Bert Show's Jeff Dauler developing stand-up act with push from Jeff Foxworthy

Jeff Dauler at his Punchline appearance last month. CREDIT: Jolie Loren Photography

By RODNEY HO/, originally filed Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Atlanta's own Jeff Foxworthy is one of the most successful stand-up comics in America. So when suggested Q100's Bert Show cast member Jeff Dauler try stand up himself, how could Dauler say no?

They ran into each other last fall when Foxworthy was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame (spoken word category). Foxworthy told Dauler he is a Bert Show fan and enjoys Dauler's sense of humor on the radio.

Flattered, Dauler later asked Foxworthy to lunch at Ted's Montana Grill, seeking advice. Foxworthy was supportive of Dauler's stand-up aspirations.

"The only way you know is if you hold your nose and jump in," Foxworthy recalls telling Dauler. "There's no other way to find out."

Soon after, Dauler showed up at an open mic night at the Punchline aware Foxworthy was there to work on his own act.

Foxworthy liked what he saw. ("I should have quit right there," Dauler quipped.)

But Foxworthy had some advice.

"He has potential," Foxworthy said to me. "But he was trying to be too much of a traditional comic. When we were at lunch, he was telling me stories that had me in my gut laughing. You don't have to do set up and punchlines. Just tell stories."

Dauler agreed. "I was trying to be a person I'm not saying a lot of zingers and one liners."

Throwing out jokes on the radio is fundamentally different. He has no idea if the audience is laughing. The closest proxy is Bert Weiss: "He's a pretty good judge at what's funny," he said. "If I can make him laugh after working with him for 14 years, then I'm on to something. We're like an old married couple. He's heard all my stories before."

He said he likes telling stories and on stage, he can do it in a way that doesn't necessarily work on a morning radio show, like describing his dad's struggles to order pizza online.

Dauler has also worked at the Atlanta Improv and the Laughing Skull Lounge. This Friday, he will be opening for Joel McHale at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville this Friday for Vince Vaughn's Wild West Comedy Festival. (The Bert Show is syndicated in 20 markets, including Nashville.)

"I think Jeff is very natural when it comes to being funny," said Jamie Bendall, who owns the Punchline Comedy Club. "He knows who he is, what he wants to say, and he has good instincts for how and where to get the laugh."

Jeff Dauler signing the green room wall at the Punchline just days before the locale shut down in late March, 2015. CREDIT: Jolie Loren Photography

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.