On Offensive Humor

Comedian Defends ‘Achmed the Dead Terrorist’ Puppet Routine Against South African Ban

Written By Joshua Rhett Miller

Published October 02, 2008

FoxNews.com

Here’s just an extract:

It’s no laughing matter.

Funnyman ventriloquist Jeff Dunham is fuming after a ringtone advertisement based on his popular comedy skit, “Achmed the Dead Terrorist,” was scrubbed from South African TV because it mocks Islam.

The ringtone was taken from a puppet routine performed by Dunham, a native Texan, in a TV special on Comedy Central. A 10-minute clip of the comedian’s routine that was posted on YouTube has been viewed more than 66 million times since April.

Click here to see video of Dunham’s act with Achmed the Dead Terrorist.

And the ASA agreed. “To associate this divine inspiration to a terrorist is offensive to the people who believe in [Muhammad],” the authority ruled. Muslims make up 2 percent of South Africa’s population.

But Dunham begs to differ. In a statement to FOXNews.com, he said: “Achmed makes it clear in my act that he is not Muslim, so I’m sorry the gentleman Khan didn’t see my entire show.

“I’ve skewered whites, blacks, Hispanics, Christians, Jews, Muslims, gays, straights, rednecks, addicts, the elderly, and my wife. As a standup comic, it is my job to make the majority of people laugh, and I believe that comedy is the last true form of free speech.”

Dunham — whose other puppets include Peanut, Bubba J and Walter, a grumpy retiree — said he has no plans to retire the controversial act.

The comedian said moves like this stymie the freedom to poke fun at any group.

“I truly believe that laughter can heal many wounds,” Dunham said.

In a jibe at the South African complainant’s name, he said: “I thought Khan was awesome in Star Trek.”

“If it would help things,” he added, “I’m considering renaming Achmed, ‘Bill.'”

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About emanita01

I am a Franco-american woman who hails from Brookline, Massachusetts. I live in France near the Swiss border, only minutes away from Geneva. I am a member of the Geneva Writers Group and the Association La Forge, a literary group based in France. I write stories, poems and am currently working on a couple of plays, a one-woman show and a dramatized poem.
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One Response to On Offensive Humor

  1. Jo Bryant says:

    All this PC bullshit makes my head ache

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