Comedy tour coming to Farmington Civic Center
FARMINGTON – Contrary to what many people think, most professional comics were not the class clowns when they were growing up, Dave Dyer says.
“What you find with most standup comics is that they were not that guy,” said Dyer, who will serve as the emcee when the Friends of the BOB & TOM Show Comedy Tour makes a stop this weekend at the Farmington Civic Center. “We were the guy in the back of the room making fun of that guy.”
A Michigan native who has been performing professionally since he was 24, Dyer is one of four comics who will take the stage this weekend as part of the tour. The lineup also includes Costaki Economopoulos, Jeff Dye and Greg Hahn.
The comics featured on the tour have all appeared on the nationally syndicated “The BOB & TOM Show,” which serves as a radio showcase for comedy talent. Dyer said his first appearance on the show six or seven years ago went well enough that he became a semi-regular.
“It’s a lot different than being on stage where you have immediate feedback and you know right away if you’re doing well or not,” he said of performing in a studio environment. “But on the show, everybody is very funny, and we’re able to bounce stuff off each other and get some real riffs going.”
By three years ago, Dyer had established himself firmly enough on the show that he had been added to the accompanying tour. It’s an experience he has enjoyed tremendously.
“It’s great,” he said last week by phone from Michigan, where he was driving to a show that night in Grand Rapids. “It’s a lot of fun. I have a great time because I’ve never performed in New Mexico, and I’m looking forward to it. It’s surreal because you’ll realize there are people in the audience who have heard you on the show and know who you are, but you’ve never met them.”
Dyer said different foursomes go out together for tours every month and a half, and the makeup of the groups changes with each tour. He likes that arrangement, explaining that once you begin life as a touring comic, it’s difficult to find time to spend with your comic friends because they’re all out on the road, too.
He also enjoys the dynamic of being on the road with three other comics, especially when they’re all in a car together heading for the next gig.
“It’s an actual riot,” he said. “ … We get to catch up. Greg Hahn is a good friend of mine, and we’re constantly one-upping each other. Egos get left behind, or they get torn apart. If you show any kind of ego, you’re dead.”
That kind of no-holds-barred environment is something Dyer said he learned to deal with at an early age, as he grew up in a male-dominated household with several brothers. Dyer was the small one in the family, and he quickly figured out if he didn’t keep his merciless brothers laughing, there was a good chance he was going to get punched.
“It was like a locker room,” he said of his rough-and-tumble upbringing. “There was a lot of language, a lot of physicality. It was like SEAL training.”
Dyer emerged from his childhood with his bones and his sense of humor intact, and wound up majoring in theater when he went off to college at Michigan State University. He began his comedy career shortly thereafter and has managed to maintain a marriage for 23 years along the way.
He said he’s learned to keep his comedy career separate from his home life, especially since he has two daughters who are young and impressionable.
“You have to be incredibly careful,” he said. “For instance, it’s really a mistake to give one of your daughters the nickname 'Thunder' because there are too many negative ways that can be interpreted.”
That’s the kind of line Dyer likely tried out on his fellow comics in a rental car on the way to one show or another over the past few years. He said those long drives may be the best comedy classroom he’s ever been in.
“Oh, sure it is,” he said. “Nothing makes you feel better than to make your comic friends laugh because they’re the hardest audience.”
Mike Easterling is the A&E editor of The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4610.
If you go
What: The Friends of the BOB & TOM Show Comedy Tour
When: 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26
Where: Farmington Civic Center, 200 W. Arrington St.
Tickets: $29 to $32 at fmtn.org.
For more information: Call 505-599-1144.