Cross my heart and hope to Dye

Jeff Dye at Dayton Funny Bone

By Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin

You know that one friend you have who’s always good for a story? It doesn’t even have to be about anything extraordinary, they just have a really engaging way of telling you about daily minutia. If you’re lucky, that friend is something like Jeff Dye, the charismatic comic coming to Dayton Funny Bone this weekend.

Dye, a Seattle-area native, jump-started his career by coming in third during Season 6 of Last Comic Standing. He’s since had several TV projects, including MTV’s Money From Strangers, Numbnuts and Girl Code. His upcoming comedy adventure series Better Late Than Never, which will air on NBC, has him backpacking across Asia with the likes of William Shatner and Henry Winkler. How this man found the time to sit down with Dayton City Paper between Capt. James T. Kirk and The Fonz, well I just don’t know.

One of your shows at Dayton Funny Bone will be on Valentine’s Day. What is Valentine’s Day for you? A day to celebrate love? A “Hallmark holiday”? The 45th day of the year? 

Jeff Dye: Well when I’m single I see it as a Hallmark holiday, and when I’m in love I see it as a great day to shower my gf with presents and attention for ONE DAY only! I actually love Valentine’s Day. I like pretty much any excuse to do anything, be it holidays, birthdays, sporting events, sobriety anniversaries, divorces, weddings, interventions … Really any excuse to be happy and get together I will be a part of it with a big dumb smile on my face.

I’ve read that you’re something of a Bigfoot enthusiast. Do you come from a lineage of Sasquatch surveyors, or has the curiosity stemmed from something else?

JD: I’m obsessed with big foot. I grew up looking for anything that had a tale about Bigfoot. Also my dad was always telling me stories bout Bigfoot so my love for my dad I’m sure influenced my love for it. I’ll say that my dad takes it to another level that I’m constantly LOLing about. Just two nights ago he sent me this text [shows screenshot of Bigfoot photo from dad] and I assure you this is a weekly thing.

Have you had the opportunity to meet Dave Chappelle, one of your comedy inspirations? What comedians would you like to work with that you haven’t had a chance to yet?

JD: I met Dave at a party in Hollywood one time and my costar of the show I Can Do That Ciara knew how much I love Dave and was also aware of how he’s not crazy about pictures, but she winked at me and said, “Come with me, we’ll get you a picture.” Sure enough, because Ciara asked, Dave was happy to take a pic with me. (Photo-bombed by Marlon Wayans.) He was so cool and it made me so happy. I haven’t got to meet or work with Norm Macdonald yet, but that would def be one of my dreams.

You have quite the diversified comedic career. Is there a medium you’re most comfortable in? Is there a medium you haven’t tried that has a particular draw for you? What’s next on your list of creative quests? 

JD: Haha well thank you. Yeah my career has been a bevy of “I’ll do that,” “Sure I’ll try that” and “I’d love to do that.” There isn’t anything I won’t try. I’ve done sketch, standup, improv, scripted acting, Harlem Globetrotting, dancing, hosting, hidden camera, pranking, crossbow shooting, HR derby-ing, rapping, interior design etc. and all on TV to be judged by the masses. I just want to do everything to be honest. This year I’m hoping to get into the film business, I’ve been trying for years and I think that this will be the year I break through. Also I have a lot of stuff already in the works including a new special and a few NBC projects. But a lot more to come.

Jeff Dye will perform Feb. 11-14 at Dayton Funny Bone, 88 Plum St. in The Greene. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday and also at 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more about Jeff or to get a sample of his natural storytelling ability, visit jeffdye.com. For tickets, visit daytonfunnybone.com.

Reach DCP freelance writer Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin at JenniferHanauerLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com. To read more from Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin, visit her website at jennerlumpkin.com.

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About Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin

View all posts by Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin
Jennifer Hanauer Lumpkin is a writer and amateur cartographer living in Dayton, Ohio. She has been a member of PUSH (Professionals United for Sexual Health) since 2012 and is currently serving as Chair. She can be reached at JenniferHanauerLumpkin@DaytonCityPaper.com or through her website at jennerlumpkin.com.

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