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Jeff Dunham Pisses Off South Africa!

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We have this global conscience, right? It’s part of our one world makeup. We all think the same way, right? We’re all incredibly sensitive unless you are talking about Christians and Americans. We have this whole global conscience now. To illustrate my point, remember when Norway published those cartoons of the Prophet (I feel like I am suddenly in a Harry Potter novel, something like saying He Who Shall Not be Named or drawn, or any of the above) a few years ago and the whole world just flipped? That happened, right? People got upset. It’s part of our new sensitive world.

Remember when those soldiers in Gitmo supposedly flushed a Koran, right (thank you Newsweek)? Folks in other countries were turning over their cars! It was nuts! And so typical of our new global mindset.

So here we are, a couple of years later, older smarter, wiser, that kind of thing, and Jeff Dunham takes the stage. Jeff Dunham is unique in that his comedy centers around puppets. His act has been considered controversial from time to time but it is fresh and ridiculously relevant.

Like most folks with some hilarity and a unique presence, he has been tapped to be an international cell phone ringtone. Here is where the controversy comes in. Part of Jeff's act involves a dummy of a dead terrorist. Okay, he’s a puppet (I forget puppets are sensitive too). I mean the terrorist, not Dunham. The terrorist is the puppet! Dunham is the puppeteer.

I know what you’re thinking. I thought it too. Isn’t that being redundant? What — dead and terrorist or dummy and terrorist? It doesn’t matter. Point is this guy, this Jeff Dunham, does this act that can be seen on Youtube now and the whole world watches and we all laugh because it’s funny and supposedly we all have a sense of humor.

Jeff and his dead terrorist puppet have become one of those Internet phenomena. It's like a couple of years ago when that fat kid did the Star Wars thing in his garage that everyone just went nuts over. Remember? The twirl, lunge, repose, lightsaber duel against… eh, I don’t know. (Point is tubby was going to town against someone with his golf clubs and the world watched!) Or when that androgynous guy, er, gal (what was that anyway?) was all hysterical over poor Britney. (Leave What's-her-face alone!) Yeah? Yeah. Who cares. Point is Jeff Dunham and his dead puppet have become the latest Internet phenomenon.

The problem with being an Internet phenomenon and becoming an international ringtone is some sensitive folks get a little upset about comedy. In this case, a country is upset. (Dude, Jeff, you pissed off a whole country! Righteous, man!) Seems South Africa is offended by the little dead guy and the guy pulling the strings and they have their panties all in an uproar. They claim the terrorist puppet could be offensive to Muslims, that it could hurt Muslims' feelings. Really? With our new global conscience have we become so juvenile that we can no longer manage our feelings? By expanding into a global culture are we now no longer capable of being objective? Or are we so stuck in paranoid innuendo and weakened by our inability to laugh that we cannot simply turn the TV off?

I’m glad there aren’t more important things in the world right now and that we have time to all give a collective crap about being offensive, whatever that means.

I can see how the feelings of a religion, a culture (whatever we are calling it this week that is not offensive), and how mere association with some fringe psychopathic movement really should count. (And God bless you, South Africa, for pointing it out.) It’s not like the Catholics haven’t apologized enough for the Crusades, or that America can’t say sorry enough for the Jimmy Carter years.

In the scheme of things haven't we all bent our super-sensitive knee a bit too much? Aren't we taking our eye off more important things? Maybe that is the point. Maybe there aren’t more important issues and we can tackle these fluff issues. It’s not like Iran is threatening to blow up Israel or that China is totally trashing their folks with crappy milk. It’s not like we Americans have an election that is so underwhelming as to not be noticed (although the Messiah is involved in this one, too bad that doesn’t count for something) or an economy that really should be the butt of late night jokes the world round. (Really, am I the only one watching Chicken Little run around in circles? And really, the world round would be laughing except their economies suck, too.)

Luckily the Sudan has a handle on things, thank you, Amnesty International, oil is cheap now, bless you, OPEC, and energy is plentiful. (Didn’t Ahmedinejad say energy was a strategic commodity? Or was it Chavez? Or the devil? I don’t remember.) Even Al Gore is thrilled the polar bears aren’t drowning anymore, or eating each other, or taking up belt fed weapons, or whatever the hell else polar bears do when they aren’t dying from the horrors of global warming (good to see all those carbon offsets paid off).

So with the whole world under control, South Africa has a right to be concerned about Muslims and terrorists and their feelings! Super. Right on, man. You go, girl. Whatever. Hey pass the suicide vest, will ya? Yeah, the extra large. I got a bus to catch.

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About Tim Girard

  • Just wondering if I coudn’t get a few more details about which South Africans were pissed off about this youtube thingy, Tim: was it the robbers, murderers and rapists, was it the victims of the murderers, robbers and rapists, was it some pathetic cleric with a collar around his neck who assumed he had the right to lecture the rest of the world, or was it that thug Jacob Zuma, who is in line to be the country’s next president? Inquiring minds want to know.

    By the way, did you catch your bus?

  • Rusty

    Actually it was ONE guy named Muhammed lodging ONE complaint. Jeff Dunham never picks on any one group. EVERYBODY is fair game and if this looney tune can’t handle a little teasing, then I hope Achmed gives him no end of Hell! There’s PC then there’s just plain stupidity!

  • Zedd

    So it wasn’t the entire country. It was ONE guy.

    Why is this a political piece?

  • Emil

    I am from South Africa, and I LOVE this video! I wish people will focus on real problems (as if we don’t have enough) and stop looking for a reason to complain. I’ts amazing how ONE complaint can give an entire country a bad name! Wow!

  • peet grove

    i am a white south african who thinks ahmed is incredibly funny , and so does all my friends ! screw everyone who cant take a joke ! nobody i’ve talked to found it even remotely offensive ! keep up the good work jeff , youre funny as hell ! peet

  • loyal

    i feel that people bieng upset at jeff dunham is irrational.so he makes jokes about religious beliefs,carlos mencia makes RACIAL jokes and everyone loves that guy.ITS COMEDY get over it!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jeff Dunham Fan

    I am South African and I love Jeff Dunham. Wish he would come do some shows here. I’m sure they would be sold out so quickly.

  • Smitters

    Im a South African who loves Jeff and Achmed. Its really unfortunate how ONE idiot can give a country a bad name. We arent as mindless and worried about “nothing” as he makes it out to be. If he actually saw the whole show he would see that everybody is a target.

  • Petro

    Yeah I agree, Jeff is funny and my whole family from the age 3 and up loves him.

    No matter what the politic says about you, I say keep up the laughter and all the smiles world wide.

    You are like the new Microsoft world wide web, keeping our world happy with new technology.

    Your ultimate fan from South Africa


  • Jarrel Jackson

    Jeff Dunham isn’t funny unless as Petro mentions above, you’re 3 years old, or consider the opinions of a 3 year old valid in determining the worth of comedy.

    Who gives a shit if this anti-comedian is censored, except people who’d do better to go finish grade 8.

  • Walter

    What is wrong with this Tim [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]. Isn’t there more important things to worry about than what a country or someone thinks of a vent [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]. You [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] doing the same thing you accusing this guy of. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] By the way jeff is funny as hell. But, if people dont like him then dont go on like a jehovah’s witness and try and convert people to your opinion. You are so upset with the ban on that ringtone thingy as if the lifting of the ban is really that important( oh, wait, yes it is, a few people might die if they dont see it. SHIT! What are we goin to do Tim) So a few people dont like him, so what! Some like michael jackson and some dont some like passion of christ and some dont. Just enjoy what you wana enjoy and live how you see fit or how jeff see’s fit instead of bitching here and getting a fit. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] Oh yes dont forget to tell jeff to stop making jokes cause there’s more important stuff happening in the world than jokes( no wait jokes is as important as all that crap you mentioned) In america we had that east side and west side issue amongst the brothas where one made fun of the other in rap songs and guess what tim, people actually got killed.( God damn people in america is so damn sensitive they must get themselves a sense of humour) You know Tim, world war2 started with hitler vilifying and making fun of jews at 1st and then it went on to killing( seems like the god damn world needs a sense of humour they so sensitive they made war over it) [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Tim Girard

    Walter I have to say I love you. Really. I do. You are quite possibly the most likable insane person I have come across in a long time. Unfortunately I have to block you like I block the monsters and the zombies and the prison gang on the cable commercials. You see, Walter (as if that is really your name) my article is in SUPPORT of Jeff, not against him. I believe the word is irony? Or maybe a little bit of satire? You see WALTER, I spent some time in the Middle East. I have a rough understanding of the culture and the mindset (not a perfect one, just a rough one) and I thought it hysterical that South Africa was bent out of shape. So your silly little attacks were just that: silly. And thanks for the history lesson about World War 2. It was refreshing to see you regurgitate (that’s a big fancy word that means throw up, y’know? barf, puke, retch, etc.) what they taught regarding Hitler and the Jews. I’m afraid that fact escaped me when I walked through Dachau and stood in their gas chamber. But hey, live and let live, no? My point is this(and I’ll use small words for you Walter): as a world we have more important issues such as human life and legitimate issues like corporate corruption and so on to be legitimately concerned about rather than a comedian and his dummy. So WALTER, since we’re on the subject who has their hand in your back? Just curious.

  • Walter

    ZzzZzzzzzzzz! Huh! What! what. Oh its just Tim, Still bitching, about the same crap again. Thanks for highlighting the point that you are in favour of jeff and that your article supported him, I really dont know how i missed that. Maybe its all your nagging that confused me. Maybe next time I’ll try to become a slave of your mental gymnastics but right now i’ll just piss you off with my silly little comments. And since you the pundit of semantics maybe you can help me with this small word- curmudgeon? Seems like you cross I dont have YOUR hand up my back hey tim, because its just that your opinion is the self evident and absolute truth right Tim. Why didn’t you try the gas chamber out then, you would have spared us this intellectual attempt to serve the cause of this fancy idea of yours. On a more lighter note here’s the weather. Tomorow your brain’s gona be sunny and bright until Tim comes along and cloud it for you and blots out your brain with all his crap. Have a nice day.(thats just me being insane again)

  • Hannibal

    I had the opportunity to read this article and the subsequent responses. I was particularly engaged with the last two responses between the author and Walter. I held my own response after some reflection on the article and the interaction between these two gentlemen. I believe the internet has brought about the best and the worst of our humanity. I am not speaking of some fundamentalist nature here, rather the simple way in which we interact with one another. I read the article and I believe what the author is trying to convey is there are larger, more engrossing issues that deserve our attention without the distraction of our sensitivities. Peeling back the layers of the article one sees many of the issues we face are manufactured or simply contrived. (I loved the line about the polar bears relating to global warming! Brilliant! Without the worry of ice sheets melting what else would they do but take up belt fed weapons?) How can we thrive in an environment where one person has to be on constant guard against the backlash of another’s emotional response? Sounds a lot like a bad marriage to me. And yet that is exactly the relationship being formed here. From my position I see Walter did not engage on a rational level but instead opened up with a hostile attack so vulgar the editor would not allow the content. This prompted a response that was amusing but futile. Maybe the author is on to something here. Maybe this exchange has underscored the avalanche we face. In an age of communication how is it we cannot communicate? How is it we cannot come to the table and calmly discuss the issue? It is our obligation and duty to articulate the argument not slip into insults and name calling. Honestly, how juvenile is that? Perhaps when our global persona matures we can truly enjoy the benefits of one another. For now, though, I fear we are stuck with the likes of Walter and his ilk, feigning outrage to allow for his own attacks. Maybe Walter has more in common with the terrorists than I thought.

  • chayd

    Dude, I’m from south africa and there are probably one person offended.. the people behind the ban have probs never finnished primary school, no joke!!! living in cape town for couple of years, I’ve worked with the Muslims. They don’t drink or do crack! (I “never” tell lies)… by the way, crack consumption and pot aswell as cheap wine to go with the last two items is commonly used by most of a 2% populated group of South Africa some where in the region of cape town…. This is Africa!! it’s the new white

  • Roxanne

    I’m a South African (whom was unaware of the statement that my WHOLE COUNTRY has been offended)
    I would liketo ask Mohammed;
    if he maybe thinks complaining to our so called democratic government about his feelings of inequality? Achmed rocks and Jeff Dunham is awesome for coming up with him! We need laughter in a country where 2 year old children are gangraped and the goverment does nothing because sending someone to jail for longer than 3 months is an infringement on a CRIMINALS HUMAN RIGHTS!!
    I say Jeff’s next puppet should be Jacob Zuma….

  • SA Indian

    I happen to be an Indian, born and brought up in South Africa. I find Jeff’s humour absolutely hillarious and so do all my friends. People need to learn to take things with a pinch of salt, somethings are said in jest and are meant to be taken in the spirit of light hearted comedy. We really cannot take everything so seriously. My South African friends and I are certainly not offended or upset by Jeff and we would definitely support him if he were to tour SA.

  • Michelle

    Most people who enjoy Jeff’s shows are intelligent enough to know that not all Muslims are terrorists.

    It’s a pity our government doesn’t have enough faith in us to distinguish between damn good entertainment and reality.

    Jeff, you rock!

    Another South African Fan

  • free thinking south african

    This has to do with visual literacy and subtle brainwashing. Jeff dunham is irresponsible in his use of this particular stereotype. “bullshit” you say? Well alright, as you grew up on action flicks with towel-head rpg toting, illiterate bad-guys, you now subconsciously buy in. The guys who dont have a problem with this (achmed) probably don’t have a problem with say…. Dont mess with the zohan (film). Right? “cos its just entertainment”.

    Well unlucky guys, you all live in a little box. PLEASE do us all the favour of not letting your kids watch this stuff. Some worry more about zuma etc… Every day reading no further than a headline, drawn more and more into the reality presented to you by government controlled newspapers and news. Thats why the freedom fighters who pick up arms to remove occupant forces will never recieve your support or attention. Palestine is apartheid FYI. The first female suicide bomber in Palestine was a young paramedic (ironic no?) Who was pushed over the edge by having patients die in the ambulance, stuck at one of numerous checkpoints. Being unable to get to an aaccident scene. Woman having to give birth at checkpoints…

    Here’s an informative article regarding hollywood and arabs.

    No matter what you post underneath this i’ll never read it cos’ im never coming back to this blog. haha. No personal attacks towards tim please.

    Jeff has a right to make fun of whoever he chooses! black, white, indian! whatever! It’s just irresponsible that he does it as kids are watching cos’ it’s spreading a prevalent stereotype on what arabs and muslims are!

  • ‘hive mind’

    zzzzzzzz, everyone knows he’s politically incorrect, he’s said so himself.

  • Jagermeister

    Please come 2 RSA. We love your show. F*&%$ the people we are the people.

    C u soon

  • Kerry Moran

    I live in SA and havent even heard about this whole story until I decided to do a search on Jeffffff DuN HAM. I have every DVD and intend on collecting them as they come out. We in SA love you jeff pop down south for a visit we will welcome you and I am sure I speak for most south Africans here…..

  • Rina kingma

    Jeff my man you ROCK BABE. I love peanut.

  • Drummerboy

    Jeff dunham rocks ,dnt know wot d8 egghead`s problem is

  • SA Muslim

    i am a south african muslim, and i LOVED the jeff dunham show. especially ahmed (and not forgetting peanut, hahaha). i dont see why it should be offensive because NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS (im sure there are terrorists other then muslims in the world aswell anyway, we just dont hear about them) as a few people stated above. i think the people who should actually take offence….are the terrorists themselves……

    myself and a number of my south african muslim friends watched it and WE LOVED IT!!!!!!!

  • One of Jeff Dunham’s many South African fans.

    We love Jeff Dunham and can’t wait for him to come down for a couple of shows!! All my friends have one of their fav Jeff quotes that they repeat when they feel it’s fitting… The only reason people find something new to moan about in this country is when they are getting bored with the old stories that ran out of good sensation after the first week and they’re not getting the same amount of attention they got at first. I think I speak for most of the level headed South Africans who arn’t afraid of letting go a bit and having a good laugh if I say I hope we see you soon Jeff Dunham because we do realy love your shows… It’s the best thing since… Well… Sliced bread! Gmao!!! Strongs! One of Jeff’s many South African fans!

  • Karim

    The choice of the name Achmed by the comedian is the problem. Achmed is really Ahmed which is synonymous with Mohammed for most Muslims. When Jeff claims that he is not talking about Muslims when he deliberately picks the name of the prophet of the Islamic faith is disingenuous. The least he could do is be honest with his critics and stop pretending that he is not talking about Muslims WHEN everyone knows he is. We all see that big elephant in the room.

    Let Jeff sell ringtones that make fun of Jews all over the world and let’s see what happens then. He will be apologizing, as he should.

    Comedy is not an excuse for spreading or promoting bigotry or any form of prejudice against minorities. Sure Jeff can joke about the white people. Now when a country with a majority of blacks jokes about whites by calling racists, well that is a different story.

    The reason Germans under the Nazi regime couldn’t care much about persecution of their own Jewish citizens is because they have been laughed at, made fun of and of course denigrated (as evil, money-grabbing, etc) by the press, comedy, literature, government, you name it.

    Stop with the prejudice.

  • Karim

    As to Jeff being very funny.

    I am sure it would not be difficult to crack up som real good funny anti-semitic jokes.

    How many funny n***er jokes are there from the good days of Jim Crow?

    Comedy can be one of the most subtle and effective way to spread prejudice against minorities because it is viral and sounds harmless.

  • Karen

    Karim and the rest of u that are so offended need to get lives .Jeff brings in some serious laughter and he Rocks!! Keep up the good work JEFFF DUNHAM

  • South African comedy lover

    Who ever made that comment reminds me of the typical RSA muslim they dont mind having a laugh about other people or religions but dont use them in a joke then all hell brakes loose. And i regulary attend stand ups in SA across the country and that their typical reaction.

  • Jeff, Please ignore the pompas p—k who made the comment. Why must 99% of Legitimate South African’s suffer the consiquences of not been able to get the oppertunity to see one of your show’s live. I would sell my car in a second just to be able to see your show live. They say laughter is the best medicine and boy that is exactly what South Africa needs. You’d definately fulfill a lot of wishes by doing a live show in South Africa.

  • Valeska

    Why is it that this one person complained about something that is k@k funny? Why not just turn your T.V/DSTV/internet off? Why go out of your way to watch something that you KNOW you will take offence at? It is his typical narrow-mindedness which paints South Africa in such a bad light that we fail to get major international stars (from across all spectrums) entertain us! I watched Russel Peters’ one act, and he ripped our South African blacks accent to shreds! Has any black South African complained? Noooooo cos it was FUNNY!! And you cannot complain about something that is true… everything any comedian says is done with a “tongue-in-cheek” attitude, and is not meant to deliberately hurt anyone’s fragile feelings.

    The really sad part is, Jeff isn’t making fun of anyone, just pointing out the lighter side to life i.e: old age (Walter) American trailer parks (Bubba J) managers (Sweet Daddy Dee) mexicans (Josè) etc etc.

    Unless people can stop taking things at face value and taking every comment made literally, I fear we are no closer to ending world wide apartheid than we were 70 years ago.

  • Tinus

    Ek “like” Jeff kwaai….Kan nie glo dat daar sleg van ou Jeff en sy “gang” gepraat word nie. Darem snaaks dat daar baie SA wat van Jeff hou, want volgens “Tim” is die hele Suid Afrika teen Jeff. Sorry ou “Tim” ma ek dink nie ons almal voel soos jy nie…..go Jeff go!!!

  • Me, myself and I

    WTF? Who is the doos that has screwed my country’s already bad name up even more?! I am a South African, and I love his performances! If you people want to complain about something, why not complain about Telkom’s ADSL or Eskom’s electricity problems? I thought we had the right to free speech!

  • Ash

    We are South African and Indian and we love Jeff and his Puppets!
    I dont see how this should offend any muslims who disagree with terrorists and violence and who know what their religion actually stands for i.e. not randomly killing innocent people in the name of God for stupid freakin reasons!
    Jeff should bring out Achmeds Wife as well:0)

    We cant wait to see his live show!

  • AndzSA

    Let’s get something straight Tim. (I know it’s been two years since you wrote this) But regardless of whom a comedian “picks on” somebody is going to get offended!
    If Jeff Dunham REALLY pissed off South Africa – where I was born and bred and still live – it would’ve have taken more than the 3 hours to sell out his upcoming tour of 6 shows and another 2 shows wouldn’t have been added.
    I think you need to stick to writing about things you are a little more familiar with!

  • Shakeer

    Its the first time i have heard of us south africans being pissed off:D i loved the show!you people reporting stuff like this should get your facts straight and dont take the words of 1 person n then generalize,its just not nice of you…

  • wessel

    I saw his show last night and it was bad ass !!! you rock Jeff. reading some of the above comments ,one can only wonder what happened to “do not judge a book by it`s cover” Some seriuosly stupid and narrow minded people here ,making statements like this is a way to influnce other people into feeling the same as you about a race or culture.If you allow yourself to be influenced by comedy then you are stupid !!!! We know not all Muslims are terorists,if they were there would hardly be any left

  • SeanD

    Seriously if you are offiended by something, don’t watch it. if you ask me people who go and watch something that they know will offiend them are stupid. OR DO YOU JUST GO TO PICK A FIGHT WITH AN INTERNATIONAL STAR, WHO AFTER THIS WHOLE FEASCIO WILL MOST LIKELY NEVER COME TO OUR COUNTRY AGAIN, STOP BEING SO CONCETIED! P.S please excuse the spelling.

  • Jason O’Leary

    I personally find Jeff Dunhams’ humor to be HILLARIOUS! Come on world – GET a sense of humor! LOL

  • jeff

    Seriously, The Dead Terrorist Puppet is hillarious – people need to pull their panties out of their *** lol

  • leigh

    I love jeff and would love to see him do a show here

  • A south african

    I dont think you have the right to say on behalf of South Africans that we are offended. Namely because the majority of south africans actually have a sense of humour. If you want to write articles such as this then in future you should title it Jeff Dunham pisses off Tim Girard!

  • Hannibal

    @ A south African: You are making exactly no sense. The author wasn’t upset with Dunham. In fact the author was pointing out how ridiculous South Africa was for banning the ringtone because of ultra sensitivity. (And, as an aside, authors of articles don’t always pick their titles. Just sayin’.)

  • s a muslim

    jeff is cool look the makes fun of his own people also he even brought up his devorce as part of his act.as for the point of not all muslims are terrorist ,it should be said in all religions there are terrorist .look ahmed made an entire ordiance say i kill you mmm obama better check that out jeff rocks

  • jeff crazed

    hey timmy welcome to south africa.get your shit ang get out!!!!!

  • You mean our global American mindset, mentality of American species on planet America ?!

    Or you mean from perspective of “our” global godless-communist/Buddhist/Muslim mindset and mentality, while bombing US every months, piling entire armies in Canada and Mexico, bombing Alaska and western shores of Canada periodically; while our drones zooming around Rockies daily, and every now and then hitting elementary school killing bunch of children in classes in suburbs of Denver and other mountainous towns; while “our” diplomats installing new regime in London; while we laughing “our” global non-western, non-white, non-Christian asses off by making jokes with every global American taboo, or in broader sense global western-white-Christian taboo, sanctity, sacramental value and virtue – sacred, traditional, cultural and religious value possible ?!

  • Philip Thomas

    If you ask me the SA government must be racist. The simple fact is Jeff never said the puppet is supposed to be Muslim, middle eastern, that is pretty obvious, but never mentions the religion. They just assumed.