As a kid, Dan Conlin grew up loving the films of Jerry Lewis. In the 1970s, he had all of Steve Martin’s albums—plus his 1977 book Cruel Shoes and the “King Tut” single—while the concert films of Richard Pryor “blew me away,” he recalls. “I was also a big fan of Robert Klein and George Carlin, and so many of the great comics that were on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.” In the late eighties, watching Sam Kinison, Jerry Seinfeld and many others at the old Madison Avenue Comedy Club in downtown Peoria “changed my whole outlook on standup,” he notes. “So much better live and up-close, than on TV or in a theater.”
Born in Bloomington and raised in small towns throughout central Illinois, Conlin attended Pekin High School, Illinois Central College and Illinois State University, where he graduated in 1984 with a communications degree. After 15 years at the WWCT 105.7 radio station, he bought the Jukebox Comedy Club in May of 2000—and hasn’t missed a single one of its shows since!
Over the last 17 years, Conlin has dedicated his life to the art of standup comedy—helping countless comics share their talents with the world, and bringing laughter and joy to the lives of many more. His greatest hope? “To die a very old man surrounded by my family and friends at the Jukebox,” he says. Here’s to the Jukebox Comedy Club—one of Greater Peoria’s truly unique gems—and a long, rich future ahead for Peoria’s standup community.
- Three things I’d want on a deserted island: Besides food, water and shelter?
- Last novel(s) I’ve read: I don’t have a lot of time to read, but the two books I’ve read in the last few months are Bob Dylan’s Chronicles: Vol. 1 and George Carlin’s Napalm and Silly Putty.
- The one TV show I don’t usually tell people I watch: I used to watch The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars with my mom.
- Which living person do you most admire? All my family and friends. And Warren Buffett.
- Favorite leisure activity: Golf. Both kinds: ball and disc.
- Favorite film: Some of my favorites are Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Big, The Bridge on the River Kwai and The Graduate.
- Famous person, dead or alive, I’d like to meet: Muhammad Ali or Steve Martin.
- Favorite journey: “Open Arms” and “Ask the Lonely.” :} And the Grand Canyon.
- Favorite vacation spot: What’s a vacation?
- My life won’t be complete until I… Make more of a difference. a&s