Jeff Dunham quotes:

  • In 1980, when I graduated from high school, my goal was to be on 'The Tonight Show' with Johnny Carson at least once before our ten-year class reunion. Our class reunion was in June of 1990, and I was on 'The Tonight Show' in April 1990, so I made it by a few months.

  • Growing up doing those Kiwanis Clubs, doing those Cub Scout banquets, doing those church shows, I learned to find that sensibility that most people could laugh at - that all ages and demographics could laugh at.

  • I taught myself computer. Then Macintosh came along, and it became a really bad addiction. If I wasn't in show business, I'd have pocket protectors growing out of my chest. I do everything on it. It's kinda sick.

  • But the mechanics of learning to 'throw your voice' are pretty simple. Anyone with a tongue, an upper palate, teeth, and a normal speaking voice can learn ventriloquism.

  • [In my bio] is no drunk driving, there's no DUI's, there's no possession of cocaine, none of that stuff so you know, I don't know if that's good or bad. Everybody loves dirty laundry.

  • I think maybe one reason why ventriloquists are looked down on is because it's very difficult to be funny. I think what happens is that people get a dummy, they learn the technique of ventriloquism, they memorize the script, they think they're in show business.

  • Family time was very difficult when my girls were little, but I never missed a birthday; I was there for every major event.

  • I've always said that instead of watching a guy juggle seven things amazingly I would rather see a really bad juggler who's really funny.

  • Up until college age I was using the typical little-boy dummy that sits on the knee and makes woodpecker jokes. My first original character didn't happen until later, and that was Jose the Jalapeno on a Stick.

  • When I was in third grade I taught myself ventriloquism... What's hard is to learn to be an entertainer and make people laugh. I was a few years out of college before I felt I had enough material. Then in 1988 I moved to L.A. and started to do some shows at comedy clubs.

  • I started in a business background, but then it was like, 'you know, I can't do math,' so I changed it to a liberal arts degree and got my Bachelor of Arts in Communications and it made sense.

  • Family time was very difficult when my girls were little, but I never missed a birthday, I was there for every major event.

  • My mother and my father have always supported me. Now in their eighties, they actually clamor onto the tour bus with me once or twice a year so they can watch the performances and hear the crowds. Traveling with eighty-something-year-olds on a tour bus... there has to be some sort of reality show in that.

  • When I was eight years old, I got a dummy for Christmas and started teaching myself. I got books and records and sat in front of the bathroom mirror, practising. I did my first show in the third grade and just kept going; there was no reason to quit.

  • It's amazing how these little guys can say things that a mortal human could never get away with. There's some sort of unspoken license... when outlandish things come out of an inanimate object, somehow it equals humor.

  • I've got an answer to where Osama bin Laden is and I know, he's dead and living in my suitcase with my dummies.'

  • I had a happy, dramafree youth, growing up in an upper-middle-class neighborhood in Dallas, Texas. The only thing that was slightly unusual compared to most of my friends was that I was an only child... I don't think that's why my parents gave me a dummy, at least they've never copped to it.

  • The best place to find material is in real life. I've always maintained that it's not until the mid-20s that you have enough of a life to draw from. There's nothing better for a comic than to go through some bad stuff - and some good stuff, like getting married.

  • We just got a tour bus. I didn't know tour buses could be this nice. It's just me, Brian Haner the guitar guy, the tour manager and a writer. We laugh ourselves silly. Apparently we're going to have a road dog, a miniature pincher. It's the smallest they've ever seen. How masculine am I going to look, working with dolls and a miniature dog?

  • Every character I've had in my act - none of them have a similar creation story. I actually thought up Peanut and designed him in my head. I described him to a woman that was making soft puppets and she drew up some sketches. And the character came to be just because he popped into my head.

  • I've skewered whites, blacks, Hispanics, Christians, Jews, Muslims, gays, straights, rednecks, addicts, the elderly, and my wife. As a standup comic, it is my job to make sure the majority of people laugh, and I believe that comedy is the last true form of free speech.

  • There's no real formula for doing it, it's either just living life and writing down a joke you think of in the middle of the day and then pieces those together later.

  • I'm not trying to teach anybody anything, I'm not trying to say anything, I have no political motive whatsoever. My motive is just the big laugh.

  • I'm a pretty good ventriloquist, but it's the entertainment value and the laughs that keep people sitting there and wanting more.

  • My goal in any show is to make people laugh. That's the No. 1 thing. Everything else pales in comparison to that.

  • As humans we like to laugh at our fears, we like to whistle in the dark.

  • Growing up, I thought it would be great if I could do big theaters. Now we're doing arenas.

  • My parents never discouraged me. There were a couple times when my dad criticized a couple things that I did, but it was nothing. So through the bad shows, I never wanted to quit.

  • I'm guilty of being fascinated by gadgets and toys and technology, but any penny that I spend, I try to make it be a part of what I do for a living. Because then you are forwarding. You are forwarding that art, forwarding that career ahead.

  • Stand-up comedy is tough right now. Anybody can come to a concert, tape you, and put you up on the Internet. You either fight it or embrace it.

  • The kids who come backstage that have cancer or whatever, make them laugh and smile for a little while, what's the problem with that? There isn't any.

  • I used to pick Priuses out of the grill of my Hummer.

  • If you choke a Smurf, what color does it turn?

  • The only way a ventriloquist speaks differently is that he forgoes using his or her lips, and learns to reproduce sounds using the tongue, upper palate, and teeth only. Those 'difficult' letters are B, F, M, P, V, W, and Y.

  • I think there's a lot of, unfortunately, unfunny ventriloquists out there, so they've got a bad rap. It came after Edgar Bergen because everybody had a little cheeky boy dummy like Charlie McCarthy, and everybody decided to become a ventriloquist because Bergen had popularized it. He brought it back from the doldrums of vaudeville.

  • All through college, I was searching for characters that would make me unique and set me apart from the typical ventriloquist with the typical dummy that was the little boy, cheeky hard figure like Charlie McCarthy.

  • I'm a Macintosh nut. I got my PowerBook, so if I'm not writing jokes, I'm working on that.

  • It's strange because even in the vaudeville days, ventriloquists were never the main attraction. They were the guys brought out to stand in front of the curtain while sets were being changed. Ventriloquism wasn't even celebrated as an art until Edgar Bergen came along in the 1930s.

  • A comedian needs to have his own filters, needs to know his audience, how far he can push things.

  • There are not that many ventriloquists out there who build their own characters. I love that because they are uniquely mine.

  • When a bad experience happens, you just chalk it up to the great fact that you just got five more jokes in the show.

  • Everybody has their favorite character.That's the only way I pick, whatever is going on in society, whatever I think folks will laugh at that's what I come up with.

  • On weekends when everybody would go to the football games, I would be getting on a plane or driving my car across the state or across the country to go do a show somewhere and yeah so, I never thought of doing anything else.

  • Most people when they have autobiographies, they're not autobiographies, they're biographies written by a ghost writer.

  • Even going to college, getting my degree in Radio TV and Film, as I was approaching the time when you have to decide on a major, I kept trying to figure out what would be the best major to enhance what I am doing as a performer.

  • I was a kid in the third grade... saw a dummy in the toy store. In the 60's and 70's there were a lot of those vinyl ventriloquism dummies - just about every toy store had one. Everyone close to my age that I've talked to, especially guys for some reason, tell me that they had one too but they said they never could do it. So many people come up to me and say that. It was just something that I thought was cool. I started doing book reports with it - I developed the skill. I easily got A's on all my reports. It was just something that a little kid grasped on to - so I stuck with it.

  • I was not one of the popular kids, I was not great at sports, girls didn't pay attention to me.I was just pretty much an average kid, no stand-out abilities, nothing note-worthy.

  • I try to make the majority of my audience laugh. That's my audience. They'll laugh at the dead terrorist.

  • I'm a geek to the bone.

  • The roadwork is just rehearsal for that DVD you're going to film a year later.

  • You never know how long your fifteen minutes of fame is going to last.

  • I don't think I am very easy to work for because everything has to be just right or we don't put it out. But at the same time, all the people that work for me have a "no asshole" rule, if you're a jerk you're fired, so it's a great team and a lot of skillful people at the top of the game, anybody from management to the agents to the publicists to the day-to-day website stuff and it's just a great team.

  • I've tried the female thing. I was in a movie called Dinner for Schmucks a couple of years ago with Steve Carell and I created a female character for that movie. And after a few months of trying her out on the road it just didn't work. I mean, I can think like a terrorist, I can think like a white trash guy, I can even try and think like an African American, but I can't figure out how a woman.

  • There's nothing better for a comedian than adversity.

  • A lot of my best stuff is just ad libs on stage and that's one thing that I've gotten back to at the live show.

  • I am no kind of philanthropist or humanitarian, but it is really nice to get those emails from all over the world of people who said, I had nothing to laugh at or my son was really sick or my husband is really sick and we put on your DVDs and we laughed, thanks for making the real world go away for a little while.

  • If people are still buying tickets, and still buying the DVDs, and they're still watching on YouTube and my fifteen minutes of fame isn't finished yet, then I'll just keep doing it.

  • I love touring, I love doing the live show and it's just like a musical artist, you just keep coming up with material and as long as you're coming up with the material and as long as audiences like it, you just keep doing it, it's your job.

  • I don't aim it at anybody specific, I don't aim my characters to make old people laugh or young people or professionals or blue collar, just whatever I think is going to be funny and it just so happens that.

  • I hate the beach - I'm a mountain guy. I'd much rather face a bear than a shark.

  • I always try and do everything I can to the best of my abilities, single aspect has to be perfect.