His website says that Chad Daniels might be the most listened to comedian you wouldn’t recognize.
Daniels can boast of nearly a billion streams of his works. He has performed on most of the late night talk shows at various times during his career and has had his own half-hour comedy special on Comedy Central.
His latest release, Dad Chaniels, came out last year and is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
He appears in the Tiger Room at Welch’s Ale House in Fort Wayne on July 23.
During his act, Daniels pulls heavily from his own life experiences while raising two children in Minnesota. Some of the stories Daniels tells about his kids go into great, and often embarrassing, detail. But the comedian says his son and daughter don’t mind because, before he does anything on stage, he asks them about it first to make sure it’s OK.
In a recent interview with Whatzup, Daniels said he had apprehensions about performing a bit on Conan that chronicled his daughter’s first period. In preparation, he said he “asked her about it every day for about a month leading up to the set, because once I do it, that’s out there forever.”
She repeatedly told him it was all right.
“In the end, they realize that when I’m talking about them, I am actually talking about humanity at large, not just one specific teenager,” Daniels said.
Family is a big part of his act because family is really important to Daniels. Although touring can take its toll on family ties, Daniels said that the key to keeping healthy relationships with his kids has been technology. He uses FaceTime, calls frequently and, most of all, makes sure he doesn’t miss anything important.
“You just make sure you are always putting them first,” he said. “They kind of know my schedule so if there is something they want to do or if they need me home for something, they just let me know and then that comes first. I always account for that.”
Comedy that crosses lines
In today’s politically correct world when it seems people get offended at just about anything, being a comedian can be a hard way to make a living. To his credit, Daniels tackles that challenge head on.
His philosophy is that there isn’t anything he can’t say, he just has to make sure it’s funny when he says it.
“It’s all about the wording,” he said.
For example, Daniels has had a bit about a boy with Asperger’s Syndrome, which, one might think, would be a tough subject to make funny. Truthfully, he says, it hasn’t always been the best bit and he has actually gotten slapped twice after shows because of it. But, he also says that other audience members have encouraged him to continue telling the story and have actually helped him tell it the right way.
“For a while, I was just trying to figure it out,” he said. “What kept me going was the people who would come up to me after the shows and tell me they work with kids who have Asperger’s or that they have a kid with Asperger’s. They would tell me what was wrong and what was good about the bit. Good comedy is just about getting the story right and making sure the normal victim is actually not the victim in your story.”
Daniels is partnering with local promoter Let’s Comedy to ensure that every precaution is taken to create a safe and healthy environment during the show. Masks will be required to be worn by everyone and tables will be six feet apart as well as six feet from the stage. Also, organizers will be taking the temperature of attendees. No walk-up tickets will be sold to ensure a limited crowd.
“It’s going to be a challenge because people don’t like following the rules,” Daniels said. “And I’m not sure at that point what you do. I’ve never had to kick someone out of a show who was heckling me, so kicking someone out for not wearing a mask is going to be a new thing, but it’s important for the safety of everyone.”
The fact that the audience will be wearing masks adds a new layer to the comedy show, an event people usually attend solely for the purpose of spending a night together with friends, laughing, smiling, and having a good time.
That point is not lost on Daniels who hasn’t performed since March and doesn’t yet know what it’s going to be like on this week-long run of dates through our region, looking out at a room full of strangers with masks on, unable to fully gauge their reactions to his jokes.
He thinks, however, that it will be similar to how some of the Zoom shows have turned out for some of his peers. They can hear the laughing but can’t see the faces.
“It’s going to be interesting,” he said. “Hopefully people in the Midwest smile with their eyes.”
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