'I'm No Dummy: Special Two Disc Edition'
(Jeff Dunham, Jay Johnson, Lynn Trefzger / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2015 / MVD Visual)
Overview: The entertaining documentary 'I'm No Dummy' is the essential guide to the modern venting revival and brings us into that surprising world of comedy and much more. A funny exploration of modern ventriloquism, it illustrates the hilarity and magic of 'venting' while celebrating the renewed popularity of the art.
DVD Verdict: Those not in the know, or simply not a regular watcher of modern ventriloquists, Jeff Dunham is an American ventriloquist, producer, and stand-up comedian who has also appeared on numerous television shows. Dunham has been called "America's favorite comedian" and according to the concert industry publication Pollstar, he is the top-grossing standup act in North America, and is among the most successful acts in Europe as well.
But it all didn't kick off right away from the start, because at the end of 1988, Dunham was told by James McCawley, a talent booker for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, that Dunham would be given a spot on the coveted program. Though the 26-year-old Dunham was elated that his personal 10-year goal for success was arriving two years early, McCawley later cancelled Dunham's appearance after attending, with Roseanne Barr, a public performance of Dunham's the day before Dunham's scheduled Tonight Show taping. McCawley informed Dunham on the day of the scheduled taping that he had been wrong in his initial assessment of Dunham, whom he now said was not ready for The Tonight Show!
We all know bigger and greater things lay in store for Dunham, who has continued to hone his ventriloquism skills from that very day. Here in this incredible peak behind the curtain of a documentary, 'I'm No Dummy: Special Two Disc Edition,' Dunham (two-time Comedian of the Year), Jay Johnson (Broadway's Tony Award® winner and veteran of TV's beloved classic SOAP), and Lynn Trefzger (Campus Entertainer of the Year) are all featured for our personal delight.
Also, noted 'vent' historian Tom Ladshaw provides insight and perspective, making clear that ventriloquism is not your grandfather's novelty act, but a dynamic performance art of the highest level. The documentary provides a rare window into the delightful inventiveness and creative drive that lets ventriloquists do what they do while keeping the art form fresh. The first disc of this two disc set includes the complete film, a director's commentary, two Q & A's with the filmmakers from the World Premiere at the Seattle International Film Festival, a special interview with Jeff Dunham and his vintage figure Skinny Duggan as well as English and Spanish subtitles.
The second disc has two hours of previously unseen outtakes and interview material and comic performances as well as an added interview from AMERICA'S GOT TALENT winner and Las Vegas headliner Terry Fator. It also takes a fantastic peek inside the Vent Haven Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated to the art of ventriloquism. Oh, and fun fact, according to the July 16th, 2012, TV documentary, The Batmobile, Dunham owns a replica of the Batmobile that was used in the Tim Burton film Batman! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with all the Special Features noted above.