Achmed the Dead Terrorist makes friends in Middle East with one exception

2014-05-29T11:17:00Z 2014-06-29T20:20:12Z Achmed the Dead Terrorist makes friends in Middle East with one exceptionCathalena E. Burch Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

They loved comic ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and his controversial character Achmed the Dead Terrorist in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and Tel Aviv this month. But not so much in Malaysia.

The country's Ministry of Culture and Arts weren't fans of Dunham's controversial character, Achmed the Dead Terrorist. They wanted him to be less terrorist, more soft and cuddly.

So they asked Dunham for a few changes:

• Change the name.

• Don't use words like "virgins" or any language with religious overtones.

• Change the likeness.

• And lose his signature line "I KEEL YOU!"

Dunham, worried that he and Achmed would be jailed and/or caned if he didn't comply, made the changes.

Dunham complied, which meant rewriting a big chunk of the show and redressing Achmed all within hours of the scheduled performance.

"So let's just say that the character that took center stage in Malaysia was strikingly familiar to all in attendance, but it was a last minute twist that became the highlight of the entire tour," Dunham said in a written statement. "Who knew Achmed had a brother?"

Dunham is back in the U.S. and brings Achmed in full terrorist regalia back to Casino del Sol's AVA July 5. Click here for tickets ($44 to $85).

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Activate

About this blog

The Caliente and Features departments of the Star bring you the latest from the music, art, theater and dining world in Tucson.

Deals, offers & events

View more...

Featured businesses

View more...