by Lauren Otheim
Dan Cummins got his start as a comedian in the Spokane area, returning once again on March 1 to perform for Whitworth University.
After graduating from Gonzaga University, Cummins did not like his job. His girlfriend at the time had thought he was amusing throughout college and convinced Cummins to try out an amateur night.
“Basically it was just a whim,” Cummins said. “I did well enough to return.”
On stage at Whitworth, Cummins brought a wide variety of jokes to entertain his audience, most of which were new. At the end of the night Cummins took requests from those who knew some of his older material.
Cummins’ repertoire consisted of a list of made up genetically-crossed animals Cummins thought would be entertaining to have around the house, greeting card slogans that were insults for anytime, a montage of nefarious acts his daughter had unleashed in his life and much more.
“I liked the greeting cards, “ freshman Holly Gale said. “He had a mix of filth, meanness and plain funniness.”
While on stage Cummins appeared cool and confident, taking hits as they came. If a joke didn’t go over well he would acknowledge it and make it funny, Gale said.
At one point in the show two girls walked out. Rather than ignore it, Cummins pointed out their departure and morphed into his show by incorporating their exit into his most recent joke.
Comedy provides the creative outlet that Cummins needs in his life.
“I like to write and you know with stand up if it works right away,” Cummins said. “There is instant feedback.”
Sometimes the feedback isn’t always good, but whatever the case Cummins turns it into a story. His worst performance in memory was for the St. Francis Yacht Club, based out of San Francisco Harbor. When Cummins arrived there were about 300 insanely wealthy men, nearly all of which were white.
“I don’t know which way the hatred ran deeper,” Cummins said. “From me to them or them to me.”
By the time the show was over only 30 men were left. Cummins blames his lack of success on the fact that he had nothing in common with the club men.
Along with his stories of failure, Cummins has many success stories. Cummins’ favorite performance is from when he was still living in Spokane. He was chosen among a few other comedians to be flown to New York for Comedy Central Presents. Unlike the smaller shows he had been doing, this one made Cummins feel legit, he said.
This was not the only time Cummins has been on Comedy Central. He presented an hour long special from a Spokane theatre named “Crazy with a Capital F.” In addition to Comedy Central, Cummins has also appeared on “The Tonight Show”, “The Late, Late Show”, and “Last Comic Standing,” according to his Web bio at www.dancummins.tv.
Cummins has been making his living with stand up comedy for the last seven years. As a stand-up comedian Cummins spends most of his time on tour, although he officially lives in LA.