When Entertainment Unlimited brought comedian Chad Daniels to the Rankin Center Dome Room on Thursday, I have to admit I was skeptical.
First, I cheated. I knew I had to cover this event, so I went to Daniels’ website and read up on the guy. Then I went to YouTube and watched a few minutes of his shtick to see if it would be worth my time.
I wasn’t impressed.
I walked into the Dome Room expecting Daniels to crack overdone parenthood jokes and to punctuate them with cursing in hopes of being funny. I figured the whole night would be awkward because no one would laugh.
Yet, to my surprise, Daniels had us all in the first three minutes. Yes, he made parenthood jokes, but not the sort that ooze from late night Comedy Central schmucks. No, these were the uncomfortable, laughing-because-I-can’t-believe-he-just-said-that sort of parenthood jokes.
“Here’s a question my wife asked me,” started one such joke. “‘What would you ever do without me?’ Are you for real? Ladies, this is the worst question you could ask because you’re not going to get a serious answer. ‘What would you ever do without me?’ I’d bring the kids to the cemetery once a year…I’d be a single parent because you text when you drive.”
A brief second of silence gripped the crowd and eyes went wide before everyone guffawed.
Similar irreverent quips sent the room into an uproar over and over again. Students laughed even louder as he told about his son turning 13 and dealing with puberty.
“My wife asked me ‘We have a teenager, what are we going to do?’ Knock. First and foremost, knock on the door.”
He then proceeded to narrate in gory, hilarious detail about his son’s discovery of morning surprises and certain sorts of dreams. More laughter ensued.
Dane McGoldrick, Ferris senior in music industry management, enjoyed those stories the most. He was very pleased with Daniels and wished the event lasted a little longer.
“Nine out of 10,” he said, giving Daniels an informal rating.
Some comedians tie in their act with a deeper message about life or love, but Daniels never pulled the show to a serious clincher. He kept the jokes coming one right after the other, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have a point to make.
Although he never came right out and said it, he wanted us to laugh at ourselves, to embrace our weird humanity and just be OK with it.
Cassie Mulder, Ferris sophomore in pre-nursing, said she felt bad laughing at times, but couldn’t help herself.
“Some of the racist jokes were a little touchy, but I thought he was really funny.”
The whole room was laughing with her. Black kids, white kids, whatever kids – everyone had fun when Chad Daniels
came to town.