Jeff Dunham at the TaxSlayer Center -- January 23.

Wednesday, January 23

TaxSlayer Center, 1201 River Drive, Moline IL

Appearing locally with familiar traveling companions such as Peanut, José Jalapeño, Bubba J., Sweet Daddy Dee, and Achmed the Dead Terrorist, comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham brings his national “Passively Aggressive” tour to Moline's TaxSlayer Center on January 23, the performer's comic talent and audience rapport establishing why he holds the Guinness World Record for “Most Tickets Sold for a Stand-Up Comedy Tour.”

A Texas native and graduate of Baylor University, Dunham began performing his ventriloquist-standup in New York-based comedy clubs in the early 1980s, and after a move to Los Angeles later in the decade, he made his debut on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in April of 1990. Touring engagements and a cameo on Ellen DeGeneres' sitcom Ellen followed, and in 1998, Dunham was voted “Funniest Male Standup” at the American Comedy Awards. He made his first solo appearance on Comedy Central in 2003's Comedy Central Presents and released the comedy DVD Jeff Dunham: Arguing with Myself in 2005, with Dunham's Arguing with Myself drawing two million Comedy Central viewers when it premiered the following year. By the decade's end, the artist had his own Comedy Central series in The Jeff Dunham Show, and was on his way to becoming a household name through his frequently controversial characters that Time magazine described as “politically incorrect, gratuitously insulting, and ill-tempered.”

Dunham, who was deemed “America's favorite comedian” by Slate magazine, has consequently been credited with reviving ventriloquism and doing more to promote the art form than anyone since Edgar Bergen. According to the concert-industry publication Pollstar, Dunham is the top-grossing standup act in North America and among the most successful acts in Europe, and as of November 2009, he has sold over four million DVDs, an additional $7 million in merchandise sales, and received more than 350 million hits on YouTube. Dunham's A Very Special Christmas Special was the most-watched telecast in Comedy Central history, with its DVD selling over 400,000 copies in its first two weeks, and Forbes magazine ranked Dunham as the third highest-paid comedian in the United States behind Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock. His autobiography All by My Selves: Walter, Peanut, Achmed, & Me, meanwhile, spent three weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and his TV and film appearances include roles in 30 Rock, Angie Tribeca, and the Steve Carell comedy Dinner with Schmucks.

Jeff Dunham's “Passively Aggressive” set starts at 7 p.m. on January 23, admission is $50.50, and tickets are available by calling (800)745-3000 or visiting TaxSlayerCenter.com.

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