By Jason Tanamor
One of the standouts in the NBC series, “Last Comic Standing” was Dale Jones, a Nashville kid who used a lot of his physical abilities to make people laugh. And although he did not win the contest, audiences remembered his impersonation of Wile E. Coyote to which he used the microphone as a bomb trying to catch the Road Runner. “Last Comic was a great experience and I hope I get a chance to be on the show again. It boosted my career and fan base,” Jones said. “The fans are the best part for me, without them I'd be working at a gas station and yelling smart ass remarks over the loudspeaker. I hope they know how much I appreciate all their support.”
The TV series, which launches comedians’ careers by virtually out-joking their opponents, has made numerous stand-ups famous, comics like Josh Blue, Jon Reep, and Alonzo Bodden, to name a few. So just being on the show did wonders for Jones. “I do wish I had been on the show longer, but doesn't every comic? I honestly feel blessed to have made it into the top 30,” said Jones. “I was hoping they would let the comics who didn't make it in the house do yard work and chores outside. Mowing, painting, bringing the mail in everyday. That would have been hilarious.”
But they didn’t, and as far as the comedian knew, there wasn’t any “special” treatment going on behind the scenes, like allowing Esther Ku to wash windows. “All I know is that the coffee backstage was horrible and I didn't get to keep my can of Play-Doh,” Jones said.
Nonetheless, LCS gave Jones a venue where he could showcase his material, material that’s self-described as “full of one-liners, insane stories, facial expressions, voices I've created in my head, and it's extremely physical.”
“I throw the kitchen sink and everything out there,” Jones said. He said, “That way if you don't get the joke, you can say, ‘Well, at least he looks stupid.’”
But don’t get the comedian wrong, looking “stupid” has come a long way since he first began doing stand-up. “I was dared by my co-workers. I did it. I sucked. I worked harder. I sucked less,” Jones said. “Comedy has always been my safety net. Back in high school, if the jocks were laughing, my underwear didn't go over my head that day.”
Now, Jones has a fairly sized following, unlike his last job, where he was nothing to quote unquote laugh at. “I worked in a factory that made diesel brakes, just your average joe,” Jones said. “Joe Diesel Brake Factory, no relation to Joe Plumber.”
And thus far, Jones sucks even less from that first day on stage. For those who are interested in doing stand-up, he offers this advice. “Go to an open mike and watch. Go to a professional show and watch. Ask questions. Write everyday. Don't try your jokes on your family and friends,” said Jones. “Then sign up for an open mike night and take the plunge. Oh yea, and don't get drunk before you go on stage. You're gonna need your brain to help you remember not to pee your pants.”
Visit Dale Jones on the web at: www.dalejonescomic.com. Harass Dale Jones at: www.myspace.com/dalejonescomic.
Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Jason Tanamor