He’s not a fighter, he’s not a stuntman; he’s not a standup comedian, he’s not a commentator; he’s not a podcaster, he’s not a rapper. Din Thomas is a one man show.
Long before blowing the doors off the MMA Awards with a Stephen A. Smith impression that had everybody dying with laughter, Din Thomas was “the new guy” alongside Dana White and Matt Serra on Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight. When the new trio took over LA, they were given 60 minutes to write material to use for a short standup routine at the Laugh Factory hosted by Adam Hunter. White “cheated” and Serra performed as well as you’d assume. Thomas (with the help of some pre-episode improv), on the other hand, was surprisingly natural.
Despite not even pronouncing his name properly, Hunter liked what he saw.
“The first time I ever did standup was actually with Dana White on Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight on my very first episode,” Thomas said. “That was one of the stunts we had to do - do standup. Adam [Hunter] was actually the host of that show so he had me perform a few times with him and I had done standup probably seven or eight times in my life.”
After seeing him a handful of times and formulating the idea to do a UFC Comedy Jam, there was no way he couldn’t have Thomas join the crew.
“He’s so talented and he’s so humble,” Hunter said. “He’s an incredibly gifted and talented guy, but you never know what he’s going to do. That’s what makes it so exciting to work with him.”
The main reason Hunter laughs at the idea of figuring out what’s coming next from Thomas is pretty valid. As close as they may be and as visible as Thomas’s personality is in the circles that Hunter runs in, even Thomas doesn’t know what’s coming next.
“The thing is that I won’t do the same thing,” Thomas said. “That’s part of the reason why I don’t really like doing standup comedy is that I hate telling the same jokes over and over. I want to do something different every time.”
True to his word, Thomas didn’t go on stage with the same props and material that can be seen on Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight. He may have recycled an old memory, but never old material.
After opening his set with a acapella rap verse, Thomas went in to the story about his UFC debut against BJ Penn that wasn’t exactly at UFC 32, but made for plenty of success at Adam Hunter’s UFC Comedy Jam.
“The whole bit about BJ Penn; I wrote that a while ago and I added on to it for this show,” Thomas said. “I had moments in that that were my best moments, probably. I like that bit. Somewhere in that bit was probably the highlight of my set.”
Hunter echoed the opinion, and the crowd reacted the same way. The BJ Penn bit may have been the most successful joke in his set, but Thomas viewed the entire performance as a success. After all, that’s exactly what it was, a performance.
“I don’t really consider myself a standup comedian as much as I do a showman,” Thomas said. “I don’t really have an act where I’m working out the kinks and going around and performing it. I figured the way I wrote my set was to write a one-man show. That’s what I kind of consider myself, a one-man show.”
There’s an outside chance you can go down to the Sunshine State and catch Thomas doing standup one day. A very outside chance, but a chance.
Thomas isn’t in the business of “working out material” or “perfecting bits,” but he’s a showman who loves the stage, loves the instant gratification of immediate reactions and loves making people laugh. If you don’t catch him on stage, have no fear. The best is definitely yet to come.
“What I’ve always wanted to do, and Michael Bisping just did it, I’ve always wanted to do a one-man show and I think that I will eventually do a one-man show. If not, a variety show with some of my people down here in Florida,” Thomas said. “I love to get on stage and perform.”
The variety show may be a ways out, but until then, we’ll always have his performances on Dana White: Lookin’ for a Fight and Adam Hunter’s UFC Comedy Jam to hold us over!
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