Dan St. Germain weaves peers' voices into his own intriguing stand-up presence
By Michael Shashoua / Jester editor-in-chief
Young comedian Dan St. Germain makes his mark with his debut special, “Bad at the Good Times,” released by Comedy Central on June 10.
St. Germain’s stage persona weaves in pieces influenced by or similar to Maria Bamford, Matt Braunger and Dave Attell. That’s a disparate grouping of comics, certainly, but St. Germain somehow paints with colors reminiscent of all three of them.
In a bit resembling Bamford’s ability to channel out-there lunacy, St. Germain, riffing about “I Live In New York City!” imagines going to Central Park, stripping naked, laying down and throwing birdseed into the air. “As the pigeons swoop in,” he says, “I yell out, ‘Let the games begin!’” he continues in a deep roar similar to a voice Bamford uses for a quick snippet of another character.
Braunger and Attell’s influence show up in the style and timing of other pieces St. Germain scores with such as “I’m a Bummer!” and “I Had a Problem With Alcohol!” (Most of the tracks on the audio version are titled as exclaimed statements about himself).
But mentioning all these influences isn’t meant to say that St. Germain is unoriginal. He does use them in new ways. St. Germain at first seems to have a middle-of-the-road frat-boy sense of humor and persona, but quickly reveals himself as something different than that. He even weaves in a little pop culture to great effect on “I Like Music!” portraying an evil, crazed, megalomaniacal version of lite-rock singer James Taylor in a very imaginative bit that is certainly a highlight.
On the spectrum of debut specials reviewed here, St. Germain falls somewhere in between Owen Benjamin and Kyle Kinane. Kinane’s material is more fully formed, but St. Germain is as adept with timing and playing off an audience’s expectations.
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