Jeff Dunham

Jeff Dunham Headshot

Ventriloquist • Comedian

Birth Date: April 18, 1962

Age: 61 years old

Birth Place: Dallas, Texas

The career of Jeff Dunham is the product of a dummy — several of them, in fact. Born April 18, 1962, he was adopted at the age of three by a devout Christian couple and raised as an only child in affluent surroundings. A gift of a ventriloquist dummy at age eight, however, forever changed his life, as the Mortimer Snerd figure spurred Dunham into a world of throwing voices, joke-telling and comedy that he successfully followed into a lucrative professional career.

The dummy was his constant companion from day one, with the young budding performer (after honing his skills through a book he admittedly stole from his local library) accepting any gig that came his way, including schools, churches, even amusement parks. For Dunham, it was all about saying (and getting away with) things through the dummy that otherwise regular folks would not, with high-profile targets such as Roger Staubach among those to feel his young comedic wrath on the way up the ladder of fame. After graduating high school and enrolling at Baylor University, Dunham routinely worked weekends around the United States at various gigs, where he developed his first three characters of José the Jalapeño, grumpy old Walter and the childlike Peanut (all of which were created by his own hand). He also landed a role in the Broadway show "Sugar Babies" in 1985 alongside Mickey Rooney and Ann Miller. Still, Dunham knew Los Angeles was the place to make or break his career and moved there in 1988 with the goal to make an appearance on "The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson" (NBC 1962-1992), something he accomplished in 1990. Despite Carson's approval (and subsequent appearances) a rather anonymous 12 years followed, rife with Improv dates, the odd bit TV role and rare commercial, all before an appearance on "The Best Damn Sports Show Period" (Fox Sports 2001-09) propelled him into a more mainstream consciousness. He used it as a springboard to self-financing his own one-hour special, "Arguing with Myself" (2006), that was later broadcast on Comedy Central to great success. Later specials for the network included "Spark of Insanity" (2007) and "A Very Special Christmas Special" (2008). Eventually, he landed "The Jeff Dunham Show" (Comedy Central 2009), which ran for one season. Later specials included "Controlled Chaos" (2011) and "Minding the Monsters" (2012). Dunham's first animated special, "Achmed Saves Christmas" was scheduled to debut March 2014. It is based on his most controversial character, a three-foot tall dead skeletal terrorist, which some critics have branded as racist toward Muslims - a claim Dunham routinely denied, all the while trumpeting a comedian's right to free speech in an effort to make people laugh.

Credits

Jeff Dunham: I'm With CupidStream

Self
Stand-up
2024

The Improv: 60 and Still Standing

Self
Show
2023

Jeff Dunham: Me the PeopleStream

Self
Stand-up
2022

Access Daily With Mario & Kit

Guest
Show
2022

CBS Mornings

Guest
News
2021

Jeff Dunham's Completely Unrehearsed Last Minute Pandemic Holiday Special

Actor
Show
2020

Jeff Dunham's Completely Unrehearsed Last Minute Pandemic Holiday Special

Executive Producer
Show
2020

Jeff Dunham's Completely Unrehearsed Last Minute Pandemic Holiday Special

Screenwriter
Show
2020

Jeff Dunham: Beside Himself

Actor
Show
2019

Jeff Dunham: Beside Himself

Executive Producer
Show
2019

Jeff Dunham: Beside Himself

Screenwriter
Show
2019

The Kelly Clarkson ShowStream

Guest
Talk
2019

Access Daily

Guest
Show
2019

Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?Stream

Voice
Jeff Dunham / Walter
Series
2019

Jeff Dunham @ JFL

Host
Show
2019

Jeff Dunham: Talking Heads

Self
Show
2019

2018 Montreal Comedy Festival

Guest
Show
2019

Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer

Voice
Clyde/Peanutbutter
Movie
2018

Daily Blast Live

Guest
Show
2017

Jeff Dunham: Relative Disaster

Actor
Show
2017

STEVE on Watch

Guest
Talk
2017

Incredible Edible America

Host
Show
2017

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by NatureStream

Voice
Mole
Movie
2017
15%

Smurfs: The Lost Village

Voice
Farmer Smurf
Movie
2017

Gnome Alone

Voice
Quicksilver
Movie
2017

The Hollywood Walk of Fame Honors

Guest
Show
2016

Tanked: Sea-Lebrity Edition

Guest
Show
2016

Jeff Dunham: Achmed Saves America

Creator
Show
2016

Jeff Dunham: Achmed Saves America

Producer
Show
2016

Jeff Dunham: Achmed Saves America

Voice
Achmed / Bubba J / Self
Show
2016

Angie TribecaStream

Guest Star
Fisher Price
Series
2016
96%

Jeff Dunham: Unhinged in Hollywood

Actor
Show
2015

Jay Leno's GarageStream

Guest
Reality
2015

Jay Leno's GarageStream

Guest Star
Reality
2015

Halloween Baking ChampionshipStream

Host
Reality
2015

Jeff Dunham: Unhinged in Hollywood

Actor
Show
2015

Jeff Dunham: Unhinged in Hollywood

Writer
Show
2015

Celebrity Family FeudStream

Guest
Game Show
2015

Jeff Dunham: All Over the Map

Self
Show
2014

Jeff Dunham: All Over the Map

Writer
Show
2014

The Nut JobStream

Voice
Mole
Movie
2014
13%

Mune, le gardien de la Lune

Voice
Phospho
Movie
2014

WWE Tribute to the Troops

Guest
Show
2013

Jeff Dunham: Minding the Monsters

Actor
Show
2012

Jeff Dunham: Minding the Monsters

Executive Producer
Show
2012

Jeff Dunham: Minding the Monsters

Screenwriter
Show
2012

Big Top Scooby-Doo!

Voice
Schmatko/Conductor
Movie
2012

Last Man StandingStream

Self
Series
2011

Jeff Dunham: Controlled Chaos

Actor
Show
2011

From Up on Poppy Hill

Voice
Gen Shiraki
Movie
2011

Lafflink Presents: The Platinum Comedy Series

Actor
Show
2010

2010 CMT Music Awards Video of the Year

Host
Show
2010

Dinner for Schmucks

Actor
Lewis
Movie
2010

The Jeff Dunham Show

Actor
Show
2009

The Jeff Dunham Show

Host
Show
2009

The Jeff Dunham Show

Self
Show
2009

The Jay Leno Show

Guest
Show
2009

Sonny with a ChanceStream

Guest Star
Series
2009

I'm No Dummy

Actor
Movie
2009

Jeff Dunham's Very Special Christmas SpecialStream

Self
Special
2008

The Bonnie Hunt Show

Guest
Talk
2008

The Wendy Williams Show

Guest
Talk
2008

Jeff Dunham: Spark of Insanity

Actor
Show
2007

Delta Farce

Actor
Amazing Ken
Movie
2007

30 RockStream

Guest Star
Pumpkin
Series
2006
78%

America's Got TalentStream

Guest
Reality
2006

Jeff Dunham: Arguing With Myself

Actor
Show
2006

Hell's KitchenStream

Guest
Reality
2005

One on OneStream

Guest Star
Series
2001

Caroline's Comedy Hour

Guest
Show
2000

Comedy Central PresentsStream

Actor
Series
1998

Comedy Central PresentsStream

Writer
Series
1998

EllenStream

Guest Star
Series
1994

Late Show With David Letterman

Guest
Talk
1993

The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

Guest
Talk
1992

Today

Guest
News
1952

News aboutJeff Dunham