Dr. Grins, Grand Rapids
Jan. 9-11, show times at 8, 9 and 10:30 p.m.
thebob.com/drgrins, (616) 356-2000
The next time you have a burning question that needs an answer, try asking Craig, the awkward, dull-witted YouTube alter-ego of comedian Kyle Dunningan. Fans submit questions and Craig answers them, with unorthodox, hilarious results he calls "Vanswers." Dunnigan says he's been doing the character for years.
"I have a picture of me when I was nine years old making that face and doing that character," Dunnigan said. "I don't remember ever coming up with him, I just sort of did it and kept doing it."
Craig originally found fame as the infamous "Truckee River Killer" on "Reno 911." After the show ended, Dunnigan turned to YouTube to highlight the softer side of Craig.
"'Reno 911' kind of made the character a serial killer and an evil guy, which I think worked for that show," Dunnigan said. "But I had always envisioned him as a more innocent Forrest Gump kind of character."
Since then, Dunnigan's YouTube videos have received millions of hits, serving as a testament to his ability to create characters and work with sketch-based comedy. He has experience working with the Groundlings Sunday Company and also wrote and acted in Cedric the Entertainer Presents. More recently, he's written for "Inside Amy Schumer," which he'll admit has been challenging at times.
"She has her own point of view, and I try to accommodate to that," Dunnigan said. "It's hard when my own style gets in there. I don't think it's a bad thing, but it's important to know who you're writing for and it took me a little while to adapt to that."
Dunnigan also has an impressive history with stand-up, landing spots on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
In 1999 he met fellow comedian Tig Notaro at a Comedy Central stand-up contest, sparking a long-lasting friendship.
"She came in third, and I came in second. I remind her of that whenever I can."
Since then, they've worked together on various projects, including the podcast, "Professor Blastoff." Of course, Notaro isn't the only funny lady in Dunnigan's life – he's been dating Sarah Silverman for two years and counting.
"I'm basically the cameraman," Dunnigan jokes. "When we go out, I'm really good at taking pictures of Sarah and other people. I think I've become a professional. I can take any phone, and I know how the camera works."
Silverman also recently lent her voice to a Christmas album Dunnigan recorded, and they recently appeared on the "Comedy Bang! Bang!" podcast together as well.
Dunnigan's performance at Dr. Grins has no cameos from Notaro or Silverman scheduled, but he assures audiences it will be an experience they remember.
"They can expect to laugh, I hope," he said. "They can expect to learn about themselves, to learn about the world and change the world. They can expect cash and prizes, and they can expect to transform as human beings."