“Would you like to hear a bass solo?”
Before returning to more Halloween haunts, let’s take another look at some more of the spooktacular… I mean… spectacularly talented Dapper Dans of Disneyland!
Now, these two gentlemen absolutely deserve individual spotlights of their own – longtime Dapper fans will recognize them immediately and know them well – but for the more casual guests at the park, I think that showcasing them together is actually the best way to tell them apart!
For some reason, Disneyland Park has a habit of hiring Dapper Dans with the same name. Thus there currently are two Jasons, two Steves, two Tylers, and of course two Jims.
Now in the case of the other fellows, it can be easy to characterize them by looks (i.e. red-headed Jason vs. brunette Jason or lighter-hair Steve vs. darker-hair Steve, etc.) or by roles (i.e. Lead Tyler vs. Tenor Tyler). But in the case of the Jims… not so much!
If you were to hear that one of the Jims was singing with the Dapper Dans on a given day, you might ask, “Which one?” The response would likely be “the tall one with dark hair who usually sings bass”. Which… doesn’t really help!
Both Jims have performed with the Dapper Dans for many years, and I’ve had some time to watch them both and pretty quickly figured out my way to differentiate them, so I’m going to share it with you!
First, there is Serious Jim:
He actually can be found in any of three roles – lead, bass or baritone, so you may see him (in the non-holiday seasons) sporting purple, red or blue stripes! But most often, I tend to see him singing bass or lead.
And while I think of him as Serious Jim, it’s not that he doesn’t smile and joke with the rest of the Dappers, but more that he just often seems like the grown-up of the group! He’s a bit more reserved, but still approachable.
He’s the one who seems to take his role most seriously in the group. There’s just a level of formality to him that distinguishes him from the other guys. But there’s still a smile in his eyes that says while he takes his role respectfully seriously, he’s not an overly solemn individual himself!
Of any of the Dapper Dans, he is one who most reminds me of a classic barbershop quartet member. There’s just an old-school quality to him that lends itself to being from another era.
And then there is Silly Jim:
Who I’d probably characterize as one of the peacocks of the group – meaning you’re always going to keep an eye on him because he’s always doing something entertaining!
But that extra “hey, look at me” quality is also part of the Dapper Dans’ bass role – Jim just plays it to the best extreme! I always look forward to seeing him perform “Somebody Stole My Gal” – not just because of the great bass solos in it but because he really gets to chew the scenery on that one playing the underappreciated performer and he always looks like he’s having so much fun doing it!
His is one of the singing voices in the Dapper Dans that is also quickly recognizable to me. Some singers have a musical vocalization that’s different than their speaking voice, but when Jim sings, it always sounds like Jim to me.
He’s also great to watch doing the dance steps for the various numbers as he always puts in a little extra added attitude and character to all of it! He’s really just an all around showman!
So that’s what differentiates the Jims as performers to me! But I enjoy both their distinctive styles whenever I find them singing with the Dapper Dans!
Are either of them your favorite performers?