Milwaukee man delivers food, dad jokes to customers

Hop in the car with Dave Anderson, and you’re in for a ride.

"I have a riddle for you," he said. "Where is a noisy place that you can hear a pin drop? Bowling alley."

From the seat of his sedan, he’ll keep you on your toes.

"Why do bags of chips have so much air?" Dave asks. "Inflation."

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Behind his wire-rimmed glasses, the wheels are always turning.

Dave Anderson

"Comedians are very observant," he stated.

The way Dave sees it, all the world’s a stage.

"I hear a word or phrase," explained Dave. "And I think, ‘Oh there’s a joke there.’"

And Open Mic Night starts at the front door.

For 25 years, Dave has made his living delivering food, while serving a little extra on the side.

"I’m chilling here just trying to get some food," said a bewildered Jamere Long. "And then he said, ‘Inflation.’ That just made my day so much better."

There’s something disarming in a joke so bad it’s good.

"And I know it’s corny," Shamora Randall said between laughs. "But it’s cute. I love it."

Corn, you say? He has one for that too.

"What did the general say to the sweet corn?" said Dave. "I see you, colonels."

Dave finds unsuspecting customers all over Milwaukee.

"Usually it’s just a quick interaction," DeMarcus Hunter said of a typical delivery. "Just gimme the food and then I go eat."

Almost everyone was surprised to learn what they were truly craving.

"Would you like a dad joke?' Of course we would," Shamora said. "So now I have to call my dad and tell him the joke."

After all, the magic isn’t in the joke itself, but how it’s received.

"What did one mountain say to another mountain?" Dave asked while picking up an order. "I see you peaking."

It all started in the early 2000s delivering pizzas.

"My customers kept saying, ‘You should write a book,'" Dave recalls.

He’s published nine so far.

"And I have the jokes for 10, 11 and 12 all written."

The first book came in 2019. Coincidentally, that’s the same year Merriam-Webster added a certain term to the dictionary.

'Dad joke – a wholesome joke of the type said to be told by fathers…' Dave was way ahead of that trend.

"I was always walking up to random people, telling them a joke," he remembers. "And then my kids would be, ‘Oh no, no, no, I don’t know him.’ But I think that’s the job of a dad, right?"

If those two kids are his harshest critics, they can blame a higher branch on the family tree.

"He always had a joke and a smile," said Dave. "And everybody loved it."

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"He" is the one person Dave can no longer entertain.

Dave Anderson

"My dad was – I really miss him," Dave said, quietly. "He was the glue of the family, he really was."

To fill the void, Dave carries on his father’s legacy, one laugh at a time.

"Every person has a special gift or talent that the world needs," states Dave. "Your lifetime mission is to figure out what that is and how to get it to the world."

So where in the world does Dave get the best reaction of the day?

A place that knows a thing or two about making you smile. 

"It does brighten it up," said Kimberly Curtis from the front desk of her dental office. "So if someone can come in and drop a little joke and make us laugh, we appreciate that."

It’s the perfect punchline.

"I can’t tell you how many times people say, ‘You made my day,'" Dave said. "And to me, that’s all the reward I’m really asking for."

Dave Anderson, the dad joke delivery driver, is the one left satisfied.

"We can all make the world a better place," he said.