In 2012 I named Chad Daniels’s CD You’re the Best as my favorite album of the year. In 2014, with the release of Natural Selection, he confirmed my suspicions that 2012 was not a fluke. This month he dropped Footprints on the Moon, submitting to the Courts of Comedy undeniable proof that yes indeed, he is one of the most consistently funny comedians working today. There aren’t many comics out there who get me to laugh so hard, so often, and so unexpectedly.
After being a fan of Daniels for a few years you’d think by now I’d be used to the way he uses his family as a primo source of material (this time around his wife gets off scot-free thanks to the distraction that are their children), but still I laughed every time he mentioned the joyously delightful day his son turns 18 so he can full-on punch him in the face.
I love the gleeful, carefree way in which Daniels thumbs his nose at institutions and ideals society demands we treat with the utmost tender loving care. Bullying seminars only encourage that which the dorky teacher is trying to deter us from (“Some people think bullying is horrible, but it made my daughter prettier”) and when it comes to dealing with kids on The Spectrum, maybe we should clarify a few things first (like what exactly The Spectrum is and the proper way to spell “BAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHRHRRR”).
A good portion of the CD is dedicated to Daniels’s 16-year-old son who, as he is described, “is currently a piece of shit.” You’ll find yourself cracking up as we get a peek inside the house as father and child desperately try - and spectacularly fail - to communicate. It’s hard when your kid has the vocabulary of a foreign exchange student, when you daren’t step foot in his room for fear of stubbing your toe on a sock, or when you find… well… I’m not going to spoil here what was found on the bathroom sink or share the multi almost-sentence response that resulted because the joy of the bit is in the discovery.
I can’t wait for Daniels's daughter to become old enough to start doing stand-up comedy because if she’s half as funny then as she is now as a child, she’s going to make millions of people happy. Hearing how she dealt with a loud M & M-eater at a viewing of The LEGO Movie is priceless (even if she did need a small assist from dad) and the way she reasons with an IHOP employee who refuses to accept a passport as a valid form of identification is nothing less than comedy brilliance.
At the center of it all, of course, is Daniels, standing still in the eye of the storm that is life, incredulously spectating as lists of how to be a great husband - as written by a multiple divorcee - and significant others with hot-breath and restless-leg syndrome swirl around him. You can almost see the “Can you believe this shit” expression on his face.
Footprints on the Moon is an incredible project by a brilliant comic who reminds us that, as insane as our situation may be, we need to find time to laugh every day.