HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Jeff Dunham: Unhinged in Hollywood
HTS Overall Score:70
Jeff and his little dolls are back! Wait? Did I say that right? Yup, that’s right. The highest paid comedian in America is back again with a completely redone comedy routine. Last year we had his fairly underwhelming compilation video of him traveling internationally and recycling old skits, but this year he’s back with fresh new material featuring fan favorites Walter, Peanut, Bubba-J and Achmed the dead terrorist, and even introducing a new skit with mini Jeff, a miniaturized dummy version of Jeff Dunham himself that the ventriloquist is using to teach children about the art. It’s a bit edgier and ever so slightly more “adult” than his previous skits, but it’s still loads of laughs for everyone.
I’ve been a bit critical of the last few Jeff Dunham comedy specials. Ever since he peaked with the “Jeff Dunham’s Christmas Special” show, he kind of went downhill. He got divorced from his first wife and his next comedy special was incredibly dark and brutal, a definite result of the anger and frustration he was feeling in real life. Once he got married again to his current wife, his comedy took a bit upswing, although there was still a giant miss with “Achmed Saves America”, a short animated film that is so deplorable as to be almost unrecognizable from Dunham’s earlier work.
“Unhinged in Hollywood” is his best effort yet since the infamous demise during his divorce The humor is a lot more natural with Jeff going back to some incredibly witty jabs at the government, and Walter’s long obsession with hating his life and wife. Peanut has been given a whole new routine by Jeff, which is a good thing because Peanut going stale is something the comedian cannot afford. The use of mini Jeff was surprisingly entertaining considering how poorly the skit starts off. Jeff the comedian is best when he’s doing over the top stunts, and his finale with mini Jeff was COMPLETELY bonkers and off the wall. Achmed has become a revolution for Jeff, changing Peanut from the most popular character down to second place as he now uses the dead terrorist as his grand finale in a skit that had me laughing hysterically. Jeff has occasionally had a gaff or two in front of the camera and improves on the fly to roll with the punches, but the one used with Achmed almost makes me wonder if it was staged. Either way it was incredibly funny and worked well for the scenario (although the gaff with Peanut looked to be a true Jeff Dunham boo boo).
As I mentioned earlier, this show in sunny Los Angeles is a bit more adult oriented with plenty of political and racy jokes that were always a subset of his old routines. There’s a bit more language in the track for those of you who are sensitive to that material, but the option of having a bleep track as well as the uncensored works for both classes. Although there are plenty of jokes that are dirty enough as they are WITHOUT needing to be bleeped, which makes it his raciest show yet. With that being said it is nowhere are racy as other comedians out there, just a few words and a few jokes here and there that push it above his normal routines.
Jeff peaked in “Jeff Dunham’s Christmas Special” but the man can still make me laugh with the right combination of puppets. Bubba J used to be one of my least liked puppets, but has really turned himself into one of the best with some work by Jeff. Achmed USED to be the best, but once his newness wore off he’s only a second or third favorite of mine right now. All of the skits in this particular show were at the very least good, with the Peanut and Achmed one being the highlights of the special.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=58721[/img]The standard definition 1.78:1 mpeg2 encoded DVD is a bit rough looking at times, but still quite decent. It was shot in the famed Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California, and the cameras used will give a pleasant viewing experience, but unfortunately one that is rather uneven. When Jeff is on stage and the cameras are pointing straight at him, the image looks quite good. Colors are solid, blacks are effectively deep and the only issue that really sticks out is the cameras creating reflections off the stage and some crushed black, there's very little macroblocking or other digital artifacts. The inconsistency comes from the fact that the cameras liked to get close up shots of the audience and against the dimmed lighting in the audience the digital noise showed up rather obviously. Still, I can’t complain, the image is quite serviceable and for a stand up show it does nothing to detract from the overall humor and experience of the show.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=58729[/img]The disc comes with a 5.1 Dolby digital track as well. The track is a simple experience with a majority of it being locked up front in the center channel while the surrounds are mainly for us to hear the clapping and cheering of the crowd . The Dialogue is more centered, the audience can be heard a little more clearly and the there’s even a mild amount of LFE from the musical queues. The profanity is bleeped out for the censored track, but the full experience is still an option for those who want it. It's a very simple track and doesn't really rate higher than it is not out of spite for the track, or because it is flawed. It's just not a track that REQUIRES a whole lot of work from a 5.1 system. It's well done and clean, free of any distortions, with a huge majority of the track being the center channels job.
• Original Uncensored and Family Friendly Bleeped versions
• Greetings Hollywood! - Mash up by DJ Steve Porter
I love some Jeff Dunham and had actually forgotten that he hadn’t put out a new routine in several years. “Unhinged in Hollywood” is a comeback of sorts for the comedian. Giving way for completely new material mixed with the classics of old to create his best album since his sharp decline 4 or 5 years ago. I laughed, I laughed some more and chuckled more than I honestly expected too, which is a pleasant surprise. His political jabs and little pot shots at the blatantly moronic political correctness campaigns were a refreshing take for a white comedian and the disc itself is more than good enough for the source material. There isn’t a whole lot of extras but the 72 minute special is really where the meat is for this fan. Recommended for a watch
Starring: Jeff Dunham, Peanut, Walter, Bubba-J, Achmed the Dead Terrorist
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 MPEG2
Audio: English: Dolby Digital 5.1
Runtime: 72 Minutes
DVD Release Date: November 17th, 2015
Buy Jeff Dunham: Unhinged in Hollywood DVD on Amazon
Buy Jeff Dunham: Unhinged in Hollywood Blu-ray on Amazon
Recommendation: Watch It
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