It is very exciting to welcome back comedian Jeff Dye to Jake’s Take!
The first time that I saw Jeff in action was when I watched NBC’s I Can Do That. Throughout the summer series, Jeff had me in stitches with his witty commentary and his ability to acquire basketball aerial stunts with the Harlem Globetrotters, perform dance routines with both Burn the Floor and Pilobolus and learned how to rap from both Snoop Dogg and Doug E. Fresh.
When the show ended, Jeff had the opportunity that many of pop culture aficionados would envy–he covered the 2015 San Diego Comic-Con for Spike TV. After he had filmed interviews with The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus and Salem’s Iddo Goldberg, Jeff began an adventure of a lifetime as he shot a new project for NBC: Better Late Than Ever, with four legends that represent sports and the small and silver screens.
Once he got back from his adventure, Jeff returned touring comedy clubs across the country. From April 29 to May 1, Jeff will take the Improv Kansas City stage by storm with five memorable shows.
In this edition of A Conversation, Jeff shared more information about Better Late Than Never, his love for all things Comic-Con and what Kansas City can expect from his show.
Jacob Elyachar: How have you grown as a comedian since the last time we spoke?
Jeff Dye: Since the previous time we spoke; I have been using more autobiographical jokes in my routine. In the past, I talked about my family and their misadventures. Now, I have been incorporating my relationships and things that I learned about life from my show. While I do talk about fame in my routine, I also share my opinions of how they can better themselves in a humorous way.
JE: Let’s talk about your new NBC project: Better Late Than Never. How did you get involved with this show?
JD: It all started after my appearance on I Can Do That. The show was a hit and even though the ratings were superb, the network decided not to give it a second season. One reason why it went off the air was that the network did not see it last 20 years and almost every show that NBC has put on-the-air needs to be able to showcase longevity, not a solid three or five years. Even though I Can Do That was canceled, NBC was not done with me. They offered to bring me onto a different project where I went to Asia with four old men and when I heard about the four dudes that were going to be on the show…I signed on!
JE: Speaking of those four old dudes. Your Better Late Than Never co-stars are George Foreman, Terry Bradshaw, William Shatner & Henry Winkler. What were some of the highlights that you had from this “adventure of a lifetime”?
JD: The two highlights from this project were getting to know them and learn about their individual lives. Each of them has a unique strength and take on their respective mantras. Terry (Bradshaw) is a lot more loose, and he does not take himself so seriously. He’s a goofball, but he is also a great husband and father. George (Foreman) takes life a bit more seriously, but he’s chill. Henry (Winkler) is all about being sweet as opposed to always going for the laughs. Finally, Bill (William Shatner) is 84-years-old, but is very much like a little kid in a way, because he wants to learn new stuff all the time! He’s obsessed with learning that he is extracting life experiences and knowledge. But, he is not as silly and playful as the others. I enjoyed watching these four incredibly successful and awesome guys in action, and it seemed that every day I learned something from them that I am going to use for the rest of my life.
JE: Last year, you appeared as a Comic-Con correspondent for Spike TV. What do you like about attending San Diego Comic Con? Will you be back covering the convention for Spike TV?
JD: I have attended San Diego Comic-Con for three years in a row. I am not sure if I am going to have the opportunity to make it four years. However, if Spike TV asks for me to come back, I will do it. I love Comic Con! There are two things that I get excited about every year. One, Major League Baseball spring training! You get to watch teams barely even try to play baseball against each other. The mood is so relaxed and so non-competitive, and you just look at people having fun in the sunshine with a beer in their hand and watching baseball. The second one is Comic-Con. My favorite part about Comic-Con is that it is a non-judgmental place, and I believe that the world should be the way Comic-Con is. If people want to dress up silly or wear a costume, let them dress up and be silly! If they want to dive into some weird video game for 27 hours straight with a bunch of other people who are passionate about the same game, let them play it. The San Diego Comic-Con is a carefree, safe environment that encourages everyone to be themselves and follow their passions.
JE: What are some of the challenges that you face while touring? How do you overcome them?
JD: To be honest, the only challenge that I have while I am touring is trying to remember who are the rival sports teams and what colleges I cannot reference in my act. For example, when I had my show in Nebraska, I said: “It’s great to be here in Iowa.” The crowd went crazy and booed me because Nebraska has a huge rivalry with Iowa in college football. I responded with the retort that “no one cares about Iowa because it has a bunch of corn and white people just like Nebraska.” The audience laughed at the joke and had a good chuckle.
Other than that one episode, every place I go…I meet incredible people, and they all share a beer with me and talk about their lives. It is easily my favorite part of what I get to do every night. One night, I was in Utah with a bunch of Mormon guys and the next evening, I was in a North Carolina strip joint. No matter if they drank soda pop or were high on drugs, both groups shared their life stories with me. I would never have the opportunity to meet these people if I had an office job. I genially get to watch, meet and see these different types of people at my shows, and that is the reason why I love my job.
JE: You will be performing at Kansas City Improv on April 29 through May 1. What can fans expect from your show?
JD: My shows are a lot like parties. A lot of drinking, laughing and fun! I do not take many things seriously. Both my show and content are clean if you do not mind curse words. We are all grown-ups who heard the F word and the S word, so as long as you do not come expecting some youth group like environment…you will have an excellent time.
JE: Have you ever had Kansas City BBQ?
JD: I think you and your readers are going to be upset with me when I tell you this: “I don’t eat meat!” I love animals, and I do not eat them. I met a pig, and it acted like a dog and played with me. After I had been done playing with the pig, I went back to my friends. The pig followed me and ran up to me five minutes later, and he remembered that I was the guy that played with him, and he put his chin on my knee like a dog. I looked down at him and vowed that I would never eat that animal again. If you ate my dog, I would be pretty upset with you. I am the same way about pigs. I also vowed not to eat chicken or cows. But, I will eat seafood right up.
To get tickets for Jeff’s show, visit the Improv’s website.