WEST PALM BEACH – Of all the places he’s traveled – and he’s been all over the world – Florida remains a unique joy for comic Jeff Dye.
“I feel like Florida is a bunch of states in one, so it has all the stereotypes,” Dye said. “You’re like, Where’s all the old people I heard about? And you drive 40 minutes north you’re like, Oh, here are the old people. Where’s all the Latin dancing big-butt ladies? And then you drive 45 minutes, you’re like, Oh, here they are! Any kind of stereotype you’ve ever heard of, there’s an area for it in Florida, so it’s kind of all the stereotypes.”
As a national touring comic, Dye can speak intelligently about the differences among states. He has already traveled to more states than most Americans will ever see.
In NBC’s “Better Late Than Never” Dye grew more worldly. He accompanied William Shatner, Henry Winkler, Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman as they traversed the globe to places such as Munich, Berlin, Lithuania, Sweden, Barcelona, Madrid and Morocco.
During the recording of that series, Dye became close with Bradshaw, who he now views as a father figure.
“Even now that the show’s over I still go to his ranch all the time,” Dye said. “I go to Fox and watch football with him. I’m actually flying to his ranch in Thackerville (Oklahoma) to watch the Super Bowl with his family and him.”
“Better Late Than Never” also provided Dye with a greater appreciation for his home country.
“You see countries like that and you go, Man we’ve got it made,” Dye said. “And then you see how good our lives are even when everything’s crumbling. I don’t know, I just feel very blessed and very lucky. And I like to remind the crowd just how lucky we are.”
That message, intertwined with some insightful American comedy, will be part of the show when Dye entertains South Floridians with two shows on Friday and two more on Saturday at the Palm Beach Improv. Local comic Dan Long will be the feature comic on those shows, with Randy Valerio serving as host.
Bob Saget, who died unexpectedly earlier this month in Orlando, was originally scheduled to perform this weekend at the Palm Beach Improv. Dye said he wasn’t aware of that fact.
“Everyone loved that guy,” Dye said. “And he’s so secretly funny, even in conversation.”
Dye’s trip to Florida is his second in as many months. In early December Dye took the stage as part of Laughing Spree Fest in Boca Raton.
The two-day festival included comedic heavyweights Andrew Schulz, Jim Norton, Bryan Callen and Bret Ernst among its nearly 20 comics.
“It was fun to be around that many comics,” Dye said. “As a comedian, you usually travel alone. You have your opener with you. It’s a real small group – you and your buddy and hopefully you meet some comics that are cool to hang out with in the town. Whereas, with Laughing Spree it was awesome because there were so many comics there. It was a festival. It was just fun to have that many people in your business that you don’t otherwise get to see – especially other headliners, because headliners don’t see each other on the road. We only see each other at home. Pretty cool.”
At Laughing Spree, an outdoor festival, Dye and the cast of comics enjoyed perfect Florida weather. This weekend, Dye won’t be so fortunate.
Speaking via telephone, the Los Angeles-based comic was shocked to learn that temperatures in Palm Beach County – particularly on Saturday night – could approach freezing.
“Holy Moly! I was not expecting that,” Dye said. “It will be good for comedy. Bad weather is great for comedy. Good weather is fun when you’re in the town because everyone wants to go do stuff like go to the beach and hang out. But when the weather’s bad, everyone’s like, Let’s go do something indoors. And so it’s great. Your numbers are always way better when it’s bad outside.”
When not touring, Dye recently made multiple appearances on Fox’s “I Can See Your Voice.” South Florida comedy fans unfamiliar with Dye’s comedy can give his podcast, “Jeff Dye’s Friendship Podcast,” a listen. His social media handle on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter is @JeffDye.