He's got dad jokes
Comedian Pat McGann ’98 knows good dad jokes.
Not the typical kind where a dad walks into a bar and doubles over in laughter at his own corny wit. But real, honest jokes about parenting and raising his three young children with wife, Sara. He’s made a pretty successful career of it in the last decade as a professional comedian, touring the United States.
But when it comes to his kids, dad jokes are the way to go. “I will traffic in dad jokes because I think that they’re the foundations of comedy — those are the fundamentals,” McGann said. “You’ve got to work on your lay-ups, like on your puns, your similes ... but if that's your only trick, you're lame.”
Even with his fundamentals, McGann joked that his kids might not always see the value of his comedy because he’s still just their dad.
“They think I'm a little bit funny,” he laughed. “I think they know that I have a silly streak, but they also get to see my ‘dad side’ plenty, too, so maybe they think I have multiple personalities.”
While on a stand-up tour stop in Cleveland Feb. 10, he had a chance to try out some newer club material in front of more than 50 alumni of the Cleveland Alumni Community. The show took place at the Hilarities 4th Street Theatre inside the Pickwick & Frolic Restaurant and Club in the heart of downtown Cleveland. Organized by friend and former classmate of McGann’s, Kristin Scheidt Dailey ’98, the event did not stop when the curtain closed, carrying on as McGann met with fellow Flyers.
“We heard from so many people that it was so great to reconnect with fellow alumni,” Dailey said. “Pat is a Flyer through and through and he did UD proud. He was a source of togetherness for people.”
McGann said he definitely took advantage of having so many Flyers in the audience.
“Whenever I have a room full of Flyers, I'll do my dad joke from the mid-90s. When my buddy would drive by the Air Force Base, I’d always say, ‘Hey, that’s an Air Force Base over there,’ and he'd say, ‘That's Wright, Pat.’”
The Chicago native started his comedy career relatively late in life, at 31 years old. After a few years in packaging sales, he began doing sets at Zanies Chicago and eventually earned the title of house emcee. In 2017, he started touring as an opening act for comedian Sebastian Maniscalco, traveling to comedy clubs across the country, including Madison Square Garden.
He’s appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and most recently he filmed his first comedy special in his hometown at Chicago’s Vic Theatre. His special, When’s Mom Gonna Be Home, can be streamed on Peacock, Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video.
But it was UD’s campus where the hilarity truly began, McGann said.
“I lived in Marycrest my first two years. It was a family tradition to not get into Kettering,” McGann laughed about Kettering Hall, one of UD’s nicer campus residence halls where only sophomores live. “My sisters were denied before me — we come from a long line of not making it into Kettering.”
McGann said his father, Patrick McGann ’69, and sisters Tricia McGann ’96 and Elizabeth McGann Tobin ’94 introduced him to the University, convincing him to attend.
“I remember my parents coming to campus and my dad always wanted to catch a Father Heft mass because he just really enjoyed his philosophy on life,” he said.
His time at UD studying history was filled with fascinating classes by day and socializing in the student neighborhood by night, he said. He specifically recalls taking a memorable Christian Marriage course from Father Norbert Burns, S.M.
And he definitely had too many campus jobs to count.
“I was an intramural referee for a little bit and worked at the post office,” he said. “I had a bunch of jobs, but could never keep them for too long because they always interrupted my social schedule … getting in the way of my fun.”
“I had a bunch of jobs, but could never keep them for too long because they always interrupted my social schedule … getting in the way of my fun.”
He stopped in Dayton on his way to Cleveland the day before his tour last week, and walked around the student neighborhood, making at stop at his old house at 30 Evanston before taking in a Flyers basketball game versus Duquesne.
“We went to the Deli, said hi to our old house, walked through the new rec center … well, it’s not new anymore,” he said. “I was just floored by campus. It’s awesome.”
Because he spends a lot of time traveling while on tour, he said any time he can stop in Dayton and visit campus, he makes the effort to. “Whenever I get a chance — it's like a force that draws you to here,” McGann said.
Coming from a long line of alumni in his family, McGann said he is looking forward to the day when he can bring his kids to campus and a UD basketball game. His wife, he said, has heard all of his UD stories, but never visited.
At his Cleveland show, he spoke with several alumni who are now parents of kids who are currently at the University of Dayton, and said he loved how UD has morphed into family tradition of sorts.
McGann admitted, when asked, he would love to come back as a parent one day. “I would love that! It would be so cool if (my kids) went to UD,” he said.
See Pat McGann’s upcoming tour schedule: https://www.patmcganncomedy.com
Listen to Pat McGann's podcast All Over the Place: Episode 120 about his recent trip back to UD and the Cleveland show.
Photo courtesy of Matt Meschede (@mattthemesh)