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Joking Around With Dan Hentschel

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Student Activities Council is hosting the SCAD Talent Show on April 21st, so we have the opportunity to sit down with Dan Hentschel, one of the performers, so get to know him and his talent better.

Kendall Shepard: I saw that, you’re a comedian, correct? 

Dan Hentschel: Apparently. That’s what they say. 

[Laughs] That’s what your talent is. 

That’s what I’m doing, yeah. Stand-up comedy. 

Okay, so you do stand-up… 

Sometimes. 

[Laughs] Sometimes? What has inspired your stand up? Like anything particular in your life? 

Well, a lot of times like I really want attention. 

Okay. [laughs] 

And also, its therapeutic to have a mental breakdown in front of a bunch of people. And have them accept it, you know what I mean. And if it’s funny, that’s the key, that you kinda have to make it funny, or otherwise it’s awkward. But it’s fun, its cathartic. 

So, a little background information: what’s your major? 

I’m a dramatic writing major. 

And how do you tie that into your comedy, or into your writing in comedy? 

It’s all about the writing. I think a lot of people say they want to do stand-up and not prepare anything or not think in terms of like structure, but that’s a really important part of it. If the structures not there and it doesn’t make sense, people kind of intuitively pick up on that. It’s harder for them to know what’s going on. 

Where are you from? 

I’m from Baltimore, Maryland. 

And do you ever do jokes about Baltimore?

Oh, yeah. I love to do stuff about Baltimore. I mean, it’s so shitty. Oh sorry, I probably can’t say that. [laughs] It’s such a wonderful place. [laughs] There’s a lot of material. 

Okay, and do you ever do jokes about college, about SCAD? 

Yeah, that’s nice because if you’re ever performing for SCAD student, then it’s always like relatable and it’s fun to like talk about things that everybody gets and can relate to. I put a spin on it, because a lot of it too is like putting into words what everybody thinks but never really thinks about consciously. 

So, will the talent show be your first time being on a stage doing this? Do you do stand-up here in Savannah? Do you do stand-up back home? 

I did the talent show last year, so I had some practice here. And I’ve done some stand-up. I’m the vice-president, I’m a really bad vice-president, but I’m the vie-president of Stand-Up Comedy Club at SCAD, S.U.C.C. as we otherwise abbreviate it. [laughs] If you want to come to that, that’s Sunday’s at 7 p.m. at Crites Hall, room 415. That’s a whole bucket of fun. And I’ve also done it at bars around town and stuff, but that’s kinda scary. I don’t really do it a lot, so that’s why I’m not like respected by the stand-up community, but that’s fine. 

You have anyone who really inspired your comedy. Like who do you watch when you want to know how to improve your own stand-up? 

Well I used to really like Louis C.K., but unfortunately, you can’t really say that anymore. He’s a bad man, so… I say my favorite is John Mulaney, he’s amazing. I really like Amy Schumer, I know a lot of people don’t like her, but I really do. Mike Birbiglia, Michelle Wolfe is really good. 

So, these questions are more fun… 

Ohh, more fun. 

Do you remember the first joke you ever told? 

Oh my god, ever? You mean as part of stand-up or…? 

Just the first joke you ever told your whole life. 

[Laughs] Uh, it was probably… a lot of it… I try to think about it a lot and trace it back. Like, getting bullied in elementary school. I started to try to pretend, like people were laughing at me, I would sort of try and pretend it was on purpose and I was like “Ha! I’m in on it! Just kidding”. So, it was probably something like that where people were like “You walk funny” and I was like “Just kidding! I’m doing it on purpose!”. It’s all an act, that’s my whole life. [laughs] 

Do you remember the first joke you ever did as stand-up? 

Well actually, the talent show last year was the first time I ever did it, ever. So, I think the whole premise of that one was like talking about medication and stuff and I said that I was on Zoloft, so I said like antidepressants are like trying to bake a cake by burning your whole house down. [laughs] And people thought that was really relatable.  

So, I only have one more question: Because we are SCAD Radio, we’re into music, if your comedy was a music genre, what music genre do you think it would be? 

It would probably be like that ambient alternative music that’s just like the sound of a dishwasher for 19 minutes. [laughs] 

Lo-fi dishwasher sounds to study to. 

Exactly, yes. 

Awesome, well thank you. Is there anything else you want to add? 

I hope you all come to the talent show, next Saturday. Support SAC, they’re really great. Come to all their stuff.  

Thank you so much. 

Thank you, I really appreciate it.