Dan Nainan’s passive aggressive act

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com, or follow me on Twitter.

The worrisome thing is how aggressive Nainan behaves, even though he claims he is not being aggressive. His need to lie is enough to put everyone else on guard. The fact that he lies about his age, claiming to be 35 when he is 55, suggests he is fundamentally dishonest.

I just received the initial deposit for a corporate show in Dubai that’s coming up in a couple of weeks. The show pays $8000, yes, that’s right, EIGHT THOUSAND US DOLLARS for less than one hour’s work!
And yes, I’ll be flying in First Class as usual, in unbelievable luxury, with a flat bed! I’ll be checking out the indoor ski range, surfing on the sand dunes, visiting the tallest building in the world and the world’s largest shopping mall, and luxuriating by the pool at my five star hotel. And yes, I will send pictures!

I know I shouldn’t be gloating, and I know I should be spending my time working on my book in preparation for my upcoming meeting with my literary agent, and I know it really pisses off poor-ass alcoholic drug addicted comedians when you tell them how much money you make, but when something like this happens, such as the $15,000 corporate show I did earlier this year in San Francisco, or dealing with the deluge of royalty checks from my Apple commercial ($22,000 so far and SAG health insurance, thank you), I just can’t help but think about all the people who told me (and still tell me) that I’m a hack, and that I shouldn’t be doing ethnic material, I’m a sellout, and so forth…

This is the comedic equivalent of Zed Shaw. Also, the self-pity is familiar:

I can’t help but think about all the club bookers in New York that turned me down and continue to turn me down, about all the comedians who brag about their “credits” on Premium Blend, Live at Gotham, Jimmy Kimmel and Comics Unleashed who still have day jobs and drive hundreds of miles to their crappy occasional gigs that pay three digits and that get drunk and smoke weed after the shows and stay up till the early morning.

I can’t help but think about the witty, clever New York comics who are passed at all the clubs, whom you can’t even recognize if you haven’t seen them in a year or two because they have aged so much…oh, the joy and the schadenfreude.

I can’t help but think about the comic who made fun of my physical appearance from the stage when I didn’t even know him – yes, making fun of another comic – I thought that was verboten, whom I saw working in a crappy restaurant the other day and exhibiting a serious case of avoirdupois.

I can’t help but think about a highly embonpoint female comic A who went into an apoplectic hysterical conniption fit because I dared to admonish her for talking loudly with her female comic friend B while I
was on stage, and then being cautioned the next day by another female comic C who said that I should be “very careful” because “word travels fast”, and female comic A “has a lot of credits” and is “very
connected in the industry”.

More here:

Millennial Dan Nainan has been the go-to millennial in a whole lot of news stories in the past year. He was 35 in an AP story that appeared in the Chicago Tribune about undecided voters on Nov. 6, two days before the election. A few weeks later, he was 35 in a Vocativ story about Obama voters who wound up voting for Donald Trump.

“I think people who felt like an underdog might have identified with Trump more, because he was being picked on so much,” Nainan said. “I felt it was very liberating to vote for him and thumb my nose at everybody.”

There he was again in Cosmopolitan in July. This time he was a millennial who swore off porn.

“Of course I liked looking at it, but after awhile, something about it struck me as wrong,” he said.

And on Sept. 11, 2001, while at Intel, Nainan “was able to watch both towers fall from his corner in Manhattan, NYC,” according to Business Insider in 2011.

…Then, there it is on paper: a Maryland traffic court case from last year. “Failure to display registration card upon demand by police officer.” Daniel Nainan of New York City. Date of birth: May 1961.

And then, for good measure, there’s a Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department incident report for the time a sprightly 32-year-old Nainan punched then-Daily Beast reporter Josh Rogin after he made fun of his set at a D.C. comedy club in 2013. (Rogin and I have never met, for what it’s worth.)

The first of the few hundred angry emails Joe Robinson got from Dan Nainan came a little while after they did a show together at a Hyatt in Bethesda, Maryland. Joe was the headliner and Dan was the emcee.

“It went all right. After the show, he sold a book, a DVD, and a CD. He did eight minutes of comedy. So I decided to say something about it, about how he shouldn’t be selling a book about how to make it in comedy if he’s emceeing at a Hyatt,” Robinson said.

He then brought up the exchange on his podcast with Maher, a fellow D.C.- and Baltimore-based comedian.

“He’s had a long reputation of having battles with comics. I didn’t know that,” said Robinson. “To be frank with you, I never would’ve said anything if I had known that back then.”

Ever since, Robinson has been on an infamous email chain featuring every comic who has ever slighted Dan Nainan.

“I’ve gotten, without exaggeration, 300 emails,” he said.

Sometimes the emails were only addressed to him. Sometimes they were to every comic, dozens of them, all lumped in together. At their peak, they’d come a few times per day.

The gist of the emails? Nainan would go down his rival comics’ tour dates and alert them to the much bigger room he would be performing at halfway across the world on the same day.

“He loves to say comedians are drunks and drug addicts, and he likes to champion that he’s a clean-living person,” said Maher.

That’s just the start of it.

“He can play 19 instruments. He speaks x number of languages fluently, flies first class, drives a Tesla. I’ve never met anybody that cared more about what other people thought,” said Robinson. “Did he tell you about how he’s able to slam dunk a basketball?”

There were times, Robinson said, where it got out of hand. Robinson claims Nainan called his bosses at his day job at one point to try to get him fired.

“I saw him. I made fun of him. I just made fun of the practice of what he was doing once. He went through a criminal history. He talked to my employers,” said Robinson.

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