Danny Solomon – Comedy Foot Soldier

by The Comedy Nerds on January 21, 2010

This week’s comedy Foot Soldier is Kansas City born stand-up comedian Danny Solomon.  In just his first two years in NYC the dude is all over the place.  Where can you see him performing?  Every damn place!  He’s doing Comedy Festivals, most recently the New Orleans Comedy Festival (to raise money for Voodoo Rights).  He’s at all the big Comedy venues, like Comix and the UCB theatre.  Plus he founded the “All Cities Comedy Tournament” in 2009 and co-produced “Auld Lanxiety” with Mike Lawrence and Dan St. Germain.  Basically I’m saying he’s everywhere that comedy is.  Like Batman is with crime.  Maybe he’s Comedy Batman.  (Shhhh, don’t tell anyone about him being Comedy Batman, but now I am 100% sure that he is).  On an unrelated to his secret identity (which is Comedy Batman) note, I could listen to him talk about sex talk lady Sue Johanssen all day long.

What’s the most important thing you learned since you started doing comedy?
This is going to take a long time, and a lot of work.

DSHow did you know you were meant to be a comedian?
When I was in kindergarten, my sister and I were in my parents’ room, and she told them a joke she’d heard, which went: “Knock knock. Who’s there? Madame. Madame who? Madame foot’s stuck in the door!” It crushed. Annihilated my parents. And I remember seeing that and getting so pissed off, because that’s what I wanted to do.

What’s been your brightest moment as a comedian?
My first show in New York, three days in, I got the coveted “Eleventh Comic” bucket spot at the late, great Kingdom of Heaven mic. I was too shell-shocked to be nervous, so I did my jokes and crushed in front of a packed house. I’ve since thrown out all that material, and have had much funnier and better sets, but that one introduced me to all the friends and awesome comics I know now, and made it so that I never really had to go to Maui Taco.

What’s been your darkest moment as a comedian?
I kinda snuck into the lineup of the New Orleans Comedy Festival, which was a hell of a fest, by telling the very generous Sean Patton (who produced it) that it was my birthday that week. I flew down at my own expense, stayed at a hostel, had a great time getting drunk with comics, and planned a fun birthday set. Everyone was killing, so I thought it would be no big deal. I got out there for my set, and opened by telling the crowd it was my birthday. Nothing. Then my first joke bombed, second joke ate it, riffing died, third joke, fourth, until finally I gave up and closed terribly. I sat in the bar room outside of the stage area and stared into nowhere for like an hour. Not only had I bombed hard, but I did so on a show I had lobbied to get on. And I’d spent hundreds of dollars to make the trip. I felt like the kid alone at Chuck E. Cheese with his sad party hat on, waiting for his friends who won’t show up.

What is your favorite thing going on in comedy right now?
The slow burn. The joke that builds up gradually and methodically, then hits you hard all at once. Also, the audiences that are patient enough to wait for it.

What is the scariest thing going on in comedy right now?
It’s a tie between people who say “too soon?” after their crappy joke bombs, and the ironic “impressions” that alt-comics do where the explanation is ten times longer and more complicated than the actual impression.

Who do you think is today’s most underappreciated comedian/comedy actor?
I wish the guys I started stand-up with in Kansas City knew who Jesse Popp was.

What’s the best advice you ever received as a comedian?
You’ve gotta be able to make changes. Your joke isn’t done unless it’s perfect, and it’s probably not.

What’s the worst advice you ever received as a comedian?
Any advice I received from a shittier comedian.

DS2What is your craziest show experience?
At an open mic at Eastville Comedy Club I was heckled by a fellow comic, a truly shitty man who happened to be 82 years old. I responded to the heckle by unleashing a torrent of insults on him, which was extremely easy to do because he was so old. He got angry to the point that he actually came up onstage and tried to rip the microphone out of my hands using his bony, liver-spotted fingers. I was worried he might hit me, not because it would’ve hurt, but because it would have created a no-win situation that no comic could ever recover from. He didn’t, though he did pound the stool next to me to try and intimidate me. The host of the mic finally pulled him away and escorted him out, and the bit I did after he left didn’t go very well.  

What is the biggest source of your comedy?
People who are living sad, depressing lives, but still somehow act like dicks.

How would you describe your comedy?
I’m a gifted-class bully.

Quick Hitters

I would like to be known for… My humanitarian work.

Shoot me if I ever… Use the specially-made speech device attached to my motorized wheelchair to beg you to.

I think most comedians are… Badly dressed.

The one thing I have never seen a comedian do, but would love to is… Find happiness.

My favorite comedy bit that I was not involved in is… The first one I really loved, Dave Attell, “Fireworks.”

My favorite comedy bit that I was involved in is…
It’s always the one the audience doesn’t really like. In my case, it’s a story I tell about the worst sleepover I ever went to.

People often say they are attracted to a sense of humor. I think that is… Half-true. The other half is you growing some balls and asking the girl out.

I would like to plug… The MacGyver Show, every other Saturday at 8pm at Legion Bar in Brooklyn. Next one is January 30th. Also, I have some videos up at rooftopcomedy.com/dannysolomon

, so check all that out!

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