The comedian and ventriloquist’s last two outings ran on Netflix. Jeff Dunham is coming home to Comedy Central.
The comedian and ventriloquist has signed a three-special deal with the ViacomCBS cable network where he broke out on TV (as part of Comedy Central Presents in 2003) and for whom he taped six specials.
The first of the three, Jeff Dunham’s Completely Unrehearsed Last Minute Pandemic Holiday Special, is set to premiere Nov. 27. He recently taped the show in front of a small, socially distanced audience in Malibu, with all talent, crew and audience members following COVID-19 safety guidelines.
“This holiday season, it feels like the perfect fit being back on Comedy Central, and I couldn’t be happier, or even more honored,” said Dunham. “We all need a good laugh right now, and nothing is more important than doing that with family and friends … And maybe even with family members you can’t stand … OK, not them. Never mind. Just watch the damn special.”
The new special is made up of almost entirely new material. “Not a single joke told by any of the characters, except Peanut, has been tried on anyone, not even my wife,” said Dunham. “But for Peanut’s closer, I wanted to show off the classic bit that launched my career on TV in the early ’90s. It’s a family favorite.”
Dunham’s previous two specials, 2017’s Relative Disaster and 2019’s Beside Himself, debuted on Netflix. He still holds the top three spots on Comedy Central’s list of most watched stand-up specials, even though his last one there aired more than six years ago.
The deal with Dunham is part of Comedy Central’s recent pivot to focusing more on event programming, topical shows and adult animation and moving away from live-action scripted series. The network has picked up a reboot of Beavis and Butt-head and Daria spinoff Jodie in recent months, while critically loved but under-watched scripted shows South Side and The Other Two are moving to HBO Max.
Dunham executive produces the Pandemic Holiday Special with Troy Miller, Michael Rotenberg and Troy Zien.