The top 8 compete Monday 8/7c! Catch up now.
Fill us in on what you've been up to since your season of LCS ended?
Since LCS I have been performing almost nonstop. My calendar is booked now way in advance. I try to keep a good balance between work and family. My daughter Willow is now four-and-a-half and I only get to see her a couple days a week. She lives with her mom now and it is really hard on me. I was used to being with her every day. I have a bunch of TV appearances that I have filmed and have more lined up. I hope fans keep supporting me and coming out to live shows in droves.
How did LCS change your life?
I have been a comic for 21 years and have been on TV a lot, but LCS is on primetime on NBC... it doesn't get better than that. I get recognized all day everyday. People always want pictures and autographs. My MySpace and e-mail boxes have new fans contacting me from all over the world every day. It is nuts. I have people pulling their cars over in traffic just to say "hi." It also changed my life financially. I have always made a good living as a comic, but now my rates have gone way up and people are paying them and higher. Some corporate gigs I have received as a result of this show have paid amazingly. Oh... and it is also cool, too, that a lot of people give me free stuff because of the celebrity thing. I am not complaining. It only gets a little weird when I find pictures of me on the Internet that I didn't even know people took – like me in a restaurant. Also it is nice having the credit of being an LCS cast member. I get invited to a lot of celebrity parties, red carpets and asked to give away awards at different awards shows.
What's it like being on the road? Is being a professional comic all it's cracked up to be? No pun intended.
The road can be great. I miss my family when I am gone, but seeing the country and other countries is the best education. And in my line of work, I always feel like I am on vacation. The flying and hotels and so on can get grueling but it is part of the gig. I have been a comic since I was 15 so actually it is the only life I know.
Tell us a funny LCS story that fans never got to see happen on air?
Well on the show I was interviewed for an hour about what I would do if I won the quarter million. I basically said that where I live now is a town home and they do not allow pets and every day my daughter Willow asks for a puppy. So I wanted to buy a house with the money so my daughter could get a puppy. Unfortunately, that hour was edited down to one sentence, "If I win the quarter million dollars I will buy my daughter a puppy." The next day I checked all the related message boards online to see what people were saying about me and my performance. Many comments were, "Hey Dante go to the pound. Puppies are free." Great, now America thinks I am some jerk who needs a quarter million -dollar dog.
Any parting words of advice to would-be comedians?
If you want to be a comic, my advice is HAVE FUN. If you can't have fun being a comedian you shouldn't be a comic.