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Arguing With Myself, a recorded live performance of ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, portrays a comedian whose revival of an old-fashioned art has made ventriloquism more relevant to modern societal concerns. Starring his six main characters, from Bubba Jay, a Nascar-obsessed hick, to Peanut, a flamboyant gay monkey, Dunhamís puppets have dirty but relatively inoffensive senses of humor that mock the American Dream. One can easily see why Jay Leno champions Dunham, as his skits contain a similar sly sarcasm disguised as wholesome teasing aimed at men indebted to their ugly wives, for example, or people who live their lives working in cubicles. At times, though, Dunhamís humor seems to lose its ironic distance, especially as he interacts with puppets like Jose JalapeŮo, a Cuban chile pepper, or Sweet Daddy D, a Black pimp, both reliant on the antiquated humor once popularized in cartoons by racial caricature. Since the entire audience in the film is white, it is difficult to assess whether or not African-Americans or Latinos would find Dunham funny. In other words, Dunhamís humor isnít overtly offensive enough to make fun of ethnic heritage. However, his skills as a ventriloquist alone make him a fascinating entertainer, and anyone interested in how puppetry and ventriloquism has progressed over the decades would benefit from watching Dunham bring life to his wooden friends.

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Special Features Audio Commentary with Jeff Dunham and Kelly Asbury, author of Dummy Days Tequila and Comedy Don't Mix Peanut's Bad Hair Day Violation of a Peanut Doll Walter's Goodbye

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ID3147 Jeff Dunham Arguing With Myself DVD (2005) $14.99