Fergus comedian hits the big timePublished 3:40pm Saturday, December 5, 2009
Appearing on the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien would be a dream come true for many people. Fergus Falls native Chad Daniels, a comedian, will have that opportunity on Tuesday, Dec. 8.
“I owe this opportunity to my connection with booking agent J.P. Buck,” said Daniels on Friday. “I’ve known J.P. for about seven years, and he was hired by Conan O’Brien just prior to the changeover from Jay Leno to Conan.”
In September, while is Los Angeles, Daniels met with Buck who taped a four to five minute presentation by Daniels, called a “set” in professional terms. Buck said he’d look at the tape and get back to Daniels.
“He (Buck) said it was a go for the Tonight Show, and we next figured on a date,” said Daniels. “I’ll be part of the taping of the show at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Los Angeles time.”
Daniels, a 1993 graduate of Fergus Falls High School, first met Buck in 2002 when Daniels auditioned for Star Search in Chicago. They stayed in touch over the years, and met again during the World Comedy Festival in Los Vegas. It was good news for Daniels when he learned that Buck was hired by O’Brien, whose first role as Tonight Show host took place June 1, 2009.
Daniels has stated that, “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.”
He said he always wanted to be a comic, ever since he was a little kid.
“When other kids were answering firefighter and police officer, I was saying that I wanted to become a comic,” said Daniels.
After graduating from Fergus Falls High School 16 years ago, Daniels moved to California before settling in Minneapolis. With no formal training, he got his start performing during open mic nights at Acme Comedy Company, and later enjoyed a six-month stint as the house emcee at the Westward Ho Comedy Gallery in Grand Forks.
He’s married to the former Jessica Brimhall who is an instructor at M State, Fergus Falls. They have two children, Isaac, 10, and Olivia, 5.
Daniels performed at the opening of the Bigwood Event Center in 2001. He also performed during two Fergus Falls Frostbite Festivals and other local events. Over the years he’s performed at colleges, theaters and comedy clubs all around the country.
Developing a good and solid comedy routine takes a lot of work.
“Chad not only survived this tough and demanding regimen, but we’re proud to say that he flourished,” said his mother, Karen, an employee of Otter Tail Power Company. “He’s paid his dues to get to where he is today, and Chad has the respect of fellow comedians all across the country.”
That hard work, in the last few years, has resulted in Daniels being a finalist in Comedy Central’s “Laugh Riots” national comedy competition, performing in Montreal at the prestigious Just For Laughs International Comedy Festival, appearing on “The Late, Late Show With Craig Kilborn” in 2003, and appearing on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” in 2006.
Daniels says he gets his material from his family and his experiences in everyday life. Sometimes, he says, it’s simply a matter of pointing out the ridiculous or obnoxious situations in life that others don’t dare bring up.
Daniels bills himself as, “someone who grew up on the serene streets of Fergus Falls.”