At 28, Daniel Sloss already has an insanely enviable career in comedy.
Last year, the writer/performer dropped two hour-long specials on Netflix entitled Jigsaw and Dark, and has just shot another entitled Now at the famed Paramount Theatre in Austin. Currently, Sloss is touring the globe with a 4th original show entitled X – and from the sounds of it, he’s ready to set that aside too.
On the subject of the Lone Star State, Sloss is complimentary. “I’ve never been to Austin before, but it was [decided based on] shear reputation amongst other comics,” the comic states. “Everyone says Austin is one of the best places in the world to tape a special, heard that for years and years. I tend to trust my peers."
After his current tour, Sloss vows to give himself an extended sabbatical. “I’m taking four months off,” he says. “I’ve been fucking done the last year and a half and after if anyone texts me till April, they’re fired! It’s not just a burn out and recharge. By the end of this tour I’ll have done this show 300 times! And for me, that’s far too many performances of one show. It stops being creative around the 100th show, and it stops being fun around the 150th. You have best of audiences – it's very easy to perform for an audience in America, because they’re so up for it. They do make every gig feel unique and special – but the second I’m done with this show the better. It’s my favorite fucking show I’ve ever done, but it’s been a year and a half of my life, man.”
With a prolific catalogue of work on display, the Scottish-born performer insists you familiarize yourself with his ouvre before buying a ticket for his one-night-only appearance at the Houston House of Blues on August 1. “If you’ve never heard of me, PLEASE watch my Netflix special before you come to see my live. I can not tell you how many people just show up and are like: You swear a lot! You say horrible things! And I’m like that’s the product.”
After an insane schedule off-Broadway, where Sloss did 30 performances in just two and a half weeks, X is a battle-tested hour and 15 minutes about “modern masculinity.” The special appears to serve as a culmination of the comic’s meteoric rise to prominence after more than a decade selling-out shows at the world-famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
“I’ve lived in Edinburgh for seven years, and I’ve done the Fringe for 11 years now,” he recalls. “I had to work up to [including personal] stuff after the first couple of years. The first five or six years, I was pretty much doing straight stand-up. It could get darker, you know, with some of my more horrible opinions, but nothing too personal. Then, I forget what year it was, but there was an amazing comedian called Tig Notaro who did a show after she diagnosed with breast cancer and she’d been broken up and her mom had just randomly died. And then she went onstage that night for 30 minutes and was just really, really honest. She was still really funny and I was like: Holy shit, I didn’t realize THAT was an option.”
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Since his transition into blending traditional stand-up and one-man show material, Sloss has become a unique voice in an ever crowded stand-up field. His cutting bombast has achieved the young comic a legion of famous followers, and it appears the feeling if often mutual.
“Conan has been supportive of me for six or seven years now. He keeps me coming back on the show, he’s always taken care of me when I’m over there and introduces me to the right people, which is mind blowing and amazing as well. Ed Bryne is the reason I’m doing this, an Irish comedian I saw when I was about 7 years old. And weirdly, I’m friends with Ed now and he’s so nice and so supportive. He tells me to stop looking up to him with those puppy dogs eyes, but I can’t help it.
"I also have had a chance to meet Bill Burr, very briefly. Ricky Gervais, I’ve met him and he was a real sweetheart. He actually approached me to come and do his radio show. They say don’t meet your heroes, but I’ve yet to have one to fail me.”
Daniel’s performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, August 1 at 1204 Caroline. For information, call 888-402-5837 or visit houseofblues.com/houston. $37.50.