BY ALEX RUSSELL
Anyone can read a Wikipedia page. Every Wednesday in “In Case You Missed It” I hope to put in context something in the world of comedy for non comedy-nerds. This week we look at Jon Daly, one of the minds behind Kroll Show and a brilliant comic in his own right. He loves that you think he’s John Daly. Really.
You probably are familiar with…
…his work on Kroll Show. He plays the non-Kroll half of the recurring “Rich Dicks” segment, featuring two guys who have so much money they can’t be bothered to care about anything other than scoring Oxy. Daly also writes for the show and plays the secondary male character in just about every sketch, so he’s pretty hard to miss if you’re watching Kroll Show. Tell me you’re watching Kroll Show.
You might also mix his name up with the smoking, drinking mass of absurdity that is the golfer John Daly. The comic seems to love the mix-up potential (more than actor Adam Scott / golfer Adam Scott) so much that he directly forces the confusion on his Twitter where he says he is a “Gripper. Ripper. Master of the game.”
You might also know…
His work on some of the recent Amazon Instant pilots, but don’t hold that against him. He’s one of the best parts in all of them, even if what’s going on around him can be terrible. Think of him as a fireman walking through comedy’s burning house. Or something.
You should go check out…
Bill Cosby-Bukowski. There’s probably someone out there that could explain what this is. I’m not sure it’s me, but here goes. Daly is an improvisor more than anything else, and he’s crafted a character through improv, podcast appearances, and Funny or Die videos that is supposedly a mix between Bill Cosby and Charles Bukowski, but is really more just an animated, R-and-then-some-rated version of Bill Cosby.
I won’t lie – I wrote this entire thing this week to talk about this. It might be the greatest non-character ever performed. He’s barely doing an impression (even less so when he has to actually appear as him on camera, check out this Funny or Die clip for a visual) and that allows him to do basically anything he wants with it.
It’s really hard to find a good clip, but this appearance on Comedy Death Ray is as close as it comes. He reads what he calls “Jelloems” (jello poems, clearly) and basically acts like a crude asshole. Some of the comedy comes from this supposedly being Bill Cosby, but much more comes from the fact that Jon Daly has absolutely no fear of the weird. Not for everyone.
I’d say to check out more of his characters, but you only should if you want to hear him play a tree on rollerskates.
Why does this matter?
Jon Daly is everywhere. If you’re watching something funny in the next few years, you stand a good chance of running into him. You need to know who you’re looking at so you can tell what’s good for you. Eat your damn vegetables.