Though he was an admitted class clown, Dan Cummins never had a burning desire to become a standup comedian. "I was more like back-of-the-room smartass," he recalls. "I have one memory in the fourth grade of some classmate saying, 'You're like Bill Cosby.' I didn't even listen to Cosby, which was funny." Ironically, this past year that same classmate attended the taping of Cummins's one-hour special in Spokane, Washington, the adopted hometown of both. Cummins arrived in the eastern Washington city from neighboring Idaho to attend Gonzaga University. While at school he worked in a sketch troupe and also played in a rock band. It wasn't until after college that he gave standup a try. "I went back the next week, and since there wasn't a lot of competition in Spokane, I got a lot of stage time, and then I kind of fell into it." Cummins will be moving to Los Angeles soon, and he recently appeared on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien. Onstage he is adding more personal musings to his quirky observations. "I'll have a good chunk of random things that make me laugh," he says, "but then I do think, 'How many hours of material am I going to get about things like that?' It's not the only thing I think about that's funny." 18+.
Dec. 15-19, 8 p.m.; Dec. 18-19, 10:30 p.m., 2009