Daniel Tosh has become one of the most popular comedians in the country. According to his Web site, he has performed at more than 700 college campuses. After his DVD/CD debut, True Stories I Made Up, allmusic.com described the comic as “the rapid wit of Dane Cook, (replacing his trade hyper-cockiness) for dry wickedness.”
Tosh has been featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and VH1’s Best Week Ever. He will be at Ardrey Auditorium on Sept. 13 to bring NAU students his own special brand of comedy.
Daniel Tosh: I am ready.
The Lumberjack: Are you ready?
LJ: All right, so why are you coming to Flagstaff? Do you choose where you go, or do people call you…
DT: You’re a piece of (expletive). Next question. No… I go where I’m told. I assume a school called my agency and asked if I would play. My agency threw out a number that was probably inflated. And the school was like, “No way!” And then they threw out a number that was way too low, met somewhere in the middle, and I said, “Yes. Let’s go to uh… Flagstaff.”
LJ: Why are you a comedian?
DT: Oh, I don’t know… Because I have no real talents. If I could make a living at a normal job, I’m sure I would do that. But it didn’t work out that way. I graduated from college and went on one job interview and was laughing in my own head because I wouldn’t hire me.
LJ: You have a degree in accounting.
DT: Yeah. I’m also not good with numbers either, so it’s not a great mix. People apparently don’t want you ball-parkin’ it when it comes to their finances.
LJ: Where do you get the inspiration for your routines?
DT: Jesus. Mainly Jesus. I’m like our fearless leader. Where do I get my inspiration? I don’t know. I just make fun of everything. You know, I’ve been doing this so long my mind is twisted and warped. Something horrible happens and I try to make it funny. It’s really a tortured life. You go to a salsa bar, at your local burrito stand, and you know, you think “how can you make a joke about this?” I, on the other hand, am stewing. (Pause) By the way, nothing I ever say, ever, has any truth behind it.
LJ: My research has…
DT: What research?
LJ: Well, I Googled you for like 10 minutes before this interview.
DT: Okay, okay. Let’s not act like your (expletive)ing Chris Matthews.
LJ: Well, my extensive looking for 10 minutes showed that you played Cowboy Hat in The Love Guru, which I did not see.
DT: Oh man. You know, I didn’t see the movie either, but I assume I was still in it. I read the script and was like, “This is awful.” And they were like, “Will you do it?” And I was like, “Yes. Do it.” I’ll do anything usually if there’s money involved and little work. As long as the roles are small. If you offer me a starring role in a movie, I have no interest.
LJ: That was actually my next question. Do you have an eye for Hollywood, or was it like a phone call and you said yes and went?
DT: Well, I knew one of the writers who was working on it. He asked if I wanted a part, and it fit into my touring schedule. I worked in Toronto for two days. And by work I mean sit in a trailer for 15 hours, say two lines, and leave.
LJ: Did you get anything sweet in your trailer, like an Xbox or anything?
DT: No. No! Do they give Xboxes to people?
LJ: If I had a trailer, I’d totally want an Xbox.
DT: Well. No. You know show business is… uh… I’m barely in it.
LJ: Your dad is a preacher. How did you go from being the son of a preacher, to accountant, to stand-up comedian?
DT: I guess it could be seen as a form of rebellion, but (my dad) is pretty supportive. He’s knows I’m just an idiot, so I think that softens it a little bit. You know, you can only cram your beliefs down a young kid’s throat for so long before he goes, “you know, the other side seems to be having a lot more fun.” Until I see proof of this reincarnation or cloning, I’m gonna live up this life. That was kinda the path I took. But I fulfilled my obligations. I wasn’t a pain in the ass when I was a kid. So I think being a screw-up as an adult is way more acceptable. And let’s be honest: it’s not like I’m not making a good living that the whole family benefits from. No one talks about my foul mouth when we’re all in Aspen for Christmas.
LJ: That’s true.
DT: No it isn’t. I’ve never been to Aspen for Christmas but it seems like a great place to take the family.
LJ: What would you say is the most bizarre part of your creative process?
DT: I usually have an idea of something I want to do. The horrible part is going to some random local comedy club in L.A. and spitting it out, having no idea how it’s going to work. See, because, as offensive as some of my stuff can be, when it’s brand new it’s off-the-charts mean. It takes me a long time to soften jokes, to make them palatable for the general public. Usually, in the first round with a joke, I’m even offended that it’s coming out of my mouth. But what are you gonna do? Somebody’s gotta make fun of Palin’s kids. Might as well be me.
DT: You know what?
DT: I’d be happy for you to buy my CDs and DVDs instead of stealing them on Limewire and YouTube where normal people get ‘em.
LJ: OK, last question -- what was the last movie you saw, and what did you eat for lunch?
DT: The last movie I saw was The House Bunny…
LJ: Oh my God… You saw that?
LJ: How was it?
DT: Oh, it was the (expletive)ing worst thing on the planet. But my friend Nick Schwartson is in it, so I had to show a little bit of support. And there’s Playboy Playmates and chicks running around the whole movie, so as horrible as it is, you at least occasionally perk up because you’re like, “Oh, they’re doing yoga.” But no, it was completely unwatchable. And what did I have for lunch today? I’m actually waiting for a lunch date to show up to my house. So it’s 3:15 and I have not had lunch yet. But that’s OK, because the NFL season starts in about 45 minutes, so I’ll just make it an early dinner/football night.
Daniel Tosh will be performing live at Ardrey Auditorium on Sept. 13. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for NAU and Coconino Community College students, $22 for the general public, and can be purchased through the NAU Central Ticketing Office or through ticketmaster.com.