Students in Ithaca will have an opportunity to step into the unusually hilarious mind of a comedic success. Daniel Tosh, the 33-year-old whose biting punch lines and sarcastic brand of humor have filled and sold out college arenas around the nation, will perform live at the State Theatre on Saturday. In addition to headlining college tours, Tosh has been on the stand-up scene for more than a decade and has made appearances on the “Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend.” His last special, “Daniel Tosh: Completely Serious,” aired on Comedy Central in 2007. Contributing Writer Victoria Spadaccini spoke to the stand-up comedian on what led him to choose a life in comedy and what lies ahead in his future.
Victoria Spadaccini: You’ve had an eclectic upbringing — being born in Germany, moving to Florida and having a preacher as a father. What initially influenced you to become a comedian?
Daniel Tosh: I don’t think I had any other skill that anyone would pay for, and I didn’t want to be homeless, so it was either this or — yeah, I don’t know what I would have done if I had not done stand-up. I had a lot of shitty jobs. Nothing ridiculous. Waiting tables, that type of stuff. Never had a real job. I had one real [job] interview after I graduated college, but I didn’t make it through the whole interview before I was like, “This is not for me.”
VS: So if you weren’t doing stand-up, what do you think you would be doing?
DT: If I wasn’t doing stand-up, I would be in prison doing my routine.
VS: You have a unique in-your-face sort of humor. What inspires your comedy routines?
DT: Jesus (laughs). Anything. I just try to make jokes. It’s not very biographical. I make stuff up, something people haven’t heard of. The more absurd the better, that’s usually my take.
VS: You are performing in Ithaca on Sept. 20. Have you been here before?
DT: I think I have, but it’s been many, many years. I think I’ve flown to the college many years ago, but it is definitely my first time in a long time. Should I be excited? I am!
VS: What’s the best part of your job?
DT: The best part of my job would have to be the actual amount of time I have to work. I guess that’s a really big upside. The downside is the commute — I do not live
VS: You’ve made many appearances on television and on college campuses. What can your fans expect to see from you next?
DT: I will probably be doing another one-hour special, probably for Comedy Central. We’ve been trying to create a TV show at Comedy Central. Hopefully it doesn’t suck. I’ve created shows for them in the past that have been awful and haven’t gone on the air, so I don’t know, maybe the 15th time is the charm.
VS: Last, but not least, what would you do for a Klondike bar?
DT: You know, not a lot. I’m not lactose intolerant, but dairy doesn’t sit well with me. If the question was — what are those ones called? Skinny Cows? Have you heard of that? For that, I would maybe ask nicely. But no, it would never lead to anything ridiculous, like prostitution or anything like that.
Daniel Tosh will appear at the State Theatre at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 20. Students can purchase tickets at www.stateofithaca.com.