Old School's the Dan Band Turned Cleverly Placed F-Words Into a Career
United Talent Agency
There's a lot to be said about the effectiveness of a well-placed "fuck."
Dan Finnerty, the "Dan" in the Dan Band, is the likable though incredibly foul-mouthed leader and soul of the band made famous for some well-placed "fucks" in Todd Phillips' 2003 film Old School.
It almost makes one wonder if say, ten years prior, Phillips could've used the Dan Band and Finnerty's comedic stylings to interject into some of the more somber moods of his documentary Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies -- maybe as counterpoint for Allin's rendition of Warren Zevon's "Carmelita." Well, that's certainly food for thought, but since the Dan Band's humble cinematic propulsion, the comedy act has continued to hone its repertoire of female-centric music and audience interactions.
Finnerty's charm is entwined with his devil-may-care Irish looks and the confidence of a man secure enough to sing Shakira and Bonnie Tyler songs while pelvic-thrusting into a frenzy that could conjure a dollar-bill rain. The New York state native, born in Rochester but raised in Steuben County, went to college in Boston's Emerson College and got his start in entertainment in the hit show Stomp. Fairly milquetoast, but it would be a drunken moment at a karaoke bar that would shape itself into the somewhat serious and now 15-year-strong Dan Band.
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The band has evolved from a parody outfit focusing on female musicians to a full-fledged concert event that has a live album and a Christmas disc, the appropriately titled Ho -- A Dan Band X-Mas, under its belt.
A typical Dan Band concert will go through some motions that set up the coming barrage of f-bombs. They play their filmography strengths with "Total Eclipse of the Heart," but that's just part of the pastiche: The Dan Band itself is a full extension of Finnerty's juvenile façade. The conservatively clad backup singers and musicians aptly serve as straight men to his onstage shenanigans and audience baiting/interacting, played with stone-faced accuracy by a revolving cast usually billed as "etc..." after Finnerty's name.
Well, it is the "Dan" Band, after all.
Cults of personality aside, the band has enjoyed visibility on shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live, the Late Late Show, Ellen, and The Tonight Show, where Finnerty worked as a show correspondent. Television might not allow for a proliferation of f-bombs, but a live Dan Band show will ask early on of its audience if the cursing is OK, a comedic MacGuffin that merely warns of the coming storm. Some savvy attendees have made a game of cataloging the f-bombs in the band's entire set.
Finnerty's rise to fame is as unlikely as the path to mainstream acceptance of director Phillips'. How does one go from extremely crass to household name? Oh that's right; the "fucks" work, whether they're well-placed or not -- that's one word that will continue to enjoy the severity of its gravitas for a long time to come. At least the responsibility of its acumen sits in the somewhat capable hands of a fucktard who's able to rein it in at the candy store or -- wait, scratch that -- a youthful devil who knows how to properly recall the finer moments of pop music's best chanteuses.
The Dan Band. Friday, January 2, and Saturday, January 3, at the Fort Lauderdale Improv, 5700 Seminole Way, Hollywood. Two shows each day. Tickets cost $25 and carry a two-drink minimum, Call 954-981-5653, or visit ftl.improv.com.
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