‘Danny Will Die Alone’: Lancaster native talks sex and dating in new comedy series

Jack Tracy in 'Danny Will Die Alone.'

Out Lancaster native Jack Tracy’s webseries, “Danny Will Die Alone,” available May 16 on Dekkoo, recounts the title character’s misadventures dating in New York City. Danny (Tracy) is a 40-ish gay man who has a series of horrifically amusing bad dates that make him wonder if he will be single forever. Addressing the viewers directly, Danny recounts his experiences as they happen, endearing himself as a gay everyman who seeks sex if not love. Tracy spoke with PGN about his new series and his ideal guy. 

Let’s start with a get-to-know-you question. But this is not a date. You grew up in Lancaster, yes?
Yes. I went to McCaskey High School and was very involved in the music and theater programs. I think it’s a nice town to grow up in. It’s not a huge city you will get lost in, but it’s not so small that there isn’t plenty to do. I went bowling and roller skating, and to the Manor shopping plaza movie theater. It was a town that had plenty of activity for a young person that they didn’t feel isolated. Could it have been gayer? Yeah, and I understand it is now. But it could have been gayer. I went to Penn State main campus for college and have been in New York for 19 years.

Why did you choose the webseries format for “Danny Will Die Alone”?
This actually started off in the middle of lockdown. I started making comedic monologues about dating. Then it became a podcast called “Dying Alone Together” where my cohost and I would swipe Tinder and comment on what we were coming across. Then it became a webseries. I did that because it was low cost, and I was able to film an episode in a day. I put the content behind a paywall so I could make some income from it. Then I showed it to Dekkoo and they loved it and here we are.

How much of Danny’s dating came from your real-life encounters? How exaggerated were they? How realistic were they? Are you outing exes?
No one is outed because no one’s real name is used. There is no way to identify where these stories came from. Every episode exists from a kernel of truth. Some are more exaggerated than others to beef up the comedy — but not by that much! 

There are some interesting scenes where Danny connects or rejects the guy he is with. What decisions did you make about the different dates and how to present them?
It’s not really a “revenge”-type piece. I go on dates now and this show comes up as something in my life and they ask, “Are you going to make an episode about our date?” And my answer is, “It depends. Are you going to do something crazy or treat me horribly?” If so, you’re game. If it’s just a normal date; I have no reason. You have to give me a reason to make an episode. You have to call me someone with “Trump derangement syndrome” as someone once did or go on a tirade that there are “too many Asian people in college.”

You have to do something wild — then you get an episode.

Can you discuss how you depict Danny’s sexual (mis)adventures? 
Though this is a heightened reality, I wanted to depict reality. Some dates, you have sex on the first date. Some dates never lead to sex. Sometimes you just need someone for sex. I wanted to create a sampling that would be commensurate with my sex life and dating life. The spread is probably the spread of reality. A lot of mainstream gay content neuters us or depicts us as an old married couple, and we don’t show the sex, or the sex is lewd for lewd sake. I wanted to do more reality. What is it to live as gay man in New York City? How much sex are you having? And where does it happen on a date?

Danny is a proud bottom, and he encounters fetishes as well as role playing in his dating. What can you say about the issues you raise and present in the series about queer masculinity, in both comic and serious ways.
I wanted to present Danny as a proud bottom, and I wanted him to be extraordinarily explicit about it. Danny talks directly to the camera, so you hear his internal monologue unfiltered. He constantly talks about getting railed and obsesses over the size of a dick. I can’t say I have a “mission” to do this. I just wanted it to be real. I play Danny as the most jaded, judgmental version of myself. There are things about some of his dates that may not be dealbreakers to other people, but Danny is set in his ways, and he gives zero fucks. Some folks may watch the show and think Danny is a dick and I don’t agree with him at all. That’s fine. You should!

Danny claims to be having a mid-life crisis, but he keeps wanting to have sex, not a relationship.
That’s the fatal flaw of our hero. Danny says, “I need a steady stream of sexual attention in order to know I have value.” That’s how he connects and forges intimacy. He can’t slow down or cool it. He gets excited about someone and wants to screw them right away.
He is constantly hard, and wants to fuck, and that gets in his way. 

What is Danny’s ideal date and guy?
Danny’s ideal is that he wants a scoundrel. He wants someone who legitimately finds him interesting and has genuine intimacy, but while they are having a romantic date Danny wants him to go into the bathroom and take a dick pic. He is very playful and horny. He wants to border the line between romance and scandalous hookup.

What do you find romantic? 
Not that. For me, the ideal guy is an introvert secure with himself who has done the emotional work to be mature and can have real conversations about real things. He has a healthy libido and would much rather make dinner, cuddle and watch a movie than jump from club to club to club.

“Danny Will Die Alone” hits Dekkoo on May 16.

Newsletter Sign-up