Cast of characters fills Harveys comedy club
Ryan Summerlin August 30, 2012
STATELINE, Nev. – There are some comics who leave a lasting impression and you just can’t wait until they return.
Well, I’m embarrassed to say that it’s been exactly three years since Heath Hyche was at Harveys Improv, but the main point is he’s back.
The last time I saw Hyche was on television as part of the “Blue Collar” television show. Yep, that blue collar lineup featuring Jeff Foxworthy. A lot of comics have certain routines that set them apart from others and believe me when you read this Heath has a very unique act. It’s a combination rapid-fire vocal delivery coupled with a very physical side Then there’s that Southern accent.
A native of Birmingham, Ala., Heath was a natural as far back as college at Auburn University where he won the “The Funniest Person on Campus” contest. Heath became a regular on the Birmingham comedy club circuit. Soon after it was goodbye deep South and hello West Coast. It didn’t take him very long to get noticed once in Los Angeles. He was “discovered” the night he performed at the Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard. The very shy Roseanne had booked him to appear on her show, “Saturday Night Special.”
Heath will never be a Southern Cal type because you just can’t take the boy out of the country. Like his brethren funny guys from the South, he returns frequently to his roots, which is great for us because he and his act always stay well-grounded.
Heath has also appeared in several television pilots including “Jack’s House” and a leading role in “Mark of Greatness.” The first time I saw him on television was on a rerun of the romantic comedy, “Kiss My Act,” which also starred Camryn Manheim and Phyllis Diller.
On the big screen, Hyche appeared in “Man on the Moon” and “The Odd Couple II.” Other credits include an appearance on “Two Guys and A Girl,” and “These Old Broads” with Shirley MacLaine, Joan Collins, Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds and Jonathan Silverman.
Lately, Heath has been taking his boatload of characters on cruise ships where he is in big demand. Good on you, Hyche but three years since we last saw you? I’m glad he’s on land for a little while so you might want to make plans to check him out this weekend because at this rate he won’t be back until 2015.
Well, she wasn’t scheduled to be here this week but sometimes somebody cancels and you call a good friend who can hopefully fill in. Such was the case getting Kat Simmons here this week literally the very last minute. Good thing too because she is a personal fav and see? Sometimes it does pay off not being in Los Angeles and being just a quick drive away to fill in at a moment’s notice. We are fortunate because Kat is usually booked out of town a lot so this was very good karma for the both of us. Crowds love her and so do we.
Part of Kat Simmons’ appeal is her multi-layered existence in the world of comedy. I truly believe that Sybil is her agent and divides her up into as many arenas as possible. I know Kat as a solo artist, as an ensemble artist the very funny and popular trio, “3 Blonde Moms,” as a producer who puts comedy shows together and as a teacher who teaches those who would like to not just be comedians (although I still think you can’t completely teach the funny) but also learning to be more comfortable speaking in front of crowds be it a presentation format or one-on-one with decision-makers.
As a solo artist she’s opened for the likes of Tim Allen, Diane Ford and Kenny Rogers although looking at their careers lately I could easily see them opening for Kat. If you’ve never experienced her act by the way it’s very physical which in itself is pretty funny. And yes, I’ve said on numerous occasions if Dick Van Dyke and Carol Burnett had a daughter it would be a Kat Simmons.
Kat has done the L.A. thing appearing on countless shows but she chose to live here (as she puts it), “In Hooterville, er, I mean Gardnerville.” She has priorities in-check and her head screwed on straight. I don’t know what else I could say about her without pretending to be her publicist but Kat Simmons to me is one of the hardest working comics I know and a blast to work with.