PORTLAND — Popular ventriloquist and stand-up comedian Jeff Dunham will bring his cutting edge comedy to the Cumberland County Civic Center on March 9 as part of his 100-city “Identity Crisis” tour.

 Dunham and his comedic crew — Walter the Grumpy Retiree, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, the beer-fueled redneck Bubba J and the manic purple creature Peanut — continue to pack major venues worldwide.

 The 2011 tour offers Dunham fans new material and glimpses of the newest and youngest cast member, Achmed Jr.

 Dunham was recently named Pollstar’s No. 1 Comedy Tour in North America, as well as its Top Worldwide Tour for the third year in a row. In addition, for the past two years, he has earned a spot on Forbes magazine’s Celebrity 100 roster of most powerful entertainers.

 Last year, Dunham made his film debut in Jay Roach’s comedy “Dinner For Schmucks,” starring Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd.

 Dunham’s new best-selling book, “All By My Selves: Walter, Peanut, Achmed, And Me,” recounts his rise to international fame, beginning with his first public performances for a mere $5 a show as a fourth-grader in his Dallas hometown. The autobiography offers insights into how Dunham learned the power of television and mastered the medium as a teenager doing commercials for a car dealer. It also illustrates how the experience later served him well when he self-financed his first Comedy Central one-hour special and went on to set a number of ratings records for the cable channel with subsequent specials. Clips from those specials spread Dunham’s popularity worldwide, earning him some half a billion global views on YouTube.

 The book, which is available for download on iTunes and Audible.com, and in stores nationwide, caps a year that has seen Dunham barnstorm South Africa on his debut arena tour, tour Europe for the second time and release his fourth DVD, “The Jeff Dunham Show,” which soared to platinum status.

 Dunham’s Facebook page was recently listed as the fourth “Most Explosive” page on the site by AllFacebook.com, a popular industry blog, after he added nearly 300,000 fans in one week. He currently has more than 4 million Facebook fans and is the No. 1 comedian on MySpace.

 For show tickets, $41.50, call 800-745-3000 or visit www.ticketmaster.com.


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