So Monday was my wife’s and mine first wedding anniversary – and seeing as she is something of a Jeff Dunham fan I got her the Controlled Chaos DVD – which we had not previously seen, so we then subsequently watched it.
While not quite the fan my wife is, Jeff Dunham is one of the few stand-up comedians I actually like. The humour of most stand-ups all too often passes me by – not all of it, but too much. However, there is something about the puppets that helps remove it one stage, to a place I too can usually relax and enjoy.
In verdict however, while I enjoyed Controlled Chaos a great deal, I don’t think it quite had the same overall excellence as Spark of Insanity.
I found the solo stand-up at the beginning of the show to be particularly weak, and I think unfortunately this partly set the tone for the entire experience. While there were moments of brilliance, too often the jokes didn’t quite seem to catch.
The Walter segment was actually pretty good, but Achmed was another disappointment. I think Achmed might actually have gotten a bit too big. I think Achmed was one of the things that made Spark of Insanity so special, but in the Christmas special, and now in this, he just hasn’t lived up to that initial potential. The Peanut/Jose segment was a mixture. There were some exceptionally funny parts to it – especially towards the end. However there were also somewhat flatter moments.
In all of this, I think the sense of disappointment when it doesn’t quite work for oneself becomes probably more acute precisely because the rest of the material is so good. Indulging in a bit of armchair psychology, I think the whole divorce-humour running through sounded too forced to my ear.
Now, I realise this sounds quite negative, so I should say I spend many enjoyable moments curled up on the sofa, laughing my head off. There were plenty of those moments – just not as many as I hoped.
However, most important of all my wife thoroughly enjoyed herself and was helpless with laughter a good many times. That makes Controlled Choas ok in my book 🙂