TODAY show, Jim Gaffigan say Maple Grove's David Ricks is America's 'funniest dad' [VIDEO]

David Ricks won, and we're going to give a sympathetic crowd a lot of credit for that.

David Ricks won, and we're going to give a sympathetic crowd a lot of credit for that.

Minnesota's produced plenty of professional-caliber funny people. Mitch Hedberg's from here, as is Maria Bamford

And we'll try to take credit for Joel Hodgson, Wisconsin-born, but who got Mystery Science Theater 3000 started on a local TV station back in the late '80s. 

Add to this illustrious list a rank amateur, David Ricks. He's not a comic. You'll be able to tell that when you watch the video below.

Ricks is a retired high school principal from Maple Grove. (Matt Lauer keeps saying he's from "Minneapolis," though the Star Tribune says Ricks hails from the nearby suburb; we'll assume Lauer just doesn't know the difference.) Ricks was one of three finalists selected by the TODAY show to compete for the title of "Funniest Dad." His two younger, hipper opponents tried out some bits, essentially trying to be comedians who happen to be dads.

Ricks, by contrast, just told a short story, with nary a punchline to it. It was very... fatherly.

Good enough! Celebrity judge (and legitimate funny man) Jim Gaffigan said he could identify with Ricks' plight. 

"I think every dad has done something that seemed like a good idea, that backfired," Gaffigan said. 

When he couldn't pick, Gaffigan deferred to the audience, a bunch of whom shouted out "David!" This seemed to do the trick, and the comic picked one of our own to receive the coveted (we suppose?) "golden plunger" award. 

Ricks' victory just goes to show that you whippersnappers with all your fancy "material" and "bits" might not have it all figured out. Not when it comes to being a dad, anyhow.

Ricks also knows the rookie comic's secret: If you're not sure you're funny, pack the crowd.