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Dummying it down

Dallas-born ventriloquist Jeff Dunham (above) has just signed a big deal with Comedy Central, further establishing North Texas as a great place to throw your voice for fun and eventual profit.

The network had its largest audience ever -- 6.6 million viewers -- for last November's Very Special Christmas Special starring Dunham and his dummies. So he now has what Comedy Central describes as a "wide-ranging, fully-integrated, multi-platform initiative which includes a series order, stand-up special, major-market stand-up tour, DVDs and a consumer products partnership."

In other words, Dunham stands to make a lotta money in return for voicing characters ranging from Achmed the Dead Terrorist to Jose Jalapeno on a Stick.

Mesquite's Terry Fator also has made ventriloquism pay off after winning the $1 million first prize in 2007 on NBC's second edition of America's Got Talent. Fator now has his own theater and show at The Mirage in Vegas.