Dave Anthony
Anthony in December 2016
Born
David Sean Anthony

(1967-08-26) August 26, 1967 (age 53)
OccupationComedian, actor, screenwriter, podcaster
Known forThe Dollop
Children1

David Sean Anthony (born August 26, 1967) is an American comedian, actor, screenwriter, and podcaster.

Early life

Dave Anthony was born on August 26, 1967 and raised in the town of Fairfax in Marin County, California.[1] His ancestors were Irish immigrants.[2] His father was an attorney and his mother a hairdresser. Anthony's father was an alcoholic and his mother was a child of alcoholics; both neglected Anthony when he was growing up.[3] He has one sister, Pam, who is two years older. The couple divorced when Anthony was in second grade.[4] Relative to most of Marin County, which was super-rich, Anthony’s family had far less money.[5] Anthony graduated from Marin Catholic High School[6] and went on to earn a degree in physical geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara.[7]

From age five, Anthony knew he wanted to be a comedian.[4] As a child, he would stay awake to watch comedians on The Tonight Show and on weekends, he’d watch Evening at the Improv after Saturday Night Live. He grew up listening to the comedy albums of icons like Richard Pryor.[8] The fact that Robin Williams was also from Marin was a big deal to him.[5] He was 23 the first time he went on stage as a stand-up.[4]

Anthony began his show business career as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco, where he performed for five years. He then lived and performed in New York City for four years, then returned to the West Coast and settled in Los Angeles.[7] After moving to Los Angeles, Anthony also began working as an actor, writer, and podcaster.

Career

Stand-up

Anthony began performing stand-up comedy in 1989[4] and was a regular at the Holy City Zoo in San Francisco.[9]

Anthony has done stand-up comedy on various late night shows including Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Late Late Show as well as on Comedy Central.[1] He has performed stand-up in every state in the continental US[7] and all over the world, including the Just for Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival[10] and the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.[11] In 2015, the Melbourne Herald Sun gave his show "Hot Head" a 4-star review and called it "hugely enjoyable."[12] Also in 2015, he appeared on the nationally televised Cracker Night as part of Sydney Comedy Festival 2015. His 2015 comedy tour and subsequent album, Hot Head, were based around his difficult childhood.[12] He has released two comedy albums, Hot Head and Shame Chamber. Both albums charted on the Billboard Comedy Album Chart -- Hot Head at #4 and Shame Chamber at #5.[13]

Television

Anthony has acted on television shows, in films, and commercials. Television programs he’s appeared on include The Office, Scare Tactics, Arrested Development, Maron, Hello Ladies, Boston Legal, Veep, Hidden America with Jonah Ray, Comedy Bang Bang, and Entourage. He was a panelist twice on @midnight.[14]

In 2006, Anthony's first staff writing job was on The Greg Behrendt Show, a daytime syndicated talk show. He also appeared on the show playing comedic characters, including the recurring character Waffle Man. He’s worked on several pilots with Bob Odenkirk.[6]

Anthony had multiple job titles on the show Maron on IFC. He played an exaggerated version of himself and his wife was played by Amy Smart.[15] In the second season of the show, Anthony was added as a staff writer. In the fourth season, he became the show's story editor and directed an episode.[16]

Writing

Anthony has written for a number of different mediums. He was the political editor for SuicideGirls,[7] wrote for the Comedy Film Nerds website,[17] and had a blog called Stop All Monsters.[18] As a television writer, Anthony has written on AMC's Talking Dead, Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis, Pretend Time, and The Greg Behrendt Show.[14]

In 2015, Anthony was nominated for a Writers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Script in the category of Episodic Comedy for writing the episode of Maron titled "Racegate.[19] In 2019, Anthony wrote an episode of Deadly Class for Syfy and was credited as co-producer.[20] He was a story consultant on the scripted audio drama Bronzeville written by Josh Olson and starring Laurence Fishburne.[21] He has written a screenplay based on the Piedras Negras jailbreak.[22]

Podcasting

In 2009, Anthony’s son was born and Anthony became a stay-at-home dad.[23] Around the same time, he began to feel like he was washed up and would never achieve his career goals.[24] After listening to the podcast Uhh Yeah Dude, Anthony was inspired to start a podcast of his own.[6] He approached his friend, comedian Greg Behrendt, with whom he’d hosted an internet radio show called Manversation on Comedy World Radio in 2001.[25] Together they hosted the podcast Walking the Room from 2010 to 2014.[26] Anthony was the producer and editor of the show, which was named one of the AV Club’s best podcasts of 2012.[27] The podcast was recorded in Behrendt’s closet for sound quality.[11] The pair started referring to the podcast as a “podcuddle” and listeners as “cuddlaz.”[9] On the podcast, Anthony and Behrendt discussed the disillusionment they had with their careers and decided to just tell the truth about everything. They shared stories from their personal lives and Anthony contributed tales about his wacky neighbors.[11] This led to the pair coining a new word - hobotang - which is listed in Urban Dictionary.[28]

When Anthony and Behrendt learned that there was a podcast in Australia called TOFOP that had a similar vibe to their podcast, they invited the hosts, Wil Anderson and Charlie Clausen, to be guests on Walking the Room.[8] This collaboration led to Walking the Room gaining a significant following in Australia.[29] In 2012, Anthony and Behrendt appeared on stage with Anderson and Clausen during the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in an event billed as Superpod.[30] The recording was immediately lost by the Festival and the four podcasters discussed the loss that night on the episode The Death of Superpod.[31]

Anthony regularly appears as a guest on other podcasts, including FOFOP—a podcast started by Wil Anderson when his TOFOP cohost, Charlie Clausen, was unavailable to record for an extended period. Anthony was the first guest host,[32] resulting in the endearing nickname "Guest Charlie Number One."[8] Anthony guested on the podcast The Naughty Show, where Gareth Reynolds was a co-host.[5] The pair hit it off and Anthony invited Reynolds to fill in for Behrendt on Walking the Room a couple of times. Anthony has said that Reynolds is the funniest person he knows.[5]

As Walking the Room was coming to an end, Anthony started a new podcast called The Dollop.[11] He was tired of talking about himself and decided that the new podcast would be more structured.[5] The original plan was to have a different comedian sit in each week, and Anthony invited comedian Gareth Reynolds to be the first guest.[6] As soon as fans heard the episode, they overwhelmingly told Anthony that Reynolds was the man to stick with.[6] The Dollop is on the All Things Comedy network.[33]

On The Dollop, Anthony presents an event or person from American history that he has researched, to Reynolds, who usually has no idea what the topic is going to be about. Reynolds then reacts and the pair improvise as they go.[29] When they tour, Anthony presents a topic from the state or country they are in. Fans of the show have taken to calling themselves "Rubes" in homage to one of Anthony’s early subjects, baseball player Rube Waddell. The Dollop has toured across the United States, Europe and Australia, where the podcast has repeatedly sold out theaters.[34]

Anthony often frames stories from the point of view of laborers, slaves, women and the poor.[29] Anthony credits Howard Zinn's book A People's History of the United States, which he first read while in high school, for radicalizing him.[6]

Anthony and his Dollop co-host Reynolds have collaborated on a number of projects including a book based on their podcast titled The United States of Absurdity: Untold Stories from American History, which was released in 2017.[35] They put out a limited-run series of England and UK Dollop episodes.[36] They also make a web series called Trash Toons, in which they watch and discuss old cartoons and have put out webcasts of political coverage. In 2020, they did a special episode of The Dollop on Comedy Gives Back to raise money for comedians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.[37]

Since 2019, Anthony has co-hosted the podcast The West Wing Thing with writer Josh Olson.[38] The hosts discuss the TV show The West Wing one episode at a time.

LA Podfest

After fans of Anthony's podcast Walking the Room flew from around the world to be at a live show, Anthony thought this could be something bigger.[24] So in 2012, Anthony, along with Graham Elwood and Chris Mancini of the Comedy Film Nerds podcast and Andy Wood, producer of the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, founded the Los Angeles Podcast Festival.[39]

The podcast festival ran for six years and featured many comedians including Marc Maron, Aisha Tyler, Doug Benson, Greg Proops and Paul F. Tompkins.[39] My Favorite Murder taped its first-ever live broadcast at the festival.[40] Their guest to tell a hometown murder story was Dave Anthony, who talked about a serial killer who stalked women on hiking trails near San Francisco.[41] After the Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills put a member of the Podfest community’s safety at risk, the festival moved venues and Anthony publicly recommended against staying at the hotel.[41]

Plagiarism allegations

On July 9, 2015, Alan Bellows posted a letter accusing Anthony of plagiarizing Damn Interesting's content for use on The Dollop. In a response at Reddit, Anthony said that he had made a mistake and apologized for not attributing the stories properly, but claimed that this did not constitute plagiarism. Writing about the incident for Plagiarism Today, author Jonathan Bailey concluded that although there was no reason to suppose that Anthony had intended to plagiarize, "there is no debate that the podcast took text and facts written by others and used them, often verbatim, without attribution. That is the definition of plagiarism."[42]

On August 25, 2019, Josh Levin posted a thread to Twitter accusing Anthony of plagiarizing one of Levin's articles[43] for a Dollop show at Chicago's Athenaeum Theatre in 2017.[6] Levin's article was cited by The Dollop in the show notes but was not mentioned in the recording. Levin stated that there was no way to click on the sources in the episode description, but it was then shown that Levin did not have the setting correct on his phone and that the sources were easily accessible.[44] In a reply to the thread, author Paul Brown stated that The Dollop had also plagiarized sections of his book The Rocketbelt Caper for a 2017 episode.[45] Brown's book was cited in The Dollop show notes but not mentioned on the recording.[46]

The Dollop hosts have stated it is a fair use podcast.[47] Anthony told the San Francisco Chronicle, "we want people to find the source material and know who's writing it. The whole reason I'm doing the podcast is to get these stories out there because they're important."[6]

Activism

Anthony is strongly anti-capitalist and he traces many of America’s problems back to capitalism.[48] He is using his podcast to radicalize more people and he’s gotten feedback confirming that it’s working.[48]

In 2020, Anthony backed Nithya Raman for Los Angeles City Council.[48] He encourages others to become involved in local politics, believing that’s a better way to effect change than focusing on national politics.[48] Anthony is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.[49]

Another issue of deep importance to Anthony is climate change. He has spoken about his fears for the planet as a whole and for his own child’s future. He is active in protesting against new construction that is detrimental to the environment.[50]

One thing Anthony stresses on his podcast and in interviews is that just holding a march isn’t effective.[51] He believes that people have to put pressure on authorities, get in their faces and yell at them.[48] He strongly supports striking workers and unions.

Personal life

Anthony's first wedding engagement ended after he paid off the mob to keep his fiancée’s father from getting his leg broken.[52] Around this time, he began attending Al Anon meetings.[4]

Since 2006 he has been married to Heather, a doctor of psychology.[53] They have a son, and two labradoodles, Maple and Larry.[54]

Filmography

Actor

Program Date Character
Veep 2016 Reporter
Hidden America with Jonah Ray 2016 Gary
Director's Cut 2016 Richard Speck
Comedy Bang Bang 2015 Pranked Guy
Hello Ladies 2014 Dave
Maron 2013–2016 Self
The Office 2011 Businessman
Men of a Certain Age 2011 Customer
Crocodile Tears (Funny or Die short) 2011 Director
Entourage 2009 Showrunner No. 2
Recount 2008 Florida Stay Reporter
Magnetic Poles (short) 2006 Matteo
Las Vegas 2006 Jason
Boston Legal 2005 Technician
Scare Tactics 2003 Dave / Meteor Man / Repo Man

Media appearances

Program Date Details
The West Wing Thing 2019–present Cohost
My Favorite Murder 2016 Guest on live episode from LA Podcast Festival[55]
The Dollop 2014–present [56]
FOFOP 2013–present [57]
The Naughty Show 2012
Never Not Funny 2011 [58]
Sklarbro Country 2011 [59]
TOFOP 2011 [60]
WTF with Marc Maron 2010 [61]
Jimmy Kimmel Live! 2004
The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn 2002
Late Friday 2001

References

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  2. ^ "Irish Ancestors, by Dave Anthony". Dave Anthony. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
  3. ^ Berkowitz, Joe (November 8, 2010). "A Fairly Comprehensive Guide to Comedy Podcasts: Walking the Room". Vulture. Retrieved March 7, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d e Hopkins, Curt (May 14, 2014). "Dave Anthony: An oral history of failure and (partial) redemption". The Laugh Button. Retrieved January 30, 2021.
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  55. ^ http://www.feralaudio.com/36-live-la-podcast-festival-2016/
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  59. ^ "Walking The Countryside, episode #32 of Sklarbro Country on Earwolf". earwolf.com.
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  61. ^ "Episodes". WTF with Marc Maron Podcast.