Watching ventriloquist Jeff Dunham perform live, you might catch a glimpse of what Steve Martin used to call “the creativity in action.” It’s the part of his set during which he might try something brand new. “I come up with an idea or a premise,” he explains, “and I’ll stick it in the middle of the show and just start ad-libbing. Literally the best stuff comes out on stage.” Dunham times his annual performance in the Tristate with his involvement in the Vent Haven Ventriloquist Convention in Fort Thomas, Ky. This year he will give a lecture on “The Basics of Funny … Plus Some Advanced Stuff.” Between his core characters, Walter, Peanut and Jalapeño, Dunham can deliver comedy covering a number of topics and believes his characters give him leeway to be subtly outrageous. “Because of that unwritten rule, that license to be completely outrageous with a character or puppet or dummy.” $47.50. 7:30 p.m. Bank of Kentucky Center, Highland Heights, Ky. bankofkentuckycenter.com or 800-745-3000. The Vent Haven Ventriloquist Convention runs through Saturday, July 21. Jeff Dunham speaks 4 p.m. Saturday. venthavenconvention.com.