Stand-Up for Dummies

Remember when Jeff Dunham was a comedy superstar? God, that was fucking awful. Sure his stuff was funny for a while, but then you realized, “Hey, that’s actually pretty racist.” What with the Mexican chili pepper with moustache, or the dead terrorist with a catch phrase. Fuckin’ catch phrases…
Mind you, that character is terrible in more ways than that stupid catch phrase. First off, Achmed is not how you spell that name! It’s A-h-m-e-d. Adding a “c” to point out how supposedly ridiculous Arabic sounds isn’t funny. And not calling him “Achmed the Dead Arab Terrorist” only pushes the stereotype that all terrorists are Arab. Jesus, Dunham— even if you’re not racist, don’t pander to those assholes!
(This is the last part of the rant, I swear.) Plus, —I have to say this— without the puppets, Jeff Dunham’s a pretty mediocre comic. He seems too limited by his gimmick to try anything interesting. But what do I know? He stills make more money than me.

[ed: Dunham’s argued that Achmed isn’t a Muslim. But he did mention how much he wanted 72 virgins.]

Rant’s over. (Yaaayyyyy!)
Anyway, I was listening to an older episode of Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast (one of the finest comedy podcasts around) where he did a live recording at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal (one of the finest comedy festivals around… the world). One of the guests he brought on was a ventriloquist named Nina Conti, who was great even though an audio-only program doesn’t do a ventriloquist act any good. “To the Internet!” I shouted to myself in a lonely bedroom.

Nevermind the fact that she’s much prettier than Jeff Dunham, but her sets are so nerd-friendly! Deconstructive ventriloquist comedy?! Unheard of! It’s also pretty cool that Monk the monkey probably cost her $10 at a toy store, instead of being toiled over in an underground workshop. {Nerding-out} It’s a very Muppety approach to puppetry. The Muppets aren’t intricately designed, but the felt enables a great array of expressions and emotions.{/Nerding-out}
Just watch Nina Conti; she’s very funny [and not potentially racist]. And the monkey sounds like Sean Connery. How can anyone say no to that!?

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