Jeff Dunham is a global entertainment phenomenon with more than 45 years on stage and countless performances, making him one the world’s most recognizable and inventive entertainers.
Jeff’s fascination with ventriloquism began at age eight when his parents gave him a toy Mortimer Snerd dummy, and by ten he was performing anywhere he could find an audience. After graduating from Baylor University in 1986, Jeff stayed in Waco, Texas, for two more years, working on his act and developing his defining characters Jose Jalapeño, Peanut, and Walter. In 1988 he then moved to Los Angeles, and within a few short months became one of the top headliners on the U.S. comedy club circuit. This led to his many appearances on multiple stand-up comedy shows, as well as numerous guest appearances on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show and Late Night with David Letterman. Since those early years Jeff has gone on to impact every aspect of the entertainment industry: film, television, animation, digital, publishing, and the concert stage.
On television Jeff’s numerous specials have set record ratings, sold millions of DVDs, and generated more than 1 billion views on YouTube. Domestically his Comedy Central specials, including Spark of Insanity, Arguing with Myself, Controlled Chaos, and Jeff Dunham’s Very Special Christmas Special, remain among the highest-rated programs in that network’s history, and his most recent NBC special, Jeff Dunham: Unhinged in Hollywood, drew more than 6 million viewers—second that night only to the NFL Game of the Week. These titles and more have also been released on broadcast, DVD, and mobile platforms in Canada, the U.K., Benelux, Scandinavia, Italy, France, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, consistently breaking broadcast records and topping sales charts throughout the world.
In addition to his personal specials, Jeff has made numerous cameo appearances in television and film, from the Emmy Award–winning comedy series 30 Rock, to feature films such as Dinner For Schmucks and the animated franchise The Nut Job. He also appears regularly on numerous and various reality and talk shows ranging from The Today Show to The O’Reilly Factor, and from ESPN’s Game Day to Jay Leno’s Garage. In 2011 he made history when the Bio Channel’s premiere of Jeff Dunham: Birth of a Dummy became the network’s number one, highest-ranked broadcast of all time.
Having written material for his act from the beginning, in 2010 Jeff finally wrote and released his highly anticipated autobiography, All By My Selves: Walter, Peanut, Achmed and Me, which immediately landed on the New York Times Best Seller list. What audiences around the world love most, however, are Jeff’s stadium-sized live concerts, which continue to sell out across four continents. With worldwide tour appearances throughout North America and ranging from the United Kingdom to Australia, Israel to the United Arab Emirates, and Iceland to South Africa, Jeff was awarded Billboard’s Top Comedy Tour for three years running, and Guinness World Records recently named him the world- record holder for “Most Tickets Sold for a Stand-up Comedy Tour.”
Throughout all this, of course, Jeff has not been alone. His entourage of signature characters are loud, irreverent, and unforgettable: Walter, the curmudgeonly retiree; Bubba J, the dumb and loveable redneck; Peanut, the crazed “what-the-hell-is-that?” purple rapscallion nut-ball; José Jalapeño, the spicy pepper from south of the border “on a STEEK!,” and finally the bumbling, skeletal Achmed the Dead Terrorist. These characters, each conceived, created, and built by Jeff himself, have now taken on lives of their own, garnering their own individual legions of fans at live shows and online.
Naturally Jeff has had his own fair share of fans throughout the years, for which he is most grateful and with whom he enjoys maintaining a highly interactive relationship via JeffDunham.com and social networking platforms, including more than 10 million fans on Facebook. To show his gratitude for their loyal support, Jeff donates a dollar from each of his concert tickets to various charities in the communities he visits. To date the Jeff Dunham Fund has contributed more than $1.3 million to people in need, and Jeff sincerely hopes these efforts inspire others to give back as well.
Jeff lives in Los Angeles and owes his greatest happiness to his beautiful bride, Audrey; his three grown daughters, Bree, Ashlyn, and Kenna; and the newest additions to their family, the couple’s twin one-year-olds, Jack and James.