Howie Nave

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January 19, 2012
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Chicago, New York comics this week at Improv

Who knew that Rondell Sheridan had such an edge to him? I mean for a guy who is probably best known for his many Disney appearances on “That’s So Raven,” “Cory in the House” and the Nickelodeon series “Cousin Skeeter,” Rondell isn’t just for the kiddies anymore.

Headlining through Sunday, Jan. 22, at Harveys Improv, Rondell’s career spans 33 years, and long before he was a fixture on TV. He spent many years on the road as a standup comedian. He worked his way up the late night ladder appearing on “The Tonight Show” with both Jay Leno and Johnny Carson, “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” plus countless comedy specials on HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central. His other television credits include co-hosting “Men are From Mars, Women are From Venus” and hosting the syndicated series “That’s Funny” and “Show Me The Funny.”

Rondell started young making other people laugh on Chicago’s South Side. He discovered humor was the best way to relate to other people while growing up. It wasn’t until later, though, that he knew comedy would be his calling; that would eventually lead to acting and then producing and directing shows.

He attended Marquette University in Milwaukee as an interpersonal communications major with a minor in advertising before attending the prestigious New York acting school Circle in the Square. This rounded out Rondell’s theater experience, performing in repertory work, regional theater and off-Broadway productions.

Comedy was a natural progression because, as Rondell puts it, “I’ve always gravitated toward storytelling, and with the early inspiration of such comedic storytellers as Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Bill Cosby, I knew that I had made the right choice and I always wanted an occupation that made sense for me.”

Good thing for all of us he chose the right one.

Don’t stereotype

John DiResta

When it comes to white trash branding, nobody does it better than opener John DiResta.

His first regular television series in 1998 introduced the nation to John on UPN with his show “DiResta.” In spring 2004 John’s show “Trash to Cash” premiered on the FX Network. In fall 2007, John began work on his next two TV adventures: “American Body Shop” (on Comedy Central) and “Hammered,” which lasted two seasons on the HGTV/DIY Networks.

But he hasn’t been completely typecast. On the big screen John starred in “How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days” and both “Miss Congeniality” and “Miss Congeniality 2,” which starred Sandra Bullock.

Another Oscar winner DiResta got to work with was with Robert De Niro in the movie “15 Minutes.” His voice has been in several movies including three Steven Spielberg movies: “War of the Worlds,” “Catch Me If You Can” and “The Terminal” with Tom Hanks.

And if that wasn’t enough, John has made numerous appearances on late night television including being on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and on “The Howard Stern Show.”

John has had an interesting spin with his career. For a long time he had a legitimate job, working for more than 15 years as a New York City Transit cop. Yep. A transit cop!

Hey, at least it gave him plenty of experience dealing with rowdies, which is good training ground for a life in comedy.

His New York accent gives him that edgy quality that accompanies the material he delivers.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jan 19, 2012 08:08PM Published Jan 19, 2012 08:06PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.