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‘Outrageous Davis’ aka David Ricks aims to be Dave Chappelle minus potty mouth

July 29, 2016 GMT

Retired educator David Ricks is not going to make it big as a comedian.

Thats my prediction. But what do I know?

Hes the one with a trophy from NBCs Today Show, where he beat two others to take the 2016 crown for Funniest Dad.

Jim Gaffigan decided Ricks was the winner using methodology as lazy as the character Gaffigan plays in those Chrysler Pacifica commercials.

Listen, its not my lifes career, said Ricks. Right now its a hobby, a fun one. When people have hobbies, they ought to be something they like. I think with time I will improve. More and more people think what I say is funny.

Then in a persistent tone of voice that was actually very funny, Davis added: I think Im funny. I mean really, basically, if you dont think youre funny, who else is going to?

Probably not your wife when you practice a new joke at 3 a.m. See the video.

Ricks, who has adopted the stage name Outrageous Davis, is funnier offstage than on, in my experience. Before a performance for novices at Acme Comedy Co., he had me chuckling. On stage he had one pretty good joke about being rejected as a police recruit. Ricks was funny again during my QA with him at Sheer Treasures, a health and wellness store in Blaines Northtown Mall that he owns with his wife, Gail.

We specialize in essential oils and natural health goods, he said.

I couldve spent hours in the store. I was thrilled to find a refillable roller bottle into which I can squeeze lemon juice (suggested as a natural deodorant on the Dr. Oz show). Check out my video to see all the great items in this shop.

I brought in Mrs. Ricks for some of the interview. They made news a few years ago when they went on the Today Show to talk about their sizzling post-50s sex life. It apparently has something to do with the underwear.

Ricks said he does not have any special in at the Today Show. Its just been luck that hes been featured twice.

He had lots advice on how to how to improve schools, policing in the black community and not getting racially profiled in your nice automobile. His trick to avoid racial profiling, however, wasnt much help to him about 15 years ago when he was parked in the KARE 11 parking lot waiting for his daughter Dhomonique Ricks, (who worked on KAREs Whatever show before becoming a TV personality in Cleveland). He had an interesting annoying to me interaction with a police officer.

Q: What comedian would you like to emulate?

A: My favorite comedian is Dave Chappelle. The difference is he has bad words, I dont.

Q: When you were an educator did you believe in spanking?

A: Oh, no. I never touched anybodys kids.

Q: Best advice you ever received?

A: Treat people the way you would like to be treated.

Q: Best advice you ever gave a 10th-grader, when you were a principal?

A: Live an honest life.

Q: How do you impress that on a 10th-grader?

A: Thats a tough one. Theyre kids. As long as you, the adult, understand how kids operate, then you can speak to them on a level they can understand. Thats the key. Do the right thing.

Q: I was talking to my sixth-grade homeroom teacher the other day and she said she is glad she retired because kids dont want to learn the way they did when I was in school. Do you think thats whats going on with todays kids?

A: Kids do want to learn, but they have to be challenged. You have to have some kind of exciting curriculum.

Q: How can public schools be improved? We are falling behind other places in the world.

A: We are falling behind if you are talking about people of color. Theres a simple answer. More people of color need to be in the building. People who are home, you dont have a job, youre home anyway. Instead of sitting home doing Facebook you should come into the building not because you have gotten a call saying your child is misbehaving. The school [officials] appreciate that. They can use any kind of volunteer there is. Youre the best volunteer. Youre the parent. Be there for the day. Walk the halls, be in the lunchroom, be there after school. Your visibility makes a big difference, not only to your child but other people see you and go: Theres somebodys mom and dad. I might as well act right. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to see what is really going on. Are your children being taught or baby sat?

You dont have to be wealthy to have respectful kids. You dont have to be wealthy to take your kid to the library.

Q: What do you like about your wife?

A: She is a wonderful loving person, first of all. She understands and shes got my back. Here I am 67 years old and doing comedy. Shes running with me. Sometimes I practice my stuff at 3 in the morning, in the bed, at 3 in the morning, and shes trying to sleep. But she never says, Hey, go to sleep. Im tired of hearing that. She knows its important. Its wonderful to have somebody like that.

Q: How many dates did you have before you realized this woman was somebody who would have your back, as you said?

A: We had one date. We met and I didnt know her from Adam, at a restaurant. I saw down at a table and before I left, she told me she was going to marry me.

Q: Wow, what did you say to her to make her say that?

A: Not much. Maybe she liked that white shirt and tie I was wearing. I dont know.

Q: Your other claim to fame is being on Today talking about sex over 50. Do your friends hit you up for advice for romantic dates with their wives?

A: Not really. I was on talking about sex after 50. Thats what youve got to do. If you stop doing that, then you might as well forget it. I still buy colorful underwear. I buy it and I wear it.

Q: So you think monogamy is sexy?

A: Monogamy? Wait a minute. Is that one person? Well, yes, of course.

Q: Why didnt you know that word?

A: I only graduated from the eighth grade. What do I know? Monogamy, I think of it as sexy. [See video: He cracks himself up, here.]

Q: Where did you go to college?

A: I went to the University of Wisconsin.

Q: Thats probably why you didnt know what monogamy was.

A: Probably so. There were only 13 brothers there in 1966.

Q: What do you do that annoys your wife?

A: I dont really think I do it, but in the morning when she wakes up shes always getting out that bottle of spray, disinfectant, and she sprays the floor around the toilet. She says I get little drops on the floor. I dont think I do.

Q: Are you a toilet lid up or down guy?

A: I keep the lid down. I mean, when I get done. [Again, he breaks himself up over his comment.]

Q: So she has to use some of the products in this store to keep her bathroom fresh?

A: Not just smelling fresh but clean. She is an over cleaner. She loves to clean. Thats her middle name. Shes the only person I know who pulls out the refrigerator once and month and cleans underneath it.

Q: Youve fathered and raised two extremely successful adults. I was disappointed again by Wendy Williams on TV talking about how marriage is obsolete. I think marriage is the best framework for bringing a baby into this world because children need the stability of marriage.

A: Marriage is a great institution. I call it investing. I invest in my wife, and investment means youre going to have something for the future. You have that and work as a team, you will have something. Like children. If you take them on a once-a-year vacation, it doesnt have to be France. Go somewhere besides Minneapolis. Show them South Dakota, North Dakota. Thats why some people dont know how to behave on a commercial airliner.

Q: You dont wear sneakers?

A: I dont own a pair of athletic shoes. They cost too much money and if I did wear them, some of those people might actually think Im black and I couldnt let that happen.

Q: You know the secret to not being racially profiled in your expensive automobile?

A: Something that I had to do probably 35 years ago. That is, I have personalized license plates on my car. That does two things. No. 1: The police can see who you are right away. No. 2: If a brother robs a SA gas station and gets away in a nice car, if the plates dont say what mine say, it wasnt me.

Q: Advice for police on how to improve their image in the black community?

A: If I was chief of police, I would have meetings with my staff to say we have to not overexercise our authority. Some officers exceed their limitations on authority. Its not necessary. The majority of, Im just going to say the black people, are not dangerous and they are not out to kill you. If you bite a dog its going to bite you. Tolerance and common sense go a long way.

Q: Do some people get into police work not knowing its dangerous?

A: I could not imagine going up to someones home or car in the dark and you dont know whats there. You dont know whos there. Its a very dangerous job, and for the pay they get they should be applauded. Personally, I couldnt do it.

Q: Police should be paid better and they all need to at least be college grads.

A: I agree with that. I have questions about some states where you only need a high school diploma to become a police officer. If you have a college degree, you are a more rounded person than a person who does not.

Q: Did you see those Lynx T-shirts that upset the off-duty cops? Was something written there in code?

A: If there was a code, I didnt see it. I was somewhat surprised. I didnt see anything at all offensive with those shirts.

Q: Sounds to me like you once got profiled in the KARE 11 parking lot?

A: I was sitting in my car, reading a book, waiting for Dhomonique to finish her job. She was actually an employee at the station, she was in high school and didnt drive. It was about 4 p.m. Off Hwy. 55, I could see a police cruiser coming down the street. For some reason, I just knew that car was coming for me. True enough. One person in the car and he got behind my car, got out of his car and came up to my window. He said, May I see your drivers license and insurance? I said, Of course. He said, Ill be right back. He wasnt gone long. He said, Mr. Ricks, can I ask what youre doing out here? I said, Yes, my daughter works for the station. Im her ride. Shes 15. Im waiting to take her home. He said, That makes sense. And I said, Can I ask you a question? He said yes. I said, What are YOU doing here? He said, The reason Im here is we got a call that said you were out here. I said, Oh. Did the caller say I was peeking in peoples cars, urinating against the building? What was I doing? He said, You werent doing any of that; you were just out here. When we get a call we follow up on it.

Q: Did you send a letter to the GM to find out who was in the building on that day who mightve called police?

A: I did not. This is not the first time something like this has happened. Ive never been arrested. Ive been stopped twice with my car parked and two other times for something minor. Its not even worth it. You get somewhat, I guess, accustomed to that. And being the mild-mannered person I am, this is the way it goes. Im not going to increase my blood pressure because some police officer thought I was doing some negative activity. I was in my car reading a book. Maybe if I had been listening to music I would have been accepted better. [Laughs]

Interviews are edited. To contact C.J. try cj@startribune.com and to see her watch Fox 9s Buzz or The Jason Show.