Curmudgeon. Cranky guy. Dan’s glass is half-empty and if you press him on it he’ll tell you it’s cracked, too. Not much works out well for Dan Naturman…thankfully!
Maybe he honed that self-deprecating WTF attitude after being screwed over by Last Comic Standing not once, but twice! After the famous judges fiasco in Season Two, I was surprised to see him back in the running on Season Six, donning that Charlie Brown shirt and believing that maybe this time, Lucy wouldn’t whisk that football away at the last moment. Oops. Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, I guess.
But Naturman’s style is bug-zapper quick jokes; there’s more than a little Rodney Dangerfield DNA in there. Watching Dan live, you can see how skillfully he uses the physical presentation – slightly hangdog posture, sympathetic facial expressions, those gestures that seem to stop halfway through because he just doesn’t have the energy or the will to commit to them. But even if you don’t see him – and certainly you won’t when you slip this CD in your player – you’ll realize that he has the perfect voice for this material. It’s a gift – the guy just sounds funny even during the setup. Of course, he’s got the material to back it up.
Get Off My Lawn is loaded with several of his best bits from those LCS appearances, like those girls who give you a fake phone number, drug commercials on TV, the consequences of lying on an Internet dating profile. But I was pleased to find that there was a lot of material I had not heard before. Great interaction with the crowd right from the first bit, whether he’s getting them directly involved in conversation or just asking rhetorical questions to move the pieces along. He weaves the local info into the set flawlessly; I laughed along at references I didn’t even understand out of context.
Some of my favorites are the bits about jukeboxes, how to maximize the cost of phone sex, misunderstanding the convenience store guy and why he wouldn’t make the ideal prisoner. He leads off with a great routine, and outside of a slight stumble near the end is consistently funny from start to finish. The album was assembled from a run at the Acme Comedy Club in Minneapolis; sound quality and performer/audience balance is excellent; kudos to Stand Up! Records.
Naturman started performing when in law school at Fordham, and when not on the road can be found haunting Comix and the Comic Strip in New York City. Keep your eyes open for him on the late night network shows and cable comedy showcases; his sets are as tight as they are strong.
Buy Dan’s CD at Stand Up! Records
Dan on Last Comic Standing
Dan on the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien
R.I.P. Mick Green – another guitar giant gone.