Jeff Dunham Thursday became the second ventriloquist with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“This is absolutely fantastic,” Dunham said. “You know, I was thinking about this this morning, that it’s unbelievable and so fantastic that so many friends, close friends, sort-of friends, family members, close family members, business associates — we’ve all gathered to honor me and it’s not because I died.

“When you think about it, it’s the only time we get together, this kind of thing happens, and all those parties all get together, it’s usually when you’re dead, so this is fantastic.”

Former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno and comedian Howie Mandel were among those joining Dunham at the ceremony in front of the Eastown apartment complex on Hollywood Boulevard.

The star is the 2,619th since the initial completion of the Walk of Fame in 1961 with the first 1,558 stars, which included three for Edgar Bergen, the other ventriloquist honored.

Dunham holds the Guinness world record for most tickets sold for a stand-up comedy tour — nearly 2 million for his “Spark of Insanity” tour which played in 386 venues from Sept. 13, 2007-Aug. 21, 2010. He donates $1 from each concert ticket sold to local charities.

Dunham has starred in comedy specials on NBC, “Jeff Dunham: Unhinged in Hollywood,” and Comedy Central, “Arguing With Myself,” “Spark of Insanity,” “A Very Special Christmas Special,” “Controlled Chaos,” “Minding the Monsters” and “All Over The Map.”

The ceremony came nine days after his latest special, “Jeff Dunham: Relative Disaster,” began streaming on Netflix.

Dunham has also made frequent appearances on “The Tonight Show.”

Dunham’s sidekicks include the elderly curmudgeon Walter, the spicy pepper Jose Jalapeno … on a Steek and the NASCAR-loving redneck Bubba J.

Dunham was born in Dallas and introduced to ventriloquism when he was 8 years old, when his parents gave him a Mortimer Snerd dummy as a Christmas present. Snerd was Bergen’s secondary sidekick behind Charlie McCarthy.

–City News Service

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