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Daniel Tosh of Tosh.O Touring This Way

Courtesy of MySpace.com

Have you seen the viral Internet video, “David After Dentist?” More importantly, have you laughed at it? Daniel Tosh has.

Tosh, of Comedy Central’s 30-minute comic segment “Tosh.O” will be performing at the Mullins Center at the University of Massachusetts tonight. Tosh will be hosting back-to-back shows, at 7:30 and 10:30 pm, the latter of which, still has tickets available for purchase.

The comedian is most famous for mocking widely circulated Youtube videos on “Tosh.O.” He has performed on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Tosh even briefly appeared in “The Love Guru,” starring Mike Myers.

The Mullins Center is just one of the stops along the comic’s 60-city tour, titled Tosh Tour Twenty Ten.

Not always in the spotlight, Tosh grew up in suburban Orlando, Florida with a pastor as a father. He decided to work in comedy to put his sassy demeanor to use, as well as to avoid the 9-to-5 grind.

The witty character got into the business by performing stand-up comedy routines at an Orlando club called Bonkers, which an old girlfriend arranged. Tosh continued on this path for several years, performing at various clubs and colleges in Florida until he was discovered by someone who wanted to manage him.

His manager took a liking to Tosh mostly because he reminded her of comedian Bill Hicks. Tosh’s manager worked with Hicks before he died 10 years prior to Tosh’s discovery. Tosh was exposed to a great deal of Hicks’ material starting out, drastically influencing his comedy.

By 23, the comedian decided to move out of Florida, which he has described as “flat, hot and dumb.” He settled in Southern California for the beaches, since surfing is one of his pastimes.

Tosh’s first big break came in 2001 with a performance on “The Late Show with David Letterman.” Following this came appearances on other popular comedy-talk shows.

The comic released a CD in 2005 called “True Stories I Made Up.” Tosh clearly isn’t afraid to make light of more sensitive topics, such as religion, gay marriage and the media’s impact on women.

In 2007, Comedy Central aired Tosh’s 60-minute stand-up special: “Daniel Tosh: Completely Serious.” Then in June of 2009, the network premiered Tosh’s own comedy show, “Tosh.O.” The humorous show features popular video clips and Tosh’s commentary on them, and resembles Entertainment Tonight’s “The Soup”.

The first season was only scheduled for 10 episodes, but its popularity with viewers allowed it to be extended to 16 and renewed for a second season. The second season consisted of 25 episodes, one of which reeled in an astonishing 2.7 million viewers. The third season of “Tosh.O” will premiere in January of 2011.

Fans of the star can look forward to plenty of improvisation this Wednesday, as he has said he never goes on stage with a set list. Tosh is also impartial to transitions, stating, “Comedians always say, “I was at the mall the other day.” No, you weren’t. Just tell the damn joke.”

The comedian’s website, DanielTosh.com, has an ongoing countdown until “Daniel’s Groundhog Day Ends.” The end of the countdown falls on Tosh’s 38th birthday on May 29, 2013, the day he plans to retire. Groundhog Day is a reference to the film of the same name, starring Bill Murray, in which Murray is frozen in time and forced to relive the same day repeatedly.

Tosh compares Groundhog Day to the life of a comedian in the sense that each day he’s in a different town, does a radio interview, naps, performs and then starts all over again the next day.

On the countdown, Tosh has said, “When that thing expires, I’ll either put a bullet in my head or just retire to a beach somewhere.”

Tickets can still be purchased for Tosh Tour Twenty Ten at the Mullins Center or online.

Kate Evans can be reached at kvevans@student.umass.edu.

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