Many critics wrote off Jeff Dunham after he introduced his Achmed the Terrorist puppet into his gallery of goofy co-stars.
Why, the character is a stereotypical Islamic terrorist, as if such a creation were strictly a figment of the ventriloquist’s imagination.
The same folks who see Achmed Saves America, an animated version of the skeletal jihadist, won’t be in a forgiving mood. Yet while Achmed is even more stream of consciousness than the worst Family Guy episode, it hammers both the Left and the Right with a fervor typically reserved for the South Park gang.
Achmed Saves America, available now on Blu-ray and debuting at 10 p.m. March 28 on CMT, savages everyone from Bill O’Reilly (on “Fix News”) to Rachel Maddow. First Lady Michelle Obama gets a ribbing for her “proud of my country” line, while the Tea Party is drubbed before Achmed stops worrying and learns to love the U.S. of Infidels.
The story, as skeletal as our hero, finds Achmed inadvertently coming to America and getting mistaken for a French foreign exchange student. Cue the America-hating foreigner jokes as well as how gosh darn nice flyover types are to perfect strangers.
Achmed wants nothing more than to bomb, bomb bomb his host family–mainly because that’s what he’s been told by his terrorist handler. Soon, though, Achmed is given so much affection from his new neighbors that he questions his explosive world view.
Achmed is ultimately patriotic even if it hits America with satirical buckshot. The narrative is sticky enough to get any and every pop culture references possible during its hour running time.
Yes, even a celebrity side boob reference made the cut.
The special’s animation is clean but uninspired, although the early Wile E. Coyote homage earns Achmed some nostalgia points. Be warned, though. The comedy isn’t for kiddies. The political barbs will sail over their heads while some of the language falls on the salty side.
Ultimately, the promise of America–and its tradition of all you can eat buffets–wins the day. And Achmed Saves America for all its mediocrity deserves points for true comic bravery and a fair and balanced funny bone.