Dave Landau brings fast-paced laughs to ConnxtionsWritten by Jeff McGinnis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A lot of comedians like to take their time setting up bits, telling stories instead of jokes. Not so Dave Landau. The 30-year-old performer is known for his fast-paced delivery — a throwback to the days when comics assumed that their audience could keep up with them. It’s a style, Landau said, that rose out of his hatred of quiet times onstage.
“I do not like silence at all,” Landau said in an interview with Toledo Free Press Star. “Even if the audience was supposed to be kinda quiet at this point, I always just wanted the audience to be laughing. I think just at the beginning it was kind of a nerve thing, just to make sure the audience was laughing the whole time. Now, I do it because I think it’s fun.
“I’m not the guy who can keep the audience for a long period of time — for, like, four minutes to wait for a punch line. I don’t write that kind of thing. I’d say I’m more like Dangerfield, or more old school, in the sense of rapid-fire.”
Landau will bring his fast delivery and big laughs to Toledo from June 28-30, when he appears at Connxtions Comedy Club on Heatherdowns Boulevard. “I’ve done Connxtions many, many times, and every time I go it’s always a good time,” he said.
Comedy has always been in Landau’s blood. The Michigan native said he had long established himself as a class clown in high school before going to college to study acting.
But his talent for getting laughs — and the intervention of at least one important person — steered him in a new direction.
“My wife now is one of the people who helped push me into stand-up at the time. And I just kinda got hooked into the stand-up side more instead of performing in a group or, like, an ensemble,” Landau said.
Landau spent time training at The Second City Training Center in Metro Detroit, which he credits with teaching him how to think and write jokes quickly. His comedic persona at the beginning, however, was almost 180 degrees removed from what he portrays on stage today.
“When I first started, I was extremely dry, and just extremely low-energy. Like, almost a Steven Wright. And I was, like, squeaky clean when I started. And not that I’m, like, immensely dirty or anything, but I’m not afraid to steer away from topics [like I was] when I first started. And I think, just now, I’ve lived more life and I’m just more confident as a human being,” he said.
“My life has evolved, and my stand-up has evolved, so I have more experiences for people to relate to.”
In recent years, Landau has seen his public exposure grow from a wide variety of sources, including appearances on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and NBC’s reality competition “Last Comic Standing.” But recently, Landau said most fans find him through his regular stints on the nationally syndicated radio program “The Bob and Tom Show.”
“My kind of humor seems to fit well to the demographic that they play to. And because I’m from the Midwest, I just think I fit the market better, and I tend to get a lot of fans because of that show. And ‘Last Comic’ is kinda dead now. Like, people don’t remember it, even though it was just a couple years ago. But things go so fast, so quickly, that stuff fades away really fast these days.”
Though many comedians have noted the difference between performing in a club versus having your act recorded for television, Landau said that, for him, the two experiences are basically identical.
“They’re both making an audience laugh. And a lot of the shows that I’ve done, actually — like ‘Live in Gotham’ or ‘Last Comic Standing’ — were shot in comedy clubs,” he noted.
“The only difference is, if they heckle you in the comedy club, you go at ’em and you rip ’em apart. If it happens when NBC is putting up millions of dollars, the studio and people in the room are gonna rip you apart for ruining the show. So there’s more of a safety net when you’re on television, without a doubt.”
Though the native Midwesterner is currently living in Los Angeles, a place where many comedians have parlayed their experience into work in movies and television, Landau said that stand-up remains his main passion.
“[I] have worked on a few pilots and stuff like that. I’ve taken a different route to kinda break more into the writing side and that sort of a thing,” he said. “And what I’m finding is, I really enjoy being a club comic. And it’s not that it’s not frustrating, and that I don’t enjoy the work out here, because I do enjoy the work out here. But, I really do find just being a stand-up comic the thing I enjoy the most.”