Quirky musician/comedian, YouTube sensation performs in Iowa City


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Sitting in front of an open refrigerator giving a “shout out” to syrup and cheddar melt topping before playing her cover of “Dream a Little Dream of Me” on a ukulele is one of the acts musician Danielle Anderson has performed on YouTube.

Anderson, better known as Danielle Ate the Sandwich, will mix her hilarious personality with her serious songwriting at 7 p.m. today in Public Space One, 129 E. Washington St. Admission is $5.

The show will mark the beginning of Anderson’s tour, in which she will travel along most of the East Coast.

At the beginning of her career, she played music at a open mike almost weekly with best friend Brandon Wright.

While playing with Wright, she discovered a passion for playing the ukulele. She played with it casually, but Wright said he believes magical things happened.

“I saw a lot of promise in this instrument for her, and I felt that she deserved to play on a more legitimate, less Toys ’R’ Us-y instrument,” he said. “So I left a more legit uke on her doorstep, and then ding-dong-ditched her. The rest is history.”

From there, Anderson started putting videos on YouTube, but she never thought it would turn into a venture that drew in thousands of fans.

She remembers saying something funny before playing music in her very first video.

“It was kind of a fuzzy accident, and people laughed at that, so I decided to add more intentional skits,” she said. “It’s in my character to be silly.”

While YouTube was by no means the cause of Anderson’s success, she believes that without it, she would have had a slower journey.

“Music was more of a hobby,” she said. “But when I got more viewers, it allowed me to pursue it as my full-time career.”

With her success, she was able to collaborate with not only other musical artists but comedians as well.

Matt Houchin performed two comedy shorts with Anderson for YouTube, and he also enjoys watching her perform solo.

“[Anderson] is the most fascinating artist I’ve ever worked with,” Houchin said. “Musically, she writes and sings this incredibly serious, heart-rending poetry, yet comedically, she is totally off the wall and hilariously absurd.”

When Houchin met Anderson, he remembers her running around the audience before taking the stage and passing out homemade signs for them to hold that said such things as “I love ’N SYNC” or “Austin 3:16.”

“I knew immediately I had to collaborate with this woman,” he said. “She’s a brilliant, beautiful musician, and the comedy I’m able to create with her is so much more credible and intriguing than if I was just working with some other comedian.”

The Colorado native knows that she will always add comedy to her performances, but she hopes to someday have her music played in movies.

So far, her songs have been featured in a talk show called “Everyday” and a short film called “The Bed Wetter.”

“I’ve played shows with people where I heard their music in the movie theater, so I feel like I’m so close,” Anderson said. “It would be really cool to be sitting in the movie theater and hear my song play with Jennifer Anniston on screen and whoever her next leading man is.”

While the 25-year-old wants big things, she is happy with performing gigs for now and being able to share her music with fans.

“Honestly, I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have had the opportunity to play music with that girl,” Wright said. “She is passionate about her music, but not in a pretentious way, and she stays humble about her roots and the path that she has taken to get where she is today.”

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