Three Great Things: Jon Daly

Multitalented comedian Jon Daly, whose debut album Ding Dong Delicious is out now, shares his trifecta of awesomeness.

Three Great Things is Talkhouse’s series in which artists tell us about three things they absolutely love. To mark the new release of comedian and actor Jon Daly’s debut comedy music album, Ding Dong Delicious, which he sings and plays saxophone on, with support from guest artists Cyrus Gharemani (Man Man), Mary Timony (Ex Hex), Nick Thornburn (Islands) and more, renaissance man Daly shared some of the things that bring him joy in life. — N.D.

Shark Tank
I love Shark Tank and I’ve watched every episode. I now know people who work at Shark Tank and I’m really trying to put it out into the universe that I want to go watch the show live. I don’t care what kind of access I have, I just think anyone in their right mind wants to go watch Shark Tank. I’ve heard that they just shoot for 12 hours straight and cut it all together from that. Apparently it’s all real, although they can go back on their offers after the show, if things don’t turn out to be legitimate, or if they made some kind of mistake. I just love the jockeying for power that goes on when the contestants pretend they’re not just trying to get a deal from Mark Cuban or Lori Greiner. Although sometimes Damon is the one they really want, because of his specialty.

I like when people like Kevin Hart are on Shark Tank, but I don’t love everyone they have on as guests. Like, I don’t necessarily need to know what the Kind Bar guy is doing now or what he wants! But regardless, when there’s not an episode of Shark Tank for me to watch on a Saturday morning, I do get angry.

Shark Tank is a big Saturday morning tradition in my house, taking the place of watching golf with my dad as a child. It’s watching people having the American Dream of a scalable company dangled in front of them, usually to have it trashed by the sharks, who mostly act like assholes. That said, kudos to Mark Cuban, who’s from my hometown of Pittsburgh. I love what he is doing with Cost Drugs Plus, subverting the drug and pharmaceutical industry and doing it with his middle finger out.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
I want to give a shoutout to my friend Dean Fleischer-Camp, who is a genius and made the movie Marcel the Shell with Shoes On. It’s a beautiful world that we all get to live in. Dean spent the last seven years making this movie, and I know how hard he worked and how many lucrative deals he passed on to get this movie made the right way, the way he and Jenny Slate knew it needed to be to retain the magic of their character and his world. When so many projects are compromised by the ideas of major corporations and entertainment conglomerates, it’s so nice to see something that is completely independent. It’s been very inspiring to me to see Dean go on this journey. The film just came out in theaters and it’s been amazing to see somebody work for that long on something and then for it to pay off in such a big way.

I’ve known Dean since we were coming up in comedy in New York and he was a filmmaker on the scene, and I’ve always admired him. We’ve been friends for a while and gone on trips together. We’ve only made one thing together, which was me doing the voice of Drake, shouting at Toronto Raptors games. Dean and I were amused by how vocal a presence Drake is on the court, so we made a video where I overdubbed him sounding like an idiot. That video was one of Dean’s very rare breaks from making Marcel.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is an instant classic that will last forever. And the reason why it will last forever is because Dean and Jenny worked to make it such a wonderful balm for the senses and a lovely, hilarious thing. It makes me feel good and is a non-cynical thing that was made non-cynically. And it’s also stop-motion animation, which is one of my favorite mediums and makes me feel different than CGI, for some reason. I love Marcel the Shell with Shoes On!

Criss Angel
My friends and I are obsessed with Criss Angel and we’ve been to Vegas to see his show Mindfreak and Amystika, which is the prequel to Mindfreak and also really fun. He doesn’t appear in Amystika; it’s other magicians doing the magic, so he’s expanding out into a brand, which is exciting for everybody. I love and respect magic and I also love Criss Angel. I think he’s the perfect magician for this time – he’s got a bit of P.T. Barnum in him, and I unironically respect his hustle and grind. He owns a vanity diner 45 minutes outside of Las Vegas called Cablp, which stands for “Criss Angel’s Breakfast, Lunch & Pizza.” My friends and I took a big trip to Vegas, rented a van and all trucked out to Cablp. I really enjoyed the Cobb salad, and he’s also got memorabilia and paraphernalia from his magic shows all around. It’s a bit like a TGI Fridays of magic: you’re essentially living in Criss’ world as you eat Criss’ food, except it’s food that he wouldn’t eat himself, because he’s vegan.

After eating at Cablp, we saw Criss Angel’s show and went to a meet-and-greet. We tried to talk to him, but he’s a little bit of a celebrity. It got to the point where we were all shouting out our credits, like, “Hey, we’re on TV, too,” but Criss was just stone-faced. He’s living in his Vegas world and he’s got millions to put on these shows.

My love of Criss Angel isn’t some kind of hipster irony bullshit. I really love the guy and anyone who’s putting art out there in the face of what’s happening in America right now, in the face of the callous lies that we’re being subjected to on a daily basis and the brutal traumatizing turn that our country’s taken, is literally a hero akin to Superman.

If Criss is reading this, my message to him is this: Let me and my friends collaborate with you – let’s meet up, let’s shoot something. I know you’re doing a show on the CW now and balling out on private planes and yachts, so you don’t need me. But my dream, if I was going to pitch something to Shark Tank, would be me and my buddies collaborating with you. I love going to Vegas, so it’s very easy – let’s collab!

Jon Daly is an actor, comedian, and musician you may recognize from Kroll Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Parks and Rec, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Bob’s Burger’s or Comedy Bang Bang. His debut album, Ding Dong Delicious (Northern Spy Records), now available for download and on baby blue vinyl, features an incredible lineup of players and picks up where his Lil Xan diss track “I’m Your Dad” and his internet breaking Red Hot Chili Peppers spoof “Abracadabralifornia” left off, landing somewhere between pure silliness and pop sublimity. On the album, Daly provides vocals and saxophone and is joined by multi-instrumentalist Cyrus Gharemani (Man Man) and a cast of musicians including Mary Timony (Helium, Ex Hex), Nick Thornburn (Islands), Colleen Green, Devendra Banhart, Joe Wong (The Midnight Gospel).