After a few beers a decade ago, actor-singer Dan Finnerty got up at a karaoke night in Los Angeles and did Helen Reddy’s “I Am Woman.” Little did he know that a decade later the group that was created to do more female pop songs, The Dan Band (with two nerdy looking backup singer-dancers, currently Gene Reed and John Kozeluh), would expand from a hot ticket in the LA club scene to YouTube videos that became an Internet sensation, and cameo performances as a dirty-minded wedding singer in the movies Old School and The Hangover. He’s also an occasional correspondent on The Tonight Show Starring Jay Leno.
Finnerty, who is married to the equally hilarious actress Kathy Najimy (The Kathy and Mo Show, Sister Act), will bring The Dan Band to The House of Blues this Saturday (June 12) at 9pm. His celebrity fans in LA include Meg Ryan, Brad Pitt, Mark McGrath, Steven Spielberg, and Nicole Scherzinger. Finnerty talked about his career in a phone chat with Atlantic City Weekly.
When you first did “I Am Woman” at karaoke bar, did you ever image you would still be doing female empowerment songs as a career 10 years later?
No. I can never believe it every time I step up on the stage. Wow, I’m still riding this wave, trying to ride it out as long as I can. I’m as shocked as anybody.
You have celebrity fans at your shows in Los Angeles. Are there any that stand out the most in regards to their passion for your parodies?
There have been little moments that have been great over the years. We did a video for the song “Please Don’t Bomb Nobody This Holiday,” I wanted it to feel like “We Are The World,” so I was trying to get different celebrities to come in. It was cool to actually get some of those people [Meg Ryan, Nicole Scherzinger, Neil Patrick Harris, Sheryl Crow, Macy Gray, Matthew Perry, Christopher Guest, Cheri Oteri, Christina Applegate]. I grew up loving Meg Ryan. I had a picture of her in my locker in high school and when she said she would do the video, I was ‘Oh my God, awesome.’ Nicole sang with me in LA at a show. Alanis Morissette invited us to sing “You Oughta Know” when she was doing a show here.
What are your hot songs now?
We do a cover of the song Pink did at the Grammys [“Glitter in the Air”]. I saw it that Sunday and wanted to put it in my show the following Friday. My wife could see the look in my eye and said, ‘Oh no, what are you thinking?’ The next day I found a circus trainer. I do “Candy Shop” from The Hangover and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies.” For that song, it took seven three-hour rehearsals to get [the choreography] right.
How important has YouTube been for your career?
It has been huge. I can’t image the time I could have saved if YouTube had been around 10 years ago when we started. I was just in Dublin and the amount of people that recognized me on the street was, ‘Are you kidding?’ They said they watched my “Total Eclipse of the Heart” on YouTube and “Single Ladies” was a big hit in Ireland.
What’s next for The Dan Band? Any film roles?
Right now I’m just camping out in front of Todd Phillips’ house [director of Old School and The Hangover] hoping that I’m going to be asked to be in Hangover 2. We’re also pitching a mock documentary of The Dan Band on the road. We’ve been going to all the networks trying to sell the show.
The Dan Band, stars of YouTube thanks to their female empowerment song videos and as regulars in the LA Club scene, made a trip east to Bally’s Bikini Beach Bar.
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