Jeff Dye is a rare animal: a gentle comedian who works clean — and is still funny. But underneath the cuddly exterior is a man’s man who loves pro wrestling and the discomforting humor of Borat. This fall, Dye hosts “Money for Strangers,” an MTV show on which he’ll encourage people to play stupid pranks. Until then, the 28-year-old “Last Comic Standing” alum, who also recently did a Comedy Central special, will work on curbing his habit of laughing at his own jokes.
After your cable special and your CD, “Welcome to My Brain,” did you write a new stand-up set?
Since then, there has been a real state of emergency in my writing process: “Argh! I already did all this!” Then, there’s a little part of me that says it’s pretty arrogant to assume these people [at the club] know about me ahead of time.
Have you been told to stop chuckling at your own jokes?
That’s one of the biggest criticisms from other comics. It’s really not me laughing at my own jokes; I’m just so surprised and flattered the audience is laughing, it makes me happy.
Why aren’t you doing the actual pranks on “Money for Strangers”?
My favorite kind of comedy is when people mess with people. I love things like Borat, “Jackass,” early Tom Green. But the problem is, whenever I try to do it, I just smile too much. They’re not really insulted; they’re just, like, “This guy’s being silly.”
Speaking of silly, I’ve heard you love wrestling.
One of my comedy goals is to be part of a story line in WWE. Every month, I have a pay-per-view [party] at my house, and all my friends come over and we dress up like wrestlers. … They all come more for the party; I’m in it for the wrestling.
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Photo courtesy of Jeff Dye.