Making It Big With Johnny Carson

Walter photoYoung Jeff Dunham was very serious about his devotion to ventriloquism.  As a student in high school he always had a dummy with him.  He entertained others at school, his family, he did commercials for local automobile dealers, acted as the Master of Ceremonies for local events and business meetings.  Whenever he had school photos taken for the annual year book he always had a dummy with him — in this way he was able to gain a professional photograph for publicity purposes.

Editing note;  The remarks about Walter and the 9th harmonic have been edited since the original posting. 

Once out of high school he realized that the local scene offered only limited opportunities compared to what Los Angeles could offer.  So, he moved.  The following charts are set for Hollywood.  He started off where he ended in Dallas; he sought out as many small venues as he could talk his way into.  He did introductions for acts in small clubs and bars, did local fairs, promoted store openings, anything to get before a crowd and to help develop his comedy routines.  It was slow work.  But, he had one goal in mind.  He gave himself ten years to make it to the Johnny Carson Show on TV.

While most of us are now familiar with Jeff Dunham and his cast of characters, we have to remember that ventriloquism faded out with Edgar Bergen in the mid 1900s.  This was not a big time draw in the entertainment world.  For Jeff Dunham, up until he made it to the Johnny Carson show, success was defined as an occasional gig at a known comedy club. 


After several false starts, his agent finally succeeded in getting Dunham booked on the Johnny Carson Late Show.  The chart above is a t/Moon-to-n/Sun Return in the 4th house for March 28, 1990.  The fourth house Moon-Sun placement, along with t/Sun at the IC, makes this a powerful Return chart.  The fourth house represents ‘starts.’  In this case, it was to be a full-scale launch.  How can we not marvel at t/Uranus, t/Neptune, t/PoF and n/PoF all in the first house!  Showtime!  n/Moon was on the Return chart’s MC; this indicates public recognition during the next two week cycle.

Let us now look at the Advanced chart for April 6, 1990 when he appeared on TV.


In this Advanced chart for the TV show, we find t/Sun-n/Sun bracketing the IC angle. This is a good placement for an introduction to a national TV audience.  t/Jupiter is on the Desc. angle; enlarging his relationship to reach millions. Opposite lies t/Uranus-t/Neptune to lend excitement, drama and illusion into the mix, supported by n/PoF just above the Ascendant.  t/PoF conjoins n/Venus, Jeff’s personality is pleasing.  And we note that t/Moon is coming up on n/Pluto, an intensely important time for Dunham.

Dunham appeared with Peanut for an opening presentation, followed by an invitation to sit on the couch — a mark of approval by Carson.  At this point, Jeff brought out Walter who immediately started picking on Johnny’s sidekick, Ed McMahon.  Jeff was invited back for several more appearances with Carson.  He had achieved his ten year goal, he had been on the Johnny Carson Late Night show.  This would be an achievement for any entertainer.  For a ventriloquist it was simply amazing. 

Some comments about Walter.

Walter, as a character, has a set of expressions that have to be drawn from Dunham’s chart.  We can look at some of Walter’s characteristics and see what is relevant from the Dunham chart.

Walter is retired, this can be indicated by Neptune, Pisces, 12th house, Scorpio.  Neptune is in Scorpio, the 4th, (confusion, secrets at home), 12 house ruled by Cancer with Moon in Libra ruling the 4th (relationships, support and empathy, home life (4th)  are not clearly known).

Walter is grumpy, this is linked to Saturn.  Saturn in the 7th, ruled by Aquarius.  Saturn squares Neptune in the 4th house.  Stern and defensive about relating to others, often has an unsure picture of what other want from him.  Best to keep others away from him.  A grumpy demeanor helps keeps others at bay.

Walter has crossed arms, is defensive.  Saturn and Mars are at work here. These two are 49 degrees apart, close to a 1/7th chart harmonic (52 degrees).  A 7th harmonic chart places Ceres on the Asc.; indicating a major life experience has make a huge impression on him — that would be his marriage which he always complains about.  Mars and Saturn take up a trine-relationship.  The defensive posture becomes a easy pattern from which to express himself.  Uranus-Desc. points to the sudden outbursts about his relationship.  

Walter is very discontent.  Saturn is at the root of this.  Walter is openly candid, this relates to Neptune.  Saturn is 80 degrees from Neptune.  Since 40 degrees relate to a ninth harmonic (9 x 40 = 360), the 80 degrees puts Saturn 2/9ths ahead of Neptune.  The ninth harmonic naturally places Saturn-Neptune in a compassionate relationship, but as we move through the phases of the 9th harmonic, things change.  The 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th phases work well together in various ways, but the in-between phases bring lessons and gentle challenges (the 40d-to-80d phase, in my limited experience) brings Saturn to a point of requiring less procrastinating and un-clarity and more factual or describable attributes and ways of relating to others.  More facts/opinions, less nicety and acceptance.

Walther is brash, this is Mars in action.  Mars in the 8th for a retired person who sits around with his arm folded seems ideal for criticism and nasty words.  I suspect Walter talks the talk but can no longer walk the walk.  His caustic remarks hides all of that.  He is always questioning the motives behind what others say and do (8th).

Walter is sarcastic, this involves Mars, Mercury, Uranus, Scorpio.  These relate to the first, fourth, seventh and eighth houses — me, you, how is this relationship supposed to benefit me, and what’s in it for me.  One way negotiation is Walter’s answer in the form of cruel remarks.

Since Walter has been in all of the special comedy series, I can not find a date when he was first presented to the audience.  If some can cite a date and an event, perhaps that will yield a “birth chart” that will tell us more about Walter’s character.


















About dadsnook

Dave has been exploring cyclic astrology since the mid-1970's. CYCLIC astrology utilizes both Return charts and planetary-pair cycles for short-term prediction. These practices and nine years of archived material are available for study or reading at A new book, Personal Prediction ISBN 978-9-615-63033-5, has been published and the MC-Solar Cycle technique is now supported through a recognized software provider so that all students and practicing astrologers can apply these techniques for their own use. Recently, Dave has been exploring a new charting format:, transiting Moon to natal Sun Return charts. These moon-sun returns show how we can maintain or deal with change in our lives. A book, Personal Moon-to-Sun Returns 2 has been released in 2015. Contact Dave for details at Dave is a retired business systems analyst and automation systems engineer, enjoys woodcarving and tarot in addition to astrology.
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