DANVILLE — Dave Dugan had no choice but to go into standup comedy.
“I discovered fairly early on that I did not have the same gift as my dad and his side of the family,” the Hoosier-born comic wrote via e-mail. Dugan’s father was a successful custom builder for 50 years before retiring. Dugan, however, isn’t even “handy.”
“On top of that, I'm not a good salesman type, have no engineering skills,” he wrote. “I very well could have fallen into comedy as a default. There was nowhere else to turn.”
So Dugan did what most aspiring comics do — moved to L.A. He carved out a career, but after marrying and starting a family the Midwest beckoned.
“The hometown with the grandparents and other family around seemed like the right place to be,” Dugan wrote. “It is more challenging to find the big breaks in comedy here that were readily available in California, but I really enjoy the theater shows and all the corporate/private events. I still miss the great West Coast weather though.”
Dugan’s comedy has always been versatile for a wide audience, meaning he generally keeps it clean. That’s certainly the case with his corporate gigs, which comprises a large part of Dugan’s schedule now. Club shows are a bit looser.
“I don't set out to be less than clean, but will adapt to the audiences' taste — at least to a point,” Dugan wrote. “Material that is somewhat suggestive or innuendo in small doses, as long as it's still creative, doesn't come across as offensive and a club audience sometimes expects at least a bit of this. But if I would just swear for swearing's sake, it wouldn't come across as natural, but instead like a guy who has some sort of affliction. Clean comedy is just more original (in most cases) so I typically stick with what I know, I guess.”