The smartest man in Show Business in the past sixty years may very well have been Edgar Bergen... an entertainer who became a super—star as a ventriloquist...on the radio!
Although Mr. Bergen technically was never the best at his craft, in fact very often it was apparent to all that his lips moved, he had a unique and wonderful talent.., an ability to create characters that America fell in love with, and remained in love with over forty years on radio, television, motion pictures, and personal appearances.
JEFF DUNHAM, may well be the heir apparent to Mr. Bergens unique talent. This young (31) veteran of over twenty—four years of performing, while never holding a job in the "real world" has compiled an impressive list of statistics and records:
**The only person ever to win the prestigious "Ventriloquist of the Year" Award twice.
**The person who appeared on "The Tonight Show" more than any other ventriloquist in history.
**The only ventriloquist to appear as a presenter on a nationally televised award show, with his recent appearance to present "Song of the Year" on the Academy of Country Music Awards Show.
These are all impressive records. But the most significant may be his continuing string of sold out night club engagements and comedy concerts around the country.
The hundreds of thousands that have flocked to JEFF DUNHAMs live engagements, and the millions that have seen his multiple television appearances is a long way from the beginning of his career at the tender age of seven with an oral book report given by a toy Mortimer Snerd puppet.
DUNHAM has moved with considerable skill from book reports to critical acclaim, as one reviewer recently put it, "What makes this performer the best at what he does is the believability factor... to put it succinctly, DUNHAMs animated characters have more personality than a lot of people I know."
DUNHAM continued to pursue his career while picking up a degree in communications from Baylor University. "While most people were going out on weekends and partying, I was flying of f somewhere to do my show."
Upon graduation, JEFF hit the road full time and has never stopped - touring with the Broadway musical "Sugar Babies"; as opening act for dozens of major stars; on television programs from "The Tonight Show" to "Hot Country Nights" to his unbroken string of sold out concert and nightclub performances as a headliner in his own right.
For JEFF the most significant stamp of approval will always be Johnny Carson inviting him to the couch on his very first "Tonight Show" appearance, an honor JEFF shares with only four other comedians during Carsons thirty year tenure on the show.
A special comedy moment erupted when the permanently disgruntled "Walter" had the audacity to tell Carson that "...it will be a cold day in hell before I come back to this show!"
Since then JEFF and his "partners in comedy" Peanut, Walter, and Jose Jalapeno... "on a stick", continue to be the "hardest working comedians in show business", performing over 250 days a year.
In his limited free time, JEFF indulges his passion for aviation by building personal, full sized, two seater helicopters. (He is currently in the middle of constructing his third chopper, and flies regularly, having already logged over 350 hours as pilot.)
While critical praise and adulation are important to any performer, including JEFF, DUNHAM says, "Its a tremendous compliment to be thought of as a great ventriloquist, but Im more excited that people are coming out to see us for the comedy. You can amaze an audience once or twice, but I want to make them laugh for a lifetime."
The Newark Star-Ledger recently said, "JEFF DUNHAM is a comic genius."
It looks like JEFF is well on the way to fulfilling his goal!