Clean comedian Dan Nainan claims self-defense when he punched journalist at DC Improv

By | September 30, 2013 at 11:45 am | 13 comments | feature slider, News | Tags:

Comedians use their words to battle a snotty heckler. Not their fists. Daily Beast correspondent Josh Rogin got a wake-up call that not everyone adheres to that sacred code last week when a comic allegedly lost his cool over Rogin’s live tweeting during his act.

Last Wednesday at the Washington D.C. Improv, the journalist Rogin was live tweeting his less-than-encouraging remarks about the performers at a DC’s Funniest Celebrity contest, not all of whom were even comedians. “Ralph Nadar opens by saying he isn’t funny and proceeds to live up to his word,” was one of his tweets from the evening. Other celebrity performers included Clarence Page, Heather Higgins and Jamie McIntyre.

When clean comedian Dan Nainan took the stage, Rogin was unimpressed and let his 30,000+ followers know it. “Dan Nainan was funny until he dusted off his 2005 Katrina jokes in a gratingly bad GWB impression.” Reports say that after his set, Nainan approached the writer at his table in the back, asked, “Are you Josh Rogin?” and then punched him in the face when he confirmed his identity. The DC police arrested the comedian, who has performed for President Obama, on assault charges.

When LaughSpin reached out to the self-proclaimed “clean comic”, who opens for Russell Peters and performs many corporate gigs with his appropriate-for-all unoffensive routine, he told the events in a different order:

I saw the tweets that the gentleman was posting, I went over to him and asked if he was Josh Rogin. When he said “yes”, I angrily told him it was fine to pick on me, but lay off of everybody else because they had never done this before. He took a swing at me, and I retaliated. As often happens, the person who retaliates is the one that gets caught.

Rogin could not be reached for comment regarding Nainan’s allegation that the ForeignPolicy.com contributor threw the first punch.

Twitter, and all of the Internet, has given people a mass audience to broadcast their freedom of speech. But as one of Rogin’s followers tweeted back at him, sometimes “he’s going to punch you for that.”

Let us know in the comments section if you think Rogin deserved it for being mean. Or was Nainan out of line?

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About the Author

Billy Procida

Billy is a stand-up comedian in New York City. Every week he sits down with a chick he's hooked up with to talk about sex, dating, and sexuality on The Manwhore Podcast: A Sex-Positive Quest for Love. Follow Billy on Twitter: @TheBillyProcida

  • Steven Kilpatrick

    The question isn’t really a “who’s the biggest douche” contest, the question is: Did Rogin deserve it.

    I’ve seen a lot of wrong-minded comments, similar to the crap leveled at Dave Chappelle last month, that comedians ought to just deal with it, or move on.

    That’s always been a bullshit line of reasoning used by assholes to either boost their machismo or to justify being cunts.

    Still, we all know it’s gonna happen. You get a group of drunk assholes in a room and they’re going to behave like children sometimes. They’ll ruin a show, treat fellow human beings like trash, shout out at people brave enough to put their ideas on the line.

    That’s something that sucks, but does come with the territory of stand-up comedy. However, this guy tweeting was NOT some drunk Joe hanging out. He was a self-proclaimed professional. If you’re a pro, you don’t go out and disrespect other professionals like that. If anyone should know better, it’s a guy with a public profession.

    Plus, as is always the case, it’s far easier to talk shit about someone than to craft jokes. Maybe Nainan is a lying hack, maybe he’s an honest performer, I only have second hand information. But, one look at Rogin’s twitter feed and I know what kind of shitheel he is for sure.

    Someone needed to punch that guy in the face, or at the very least remind him to be a better human being. The argument that you need to put up with the dregs of society or stop doing what you love–how fucking lazy are we at this point? How low is the bar for our allowed expectations?

    How about, if you aren’t able to behave like an adult, you don’t get to enjoy comedy any longer? How about if you’re using someone else’s vulnerability as a chance to play class bully in your 30s, you walk home without YOUR lunch money?

    When did we decide the compromises always have to come from the decent people, and never from the cunts?

    • http://singedrac.livejournal.com Singe

      Punching someone in the face isn’t exactly behaving like an adult either.

  • huang beefer

    there goes the million six he saved…oops

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  • eljay

    regardless of whether or not the comic is a douche/hack, i’m glad he punched that guy. that wasnt the only comic this “reporter” was shitting on.

    • steve

      Quit if you think quitely tweeting away from the show about jokes that are obviously bad should get you punched.

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  • Bert Bert DiVietri

    So I know a lot of other people who have had run ins with this guy. He always responds to every mean remark on his videos and gets in feuds with tons of comics. This guy cant take any criticism. He lies about being Russell Peters opener. Peters has said on numerous occasions he is not his opener. Dan is a hack. People like that. Office parties, old people and people who just want to unwind. He is a safe bet for clubs. There is a HUGE market for his act. I write jokes I think are funny that I would laugh at, he writes jokes people will laugh at and that people find funny. Its his thing. He makes a lot of money doing it and I dont. He also tried to bride Mark Marin to be on his show. I have heard of other instances when he has tried to buy stage time.

    • Bert Bert DiVietri

      Seriously, if you go say you dont think he is funny on his videos, he will come after you. Its hilarious. Do it.

  • Jerry Mandering

    Sorry, if you can’t deal with a little Twitter criticism as a comic, you may as well just quit right there. He didn’t hide, he told him right up front who he was. Don’t take your shitty set out on someone else, work harder.

    • kdoc13

      Twitter criticism is fine. Just don’t do it during someone’s set inside the room where they’re performing. Punching the guy was a little extreme though.

  • hermano

    I blame the Improv. He should have been approached by the staff for using his phone. If he wouldn’t comply, he should have been ejected. The light from a cell phone distracts both the comedian and the people around it. You’re not allowed to do it at a play or movie, and you shouldn’t be doing it in a comedy club that requires people to focus on the stage.
    Plus, somebody brave on the internet got punched in real life. I’m shallow and violent enough to enjoy the schadenfreude.

    • Chris Neeson

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. I completely agree that live-tweeting a comedian’s set is both distracting to the performer, and inconsiderate to the other audience members. Although both men made poor decisions, I’m much more inclined to forgive Nainan’s reaction than Rogin’s atrocious manners and overripe cynicism.

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