Chad Daniels talks about his new hip and the smell of comedy history

Chad Daniels on his recent Conan appearance // Photo courtesy Chad Daniels

Chad Daniels on his recent Conan appearance // Photo courtesy Chad Daniels

We’re only a couple of months into 2019, and Chad Daniels has already had a busy year.

The Fergus Falls native and long-time comedian—and favorite of Acme Comedy Company—has been headlining clubs all over the country, is getting ready to release a new TV special, and is raising his two teenage children. He also just got a new hip—even though he’s only 44 years old. “Everyone at the hospital kept saying I was too young to need a new hip, and I was like, ‘Yeah, I am pretty young,’” he says.

This weekend, Daniels and his new hip will be returning to the club where he got his start in comedy for the appropriately named “New Hip Tour.”

Daniels has been in comedy for more than two decades and got his start at Acme’s famed open mic night. He has since made a name for himself thanks to his take-no-prisoners approach to comedy, in which he shares his reflections of life as a partner, a father, and a guy who has a very unconventional job.

Over the years, Daniels has released four albums, the latest being 2017’s “Footprints on the Moon,” which was one of the most-streamed comedy albums of the year. In total, his albums have racked up a staggering 700 million streams, many of which can be attributed to Daniels’ honesty when discussing his life and his family—a style he says is as organic for him as breathing.

“I’ve always just talked about what’s happening in my life, and that has changed with time,” he says. “My daughter is 15 now and my son is 19, and growing and changing with them is just part of my story.”

His new tour will run through the end of 2019 and include stops everywhere from Florida to Fargo, Utah to Boston—and Minneapolis, at the place that started it all. “I always think of Acme as my home club,” Daniels says without hesitation. “It has a smell—I mean, I don’t want to say it smells, but you know how places have their own smells? Acme has a smell that brings back all sorts of memories for me.”

Those memories include countless open mic nights, graduating to become a headliner, and being a part of major milestones at the club. He was personally invited to partake in Acme’s 20- and- 25-year anniversary celebrations; recorded his special, “As Is,” at the club back in 2012, and even traveled to Asia for a special Acme international tour in 2014. He returned to Minnesota in 2017 to do an Acme-promoted show the Women’s Club of Minneapolis, performing for his largest Minnesota crowd to date. But for Daniels, being a part of the Acme family goes far beyond performing.

“I remember going to Acme before I ever even tried comedy,” he says. “I saw Mitch Hedberg before he really blew up. Ever since then, I’ve just really appreciated everything about Acme and realized it’s a really special place. The staff, the space, the audience, the other comedians: it all plays a part in the whole experience for me. The owner, Louis Lee, has put in so much time and resources into helping me, and whenever I perform in Minnesota it will always be either at Acme or with them involved.”

For Daniels, the show this weekend brings with it a level of excitement and energy that he can’t get from any other show on the tour due to his relationships and local history. “It feels different,” he says of the upcoming shows. “I get to see so many people and spend time with a lot of friends I’ve known for a long time. I get really excited about it.”

While he’s still a hometown guy at heart, Daniels’ star continues to burn brightly well beyond the Midwest. He’s putting out his new special later this month on Amazon, with an album following closely behind. Fortunately, he’s got that brand new hip to keep him moving. “I’m able to move around a lot better and be more active on stage,” he says.

As for whether or not that means Daniels, who is known for a very even-keeled, almost methodical delivery most of the time, is going to start throwing Dane Cook-style high-kicks on stage: “I don’t think I’ll ever be doing that,” he snaps. “But at least now when I throw the microphone down in a rage I’ll be able to bend down and pick it back up.”

March 7-9
Acme Comedy Company
8 & 10:30 p.m.
$15-$18
Click here for details