Daniel Tosh is one of the most popular comedians in the nation. He is a regular performer on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and has appeared on other late night shows with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel, Craig Kilborn, as well as numerous comedy specials. I asked him about his first open-mic performance, advice for kids today, and his upcoming Comedy Central stand-up special.
Nearly all stand-up comedians have horror stories when they talk about the first time they performed in front of an audience. Was your first set any different?
DANIEL TOSH: I had a 17 minute standing ovation after my first set. Ok, what really happened was that I looked in an Orlando newspaper when I was 19, found an open-mic night. I just assumed it was for comedy, turns out it was for music. They said "Sure you can do stand-up." It was also a contest, so I had to pay $10 and the audience, which was the people eating in the restaurant that night would judge it. After my second joke I was getting rim shots from the drummer who was setting up. I didn't stick around but I assume I won, so if you ran that room and are reading this, send me my fucking $80 first prize, asshole!
You're known for your racy topics that make light of subjects such as rape, racism, and homophobia. Are there any topics that you won't touch?
DT: I really have no good juggling material, maybe because crowds don't guffaw over the two tennis ball routine.
Where is your favorite place to perform at and why?
DT: I'm a homer, so the closer to my house the better (Hermosa Beach). If I could get crowds to gather around my bed, that would be ideal. I also like doing stand-up in places that I can surf, snowboard, or anywhere that I have a pregnancy scare. Bitch, don't lie to me!
What would you be doing if you didn't have a career in comedy?
DT: I would probably be famous.
One of your jokes is about a father giving his young son the birds-and-the-bees talk, telling him that girls his age "wouldn't dress like that if they didn't wanna get fingered." What other special advice do you have for today's youth?
DT: Don't throw my words back in my face! In all seriousness, the only advice I have for today's youth is to date outside your race. I just think it's so cute when I see little kids in interracial relationships; it makes me feel like I'm watching a commercial.
Any plans to release another CD at any time?
DT: I'm sure the new DVD will be released in CD form as well, but it may have some of my old stuff on it. I have no control of what Comedy Central actually airs, I did about an hour and half and then it's up to them. Most of my old stuff I usually have mixed up anyway, because I forgot how it goes.
Who is your favorite comedian?
DT: Hands down, Wesley Snipes. I also love Dave Chappelle, Nick Swardson, Greg Hahn, Eddie Gossling, Louis CK, Sean Rouse, Dave Attell, and the raunchy grandmother!
What do you like better: working in television or doing stand-up?
DT: Whatever will pay me the most money with the least amount of effort or time . and my film career speaks for itself.
Besides your new Comedy Central special, do you have any projects that you are currently working on?
DT: I have a new book coming out called "Hey, just because the slut ain't into you don't mean you can't plow her tonight." It's a coloring book for kids.
Finally, in one word, how would you sum up your career so far?
Thanks to Daniel for taking the time to answer questions. You can find more of him at his website or watch his Comedy Central stand-up special this Sunday night.