Dunham can deliver comedy covering a number of topics. The envelope can be stretched pretty far as well. "Each character has a different point of view," he says. "Walter being the typical old cranky guy, he's going to have his views. There's just a sense there with those characters that you can get away with stuff that no human could get away with." He finds that to be especially true with political topics, where the humor can be taken much further than if he were doing it within the confines of a regular standup routine. "Because of that unwritten rule, that license to be completely outrageous with a character, or puppet, or dummy."
Mon., Sept. 7, 8 p.m., 2009