By Nathan Alexander
Good Cop/Rad Cop are coming to town to perform at The Whirling Tiger on Thursday, August 31! Don’t miss your chance to see this one-of-a-kind performance. They will be joined by some of our Louisville favorites Dan Alten, Ehrin Dowdle, Ali Gautier, Qsmoke, and Aaron Love!
Dave Hannah and Ryan Darling comprise the musical comedy duo Good Cop/Rad Cop. They headline shows all over the country and leave audiences laughing and singing along. They have performed in Red Eye Comedy Festival, Epic Comedy Festival, Lookout Comedy Festival, and are booked to perform at Laughing Skull later this year.
Dave and Ryan were kind enough to answer some questions from Louisville Laughs.
Louisville Laughs: How did you guys get started in comedy? Did you start out writing and performing together? How did this partnership come to be?
We both got started in comedy as standups. I met Dave one night while I was bartending and hosting a mic at JJ’s Bohemia in Chattanooga. We got along great and have been friends since then. We did a few goof-off songs and weird experimental shows here and there, but we didn’t really start writing together until the pandemic. We were roommates during lockdown, so we stopped doing standup and moved to music.
Where did the name Good Cop/Rad Cop come from?
Our band name came from nowhere. We were submitting to an internet competition for a punk band called “Pup,” and in order to submit our video we had to have some kind of name, so Ryan shouted that out and we ran with it because we didn’t plan on it getting anywhere.
Who are some of your comedy heroes and why?
We’re big fans of Rory Scovel, Jo Firestone and Andy Daly. We’re also big fans of each other. We both enjoy experimental comedy that breaks the rules. We’re big on breaking rules.
Being such a unique act, have you found that you’ve had to create your own opportunities in spaces that don’t typically showcase your style of comedy?
Yes, sort of. A lot of places are welcoming to our act because it’s so different. However, some places are reasonably concerned about taking a chance on something so unique.
What advice have you gotten that has made the most difference in your journey as comedians? Do you have any advice for new comedians, writers, performers, artists?
Our best advice is to be willing to fail. If you’re not failing at least sometimes, then you’re not doing anything that someone hasn’t seen before. Also, stay true to what you enjoy. You will get the career that you work alongside of. If you want to work at a club, then work with the club. If you want to work at a bar, then work with the bars.
Do you have any comedy horror stories you’re willing to share?
A multitude. We’ve both done incredibly good shows and incredibly bad shows. Dave once drove to Atlanta on three separate occasions to do a show at a bed and breakfast in which he was never remembered, not even one time. At one Good Cop Rad Cop Show, Ryan misunderstood that a person in the audience was genuinely disliking our sound. Sarcastically, he threatened to fight him, which was met with a legitimate offer for combat.
Do you have a specific show you’ve done that stands out as your favorite?
It’s hard to pick a favorite, but we always have a good time at shows where we get to go a little crazy. At Epic Comedy Hour in Huntsville, we take off our shirts and get insane. Once, Dave was crowd-surfed out of a house party. It is uncertain if they enjoyed it or wanted him to leave.
You’ve performed at Red Eye Comedy Festival, Epic Comedy Festival, Lookout Comedy Festival, and will be featured at Laughing Skull Festival this year! What do you like about performing in festivals? And how is that experience different from doing an independent show with just your musical comedy variety show?
Festivals are great because we get to spend time with other comedians, not just at the show but often for a couple of days. There is nothing more entertaining than rolling around with professional comics and finding the humor in literally everything that you encounter. Sometimes you laugh so much that existence is weird for the next few days.
Do you have a pre-show ritual?
Why yes, we do, and thank you for asking. Before every show, Ryan and I will usually push and slap each other. We recently started butt bumping. We don’t know why, but for some reason, it gets us very amped up for the performance and has yet to be ineffective.
You have a hilarious podcast called The Itty Bitty Ditty Committee in which you teach the audience how to write a little ditty. How does the podcast inform your act? Do you find that the podcast helps you develop material?
Honestly, we haven’t done much of the songs live, though we have tried it in the past. It helps us get into a songwriting mindset and reminds us that not all songs have to be good, but the ones we’ll be doing live definitely are.
What do you set out to achieve in a show? What do you want the audience to take away from the Good Cop/Rad Cop experience?
A recent report said that people who see Taylor Swift live might forget they were there because they were so entertained. This is exactly what we hope to achieve. Our goal, every time, is for you to wake up in a Good Cop/ Rad Cop t-shirt and have no recollection of how you got it.