Monday, 26 August 2013 11:17

Comedian Chad Daniels is No Stranger to Grand Rapids

Written by  Josh Spanninga
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Chad Daniels
Dr. Grins, Grand Rapids
Sept. 12-14, show times at 8, 9 and 10:30 p.m.
$5-$10, (616) 356-2000 

Chad Daniels is a comedian whose standup act is incredibly difficult to describe. One minute he'll be setting up intricate grammar jokes in a Dmetri Martin-esque fashion, then in the blink of an eye his subject matter switches to penis jokes and locker room fare. He covers so many bases with his comedy it's impossible to pigeonhole him, though he does believe one critic summed his act up nicely.

"Somebody once described me as 'a lovable asshole'," Daniels said.

He agrees, and adds, "I'm opinionated, but I'm also non-threatening."

Daniels' interest in comedy started when he would sit and listen to comedy records with his grandfather.

"Watching him laugh was the funniest thing ever," he said.

While he always held onto this appreciation of comedy he never pursued it as a career until he suddenly found himself jobless. Upon being fired from his last job, he threw himself a retirement party at a bar that happened to have an open mic that same night. He tried it out, and was hooked.

Since then, he's been performing for audiences around the country, has appeared on "The Tonight Show" and "Conan," had his own Comedy Central Presents special, and has released multiple comedy albums. He's no stranger to West Michigan either – he won first place at the 2012 Laughfest StandUp Competition, snagging the $10,000 cash prize based on votes from the audience and celebrity judges. He remains humble about the experience.

"It was luck," Daniels said. "Honestly, if they would've done the competition 10 times, they probably would have had 10 different winners ... There were just so many funny guys and gals."

Daniels goes on to say that performing at LaughFest was an easy decision.

"Comedy festivals are always fun. When you're on tour, you're maybe with one other comedian, but festivals are great because there are so many great people all in one place."

It was during LaughFest that Daniels ran into Marc Maron, host of the "WTF" podcast, and while hanging out drinking coffee, Maron nonchalantly offered to have Daniels on his podcast.

"I thought it was just one of those things Hollywood guys say," Daniels said.

But it turned out Maron was dead serious, and soon Daniels found himself in the coveted position of interviewee on "WTF."

Around the same time, Daniels was releasing his latest hour-long comedy special online for free. Comedy Central, which he originally hoped would pick up the special, had recently turned it down, so Daniels decided to get creative.

"I had all the material ready, and I wanted people to see it," Daniels said. "So I figured I might as well put it up online."

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