Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Bobby Collins, Rick D’Elia perform this week at Lake Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Bobby Collins, Rick D’Elia perform this week at Lake Tahoe

Bobby Collins

Word spreads quickly when folks find out Bobby Collins is performing up here — he has a sizable fan base where, no joke, fans will book their vacations around his week. He has an engaging and positive rapport with audiences, and as a New Yorker has a different perspective and a sarcastic edge that makes him funny.

Named after comedian Bob Hope, Collins told me, "Even though I'd never seen Hope perform, when I was appearing in Philadelphia for the first time a newspaper reporter from New York City caught my act and liked it so much he put me on the entire cover of the paper's weekend section. Lost in the cover's corner was a tiny picture of Bob Hope. While I was visiting with friends at the club, a black limousine pulled up and the driver handed me a manila envelope. There was a signed photo of Bob Hope inside along with a handwritten note saying, 'How dare you get top billing on a weekend,' with a happy face drawn at the bottom." That's pretty cool coming from a legend of Hope's stature.

Collins has performed on several Showtime specials and was Rosie O'Donnell's predecessor hosting VH1's "Stand-Up Spotlight." He's opened for some major talent that includes the likes of Cher, Dolly Parton, Julio Iglesias and Tony Bennett, and was nominated for a CableACE Award as well as for the American Comedy Awards' Stand-up Comic of the Year.

The comedian has released a handful of CDs over the years with titles such as "I'm On The Boat," "Women and Children First," "On the Inside," "I Wanna Go Home," "You're Not Coming with Us," "Mr. New York" and "Out of Bounds" (which earned him a Grammy nomination). His DVD, "Bobby Collins: Live from New York City," captures the essence of his stand-up. Collins has also appeared in five feature films and numerous other television shows.

Rick D'Elia

Rick D'Elia hails from Boston, so he's funny on principle. He recently finished shooting and editing his documentary "One Minute Comic: The Rob Sampson Story," which chronicles the rise of an incredible stand-up whose entire set lasts only one minute. I can't wait to see the finished project (in part because yours truly has a small part in it).

As a Boston native, D'Elia is obviously a die-hard Red Sox fan and actually shared his love of baseball in a book that he co-authored with Andy Wasif. New Yorkers wouldn't appreciate the book, called "How to Talk to a Yankee Fan," but they have to admit it's a funny read.

D'Elia was a regular sketch performer on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and his keen take on observational humor led him to the finals in the 2000 San Francisco Comedy Competition. He's appeared on "Stand-up Stand-up," "America's Talking," "The Naked Truth" and "Inside the Extras Studio" and Grand Slam Comedy Jam.

When not doing comedy in front of a live audience, D'Elia does a lot of stuff off-stage such as producing, writing and directing local and national shows. He's been involved with three stand-up specials on Showtime: "Going Native" (2009), "Green Collar Comedy Slam" (2010) and "The Godfathers of Comedy" (2011). The comedian is also the director, writer, and co-host of the "Half Hour Happy Hour," a late-night comedy show on the CW Network in northern Nevada & California.

The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays through Sundays at 9 p.m. Learn more at http://www.harveystahoe.com.