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July 22, 2014

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What Killed 'The Jeff Dunham Show'?

by Rebecca Paiement, posted Dec 30th 2009 5:30AM
When 'The Jeff Dunham Show' premiered in October, it was Comedy Central's highest-rated debut ever. Its success, however, proved limited at best. By the second episode, the audience for the politically correct ventriloquist's show had dropped a staggering 55 percent; in December, 'Dunham' averaged between 1.3 and 1.8 million viewers per episode, according to the Live Feed.

Now, it appears that Comedy Central has given up on the show. As we reported yesterday, a network spokesperson said that it has "no plans" to renew the show for a second season.

Dunham is hugely popular, and his fans are intensely loyal -- so the abrupt end to his show got us thinking about where it all went wrong. Did critics' disapproval rub off on viewers? Were production costs too high, as the Live Feed indicates? What ultimately killed 'The Jeff Dunham Show'

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The Jeff Dunham Show comes to Comedy Central in October

by Nick Zaino, posted Jul 23rd 2009 10:04AM
Jeff DunhamVentriloquist Jeff Dunham was selling out clubs and theaters for years before his first Comedy Central special, Arguing With Myself, aired in 2006. That was followed by two more specials, Spark of Insanity and Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas Special, all of which generated monster ratings for the network. Last year's Christmas special was the most watched in network history with 6.6 million viewers.

So it seems like a no brainer for Comedy Central to step up and see what Dunham can do with his own half-hour series, The Jeff Dunham Show, which is slated to premiere October 22.

Dunham himself is a somewhat soft-spoken, unassuming figure; it's his puppets, like cranky old man Walter, Peanut the "woozle," Jose Jalapeno (literally a Jalapeno on a stick), and the more controversial Achmed the Dead Terrorist that garner the attention. Which is pretty much what a good ventriloquist should strive for. The more the audience pays attention to the puppet, the less they're looking at your mouth.

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