The road warrior from the Midwest is back.
This week's headliner at Harveys Improv comedy club, Mike Pace, is a time capsule of sorts who has been doing standup since gasoline was under $2 a gallon. Ironically he also has been on HBO before that premium channel was even available.
Pace has been on HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," the Emmy nominated "Comic Relief" (also on HBO) and performed at HBO's Aspen Comedy Arts Festival and has no stock in HBO whatsoever. He's been on TBS, PBS and the nationally syndicated "Comics Unleashed" and "Bob and Tom Show." You've probably also seen him on A&E's "Evening at the Improv" as well as on Showtime's (What? Not HBO?) "Comedy Club Network."
The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Denver Post have described Pace as an "expressive, natural performer," a "chameleon mastering everyday characters," with the "well-scrubbed look of a mischievous boy-next-door with perverse habits." It's true.
On stage Pace gives off an energy that exudes self-confidence with a tinge of edgy cynicism. But a lot of Pace's best material comes from his visual humor, his facial expressions, if you will. He packs just as much of a punch from his rubbery face then he does with his verbal assault.
He has shared the stage with everyone from Drew Carey, Jerry Seinfeld, B.B. King, Natalie Cole and Simply Red.
Pace also has performed overseas as well, entertaining our troops numerous times in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. I'm hoping to go on tour with him to Afghanistan later this year.
He'll probably hate reading this, but Pace is a comic's comic. I think most comics will back me up on this, too, unless they're hacks. Pace just does the funny better than most.
Our comic in the middle this week is Katsy Chappell, who should tour the country as a motivational speaker.
She took time off from her standup so she could shed 125 pounds! That's the weight of another whole comic, folks!
When she felt ready to return, she was voted Entertainer of the Year by the Bob Hope USO folks for her shows entertaining our men and women in uniform. Military officers have called her "Vivacious, bodacious and outrageous."
This is Katsy's first time up here this year, and she said she's better appreciated up here than in southern California where she lives. I reminded her that's because people up here have a heart and a soul, which is usually lacking in the Los Angeles area.
Katsy is a very diverse talent, doing her standup, television and film appearances, commercial and voice-over work, writing, and an avid recycler as well. Her movie credits include appearing with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis in the blockbuster hit "True Lies," working with Matthew Broderick in "Inspector Gadget" and Jim Carrey in "Yes Man."
On the small screen she was on "ER," "Strong Medicine," "The Safety Patrol," "A Match Made in Heaven," "Star Search" with Ed McMahon, and a ton of others.
This is the first time she has worked with headliner Michael Pace.