A lot of comedians will embellish details of their lives for the sake of a joke. Others will create an entirely different reality when they're onstage. And then there's Chad Daniels.
"If you want to know what a day in my life is like, come see my standup," says Daniels. The 39-year-old father of two has allowed fans to hear all about his children growing up, as he shares the painfully awkward, hilarious details of their lives through his brutally honest brand of comedy.
"People ask me if my jokes about my kids are real, and they absolutely are," he says. "My daughter is 10 now and she's as sweet as ever, and my son is 15 and becoming a man. I think that my comedy and my material has continued to grow with them."
Before he returns home for a week of shows at Acme Comedy Co., the club where he began his career, we caught up with the most famous resident of Fergus Falls to talk about his recent trip to Asia, his children, and why he thinks there is such a thing as too much material.
[jump] You just got back from the inaugural Acme Comedy Co. Asia tour a couple of weeks ago. How was that?
It was so great. Everyone was so welcoming, and they're really working hard to get the comedy scene going in the places we visited.
Were there any issues with language barriers or your style of comedy translating over there?
It was kind of a mixed bag in terms of the types of venues and crowds we performed for. In Hong Kong, there were a lot of English-speaking people. And Singapore is really a vacation destination, so everyone speaks English.
The crazy thing about Singapore was just how gorgeous the people were. Seriously, it was like the club called a modeling agency and asked them to fill the room with models.
I think the most telling thing about the crowds were that they had a really good sense of humor, and weren't easily offended. For example, we did a show on September 11, and there were four Pakistani guys in the first row. So the first thing I said when I got onstage was, 'Happy 9/11, boys!' And they laughed. There are American crowds where if I did that same joke on that same day they would have been really uncomfortable. So I think it was just more relaxed.
Your last CD, Natural Selection, came out this past spring. Now that you're back in the States, are you working on anything new?
I'd like to put out a new hour, but I need to figure out what I want to do and when I want to do it. I have a bunch of new stuff, but I'd like to spend some more time tightening it up before I record them. You have some comedians, like Louis CK, who put out a new hour every single year. I don't consider myself to be even near his level, but sometimes I'll watch him, and it seems like it's still kind of loose. If he would have just taken a little more time to tighten it up, it would have been fucking amazing. Not that it's not great; it could just be tighter. I'm sure I'm going to have all hell rain down on me for saying that about Louis CK.
For me though, not being at that level, it's even more important that when I put out a new CD or a new special, that it's the best it can possibly be.
With your kids starting to get older, do you worry about what they might think about what you're saying?
The internet at my house is locked down tighter than the White House, so my kids aren't watching my standup at home. But now my son's buddies are starting to show him clips of my comedy at school and stuff. He'll come home from school and be like, 'Hey Dad, I really liked your tampon joke.' And I'll be like, 'Yeah I get it, you've seen my comedy.'
The thing is I try to drive somewhat of a wedge between my personal and professional lives. But now that my son is getting older, I've had the opportunity to bring him into my comedy world a little bit more. A couple of months ago, I brought him with me to the Great American Comedy Festival, which is a completely clean festival. It was awesome for me. He wasn't a shit teen that week; he carried himself at man-status. Those are the kinds of things that comedy has allowed me to do. It's funny though, because he actually thinks I'm famous, and doesn't realize that people only know me because we still live in my hometown.
IF YOU GO:
Acme Comedy Co.
8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
$15 Tuesday through Thursday; $18 Friday through Saturday