Daniel Van Kirk- Thanks Diana

2020-01-14 15_31_18-Daniel Van Kirk - Thanks Diana - Google Docs

Daniel Van Kirk is a stand up comic, and podcaster. His two podcasts are Dumb People Town which he does with the Skylar brothers and Pen Pals, which he does with Rory Scovel. He also did a podcast called Hindsight, which had mid level comics talking about photos of their choice. I had the chance to see and perform with him live on his “The Together Tour” show when it came to Louisville. He performed Andrew Youngblood, and both of them did an amazing job.

Van Kirk has an amazing ability to make a room feel comfortable and they too more than with other comics as there is a lot of audience participation during the show. He starts the show by having everyone clap, and trying to get them on rhythm, and then getting silly-angry at the audience when it goes off rhythm. It’s a great way to get everyone on the same page, and works as a palate cleanser, that brings everyone together, and sets the tone of his jokes. “You wanna remember why you quit youth sports, I’m going to remind ya, want it, be it, get on the same page. If you don’t want to be part of this get out of G-D room” He ends this on a positive note, and tells everyone that they’re all in the same group, part of the same crowd. It works at bringing everyone together, and bringing the audience into a cohesive place that is in support of comedy, and Van Kirk.

After establishing himself on stage, his first big joke has him establishing the opinion that “You shouldn’t be a dick, be manipulative” and gives various examples of how being manipulative has worked for him in the past. The last example has him at a bar, when a bumbling man rushes in looking for a seat. Van Kirk offers him a seat and the man takes a phone call, which Van Kirk performs the man’s end of. His performance of the man gets across so much about the stranger. His ability to do a midwest cartoonishly over the top caricature of a down on his luck dad is spot on and feels wildly specific, yet applicable to so many people. He has a great ability to do odd bumbling sounding characters. During one of the longer stories of a different joke on the album he does the voice of a cop who both sounds like he commands respect, and that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. His ability to do characters instantly capture the feel of being around various midwest types is used to heighten his punchlines and stories, and give flavor to his jokes in a wholesome but hilarious way.

One the later jokes, that stands out as my favorite is Van Kirk explaining how he misses flea markets, as LA doesn’t have any true flea markets. He then goes on about the flea market that he grew up close to, the Princeton flea market. He mixes sharp observations and a few wild stories from his childhood. One story is about how he and the boys in his family all purchased whips from the flea market. “All the grandkids had whips, that we bought ourselves, and no one thought this was a bad idea. The parents didn’t think this was a bad idea, we didn’t think it was a bad idea we had whips, the person who sold us the whips was probably going through his third divoce and he probably thought it was a great idea. The kids we whipped didn’t even think it was a bad idea” This joke shows his ability to quickly show off multiple angles of one premise and show off the humor in each angle without wasting time. He has a friendly way of delivering the joke that feels like he’s an old friend telling a story to just you.

Overall this is a great album that showcases Van Kirk’s ability to get crowds on his wavelength. He has an impressive ability to craft characters that feel unique to him, while are also immediately relatable. He shared a lot of great stories that let us into his childhood and family in a way that makes him feel relatable but also like his family is crazy. He has some great lines, and I hope to see him come around again.

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