Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jeff Dunham in Roanoke

Sunday afternoon found my husband and I at the Jeff Dunham comedy show.

We had great seats - Row 6, seats 17 and 18. We were about 25 to 30 feet from the stage, so we could watch the man in person and have a clear view.

I scored those tickets buying them online the second they went on sale.

My husband loves Jeff Dunham and his puppets.

In the row ahead of us sat the woman who made the Peanut puppet, which was kind of cool.

We left home at 2:30 p.m. for a 5 p.m. show. The parking lot at the Roanoke Civic Center was just starting to fill up when we arrived. For anyone who does not know, parking at the Civic Center is awful. There isn't enough of it, and routing in and out seems to be done by a child with blocks.

Anyway, we arrived, parked, and walked over to McDonalds, where we ate some french fries and my husband had a milk shake. The doors to the coliseum opened at 4 p.m.

There was the obligatory ransacking of my pocketbook to make sure I wasn't a terrorist, while my husband waltzed right in, never mind the gun strapped to his leg. Just kidding, he doesn't carry a gun, but he could have. It's a generally sexist thing the Civic Center has going on there and I complain about it every chance I get.

One guy who had a big pocket knife literally sticking out of his pants pocket did get stopped. The woman told him to put it in the bushes and retrieve it when he came back out. He declined that strange suggestion and left to put it in his car.

I was also dismayed to see that they were allowing point and shoot cameras (but nothing else) because I had thought about bringing a small camera but figured they wouldn't allow photography. Bummer. I guess with cell phones and all it is next to impossible to police that these days.

Channel 7 has some video here. After you access that link if you hit "videos" at the top and then check the menu you will find the video for Jeff Dunham. I tried to link it directly but couldn't get it to work.

Anyway, soon we were in the building.

The place was mobbed. I don't do crowds very well - in part because of my allergies. All that perfume and people reeking of cigarette smoke even if they're not smoking, that sort thing.

I was surprised to see that you could buy beer and wine at the Civic Center. I did not know you could do that.

The Jeff Dunham merchandise was expensive - $50 for a little doll. We didn't even bother to stop at the booth.

We found our great seats and settled in. The coliseum filled with people and it grew very warm in there.

Shots of Dunham and his puppets appeared on the big screen and entertained us for a long time. You can see a video of that here. Not sure why someone would post the pre-made stuff and nothing from the guy's actual show but oh well.

Brian Haner opened the act. Dunham fans know him better as "Guitar Guy." He was very funny and he is a damned fine guitar player. I enjoyed listening to him play.

It was 6 p.m. before Dunham arrived on stage. He offered up new material - for which I was grateful, having seen the old stuff many times on DVD - and my husband and I both laughed and laughed. Husband laughed more than I did because Dunham can be a bit raunchy and sexist on occasion and I don't find the sexist jokes quite as funny as husband does, being a bit of a feminist and all. But most of it was okay.

He performed for almost an hour and a half. Had the coliseum air conditioning worked better I think everyone would have enjoyed it more. It must have hit 85 - 90 degrees in there at one point and I hoped people weren't passing out. This is just another reason why Roanoke will never be more than an afterthought for most people.

It was so hot the concrete sweated and the floor was sopping wet when we all stood up to leave.

We did not get back home until about 8:30 p.m. It was a long afternoon but I was very happy to have spent the time with my fellow. And it is always good to watch him laugh.


  1. good morning anita.
    don't even get me started on the convention center...i refuse to attend any events in that place.
    poorly managed and kept up.

    glad you had a good time.

  2. I agree with the above commenter...

  3. Isn't it fun seeing someone you love laugh!


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