5Q :: 'Last Comic' Jeff Dye coming to UMD
It looks like Duluth has lucked out once again. The next comedian scheduled to perform at UMD is Jeff Dye, who won't be doing the college circuit much longer. Indeed, things are looking good for Dye: On top of an expanded fan base after he became...
It looks like Duluth has lucked out once again. The next comedian scheduled to perform at UMD is Jeff Dye, who won't be doing the college circuit much longer. Indeed, things are looking good for Dye: On top of an expanded fan base after he became a finalist on the sixth season of NBC's "Last Comic Standing" (in 2008), the Washington state native has been seeing a beautiful woman -- the 2007 Playmate of the Year, to be exact -- and he's also just landed his own show on MTV, the curiously titled "Numbnuts."
Despite all this, Dye was gracious enough to make time for the Budgeteer and answer a few questions:
Budgeteer: For our readers who have never heard your act, how would you describe your style? Or, what would you say to get them to come out to the show at UMD?
Dye: I have a very laidback style. My jokes are smart about being silly and dumb. My outlook on life is very optimistic and positive, which is opposite of most comedians today.
How long have you been telling jokes for a living? When did you decide "I can do this - I can get up on stage and try out some jokes"?
I started telling jokes just five years ago -- Aug. 1, 2005 -- and I decided that this should be my career when I finally realized that the one thing I'm really good at is just making people laugh and have fun. I'm not terribly good at a lot of things, but my gift is that I love people and have a way with them that can just make them relax and laugh. I am very influenced by Brian Regan and Jim Gaffigan and many other comics as well; I really, really, really love this business and those are just a couple of guys that I look up to.
Who are some of your influences? On that, is it easy for you to go out to a club and enjoy another comedian's set -- or do you approach it on a different level, like constantly thinking, "Well, that joke would've worked better this way...."?
I have a long list of favorite comics -- some famous, some not -- but the list is very, very, very, very long: Regan, Daniel Tosh, Greg Giraldo, Bill Burr, Patrice O'Neal, Colin Quinn, Tracy Morgan, Don Rickles, Louis CK, Conan O'Brien, Johnny Carson, Maria Bamford, Sarah Silverman, Mitch Hedberg ... and on and on. I enjoy comedy arguably more than anyone, but I can be a bit of a comedy snob: Sometimes I watch comedy and I scoff at it when it appears the comic is only doing it for attention, or fame, or it just plain isn't funny.
Watching someone do standup that isn't funny is as insulting as me being the starting quarterback for the Colts next season: I have no business being out there.
Do you think you'll be exclusively doing stand-up in a few years, or are you using it as a jumping-off point for other projects you have in mind?
I am acting now, and next month I will start hosting my own show on MTV called "Numbnuts," but I will always do standup. It's my true and first love.
Finally, having experienced so much national exposure on "Last Comic Standing," how has your life changed? What kind of doors did that show open for you?
It's been really great. "LCS" isn't always respected among comics, but when I go to the clubs and perform and the comics want to hate me for being on "LCS," they watch me and say, "Oh, he actually has other material -- he's not just the five-minute act that people might think."
I also found my girlfriend because of "LCS." When we were taping at the Playboy Mansion for "LCS," my GF was one of the Playmates on the episode. She saw me and, when she started watching the show, she tracked me down and said she was rooting for me on the show. We started hanging out and now she and I are still together. Her name is Sara Underwood and I would've never met her if not for "Last Comic Standing."
NEWS TO USE
Comedians Jeff Dye and Jonatan Mitchell will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, at the UMD Ballroom. Cost is $5 (free for students). Find out more at www.myspace.com/jeffdye .