Dan Nainan



Bob Saget

It was May 14, 2005. Dan had just finished a comedy class at the American Comedy Institute, and he asked one of his classmates if he wanted to go out and check out the Laugh Factory, which had just opened. The Laugh Factory is an institution in Los Angeles, and the owner was trying to make a foray into New York, a decision that would eventually prove disastrous.

Dan asked the gentleman at the door, Jack Keller, who seemed much too kind to be working at a comedy club, what was going on inside – he said that Bob Saget and Artie Lange were performing for the black-tie gala grand opening. Dan and his classmate were about to leave, and on a whim, Dan asked him if they could maybe poke their heads in and watch, fully expecting to be rebuked. However, Jack was nice enough to let them go upstairs and check it out.

Artie was on stage, doing a joke about crapping in his pants and then pulling over to the side of the road and pulling his pants down, and that bit was tame compared to what followed. While this was going on, Dan briefly met the owner, Jamie Masada, and gave him the standard pitch about being a clean comedian who was touring with Robert Schimmel, and he gave Dan the standard comedy club owner blowoff response, “Send me a tape”.

Artie’s material was mostly met with stony silence. Bob Saget didn’t fare much better. Bob has such a clean-cut image from having been the host of “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and “Full House”. So when he performs, the audiences are usually shocked at how filthy his material is. Dan thought he was hilarious, but again, the older black-tie crowd just wasn’t digging it. Dan briefly walked out of the showroom to use the restroom, and Jamie rushed up to him, desperation in his eyes, asking “You work clean?” “Absolutely, only clean material”, Dan replied honestly. “You go perform for five minutes.” (Imagine this being said Jamie’s very thick Iranian-Jewish accent.)

Next thing Dan knew, they handed Bob a piece of paper, whereupon he announced “We have one more comedian for you tonight; please welcome Mr. Dan Nainan.” Dan took the stage, tremendously nervous about following one of the most successful and well-known comedians in the country – and proceeded to absolutely bring the house down. They never gave him the light, so Dan kept going and ended his set to thunderous applause.

Dan was mobbed by everyone afterwards, and Bob came up to him, pumped his hand and, right there in front of him, told Jamie that he wanted Dan to open for him for the rest of the weekend, which is exactly what ended up happening.

On the way out, Dan thanked Jack profusely, pumping his hand, and Jack kindly said “See what happens when you are nice?”