Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Cathy Ladman, Carrie Snow perform this week at Lake Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Cathy Ladman, Carrie Snow perform this week at Lake Tahoe

Howie Nave
Special to Lake Tahoe Action

Cathy Ladman

It's the "Two Girls & Their Dogs Tour" at The Improv this week — both Cathy Ladman and Carrie Snow are huge dog lovers and just couldn't leave their pooches at home, so they're here as well. I believe the two of them are chronicling their trip, too, driving up together. They picked a good week to be here — it's the first time we've had nice temperatures in quite a while, which means a good time for taking dogs outside, too.

Ladman has quite the history in this business — she's appeared on "The Tonight Show" nine times and was the only female comedian to appear on the last two Johnny Carson "Tonight Show Anniversary" shows. She's also had her own HBO "One Night Stand" comedy special and, in 1992, was awarded the American Comedy award for Best Female Stand-Up Comic.

A native New Yorker now living in Los Angeles, Ladman has been in quite a number of movies including "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead," "My Fellow Americans," "What Planet Are You From?" and "White Oleander." Her guest-starring television roles include AMC's "Mad Men," "Brothers & Sisters," "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Everybody Loves Raymond."

In addition to her roles as an actor, Ladman is also an accomplished writer — she's written for TV sitcoms "Roseanne," "Caroline in the City" and original projects on shows such as "The Caroline Rhea Show" and "The King of Queens." Ladman has written, produced and starred in several one-woman shows, such as her latest project, "Does This Show Make Me Look Fat?" She was also in a successful off-Broadway show called "The JAP Show: The Princess of Comedy" and the 25th anniversary production of "The Last Summer at Bluefish Cove" in Los Angeles. She and HBO developed her solo show "Scaredypants" and took it to the Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival.

Ladman has received much press as a performance artist, but one of my favorites from the Los Angeles Times said, "Ladman has such clever, well-written material and such a breezy, unassuming delivery that it would be easy to overlook just how good she is."

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Carrie Snow

I've known Snow for well over 25 years, dating back to when we were both living in the Bay Area around the time I saw her one-woman show, "7000 Sailors Can't Be Wrong," which was hilarious. Snow is a duality entertainer — she's both a stand-up and sketch comedian. She did one of her comedic sketches on "Saturday Night Live" when Roseanne Barr hosted the show, which speaks volumes about her talent.

Snow has a nice storytelling style about her and is very accessible. She weaves a story that is funny throughout, with the laughter getting stronger as the story unfolds. Her observations are funny and trippy: "Having a male gynecologist is like going to an auto mechanic who doesn't own a car." That line has always killed me.

She talks highly of physical comedic legends such as Lucille Ball, Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers, who she notes as her earliest influences. Snow realized that being funny transcends gender, saying, "If you are a real comic, man or woman, your act is who you are." However, she added, "I think women bring a deeper context."

Snow worked hard during her earlier days in the business: She was a receptionist for Kaiser Permanente in Berkeley during the day while she honed her stand-up at night. Her timing was fortuitous, being in San Francisco in the '80s just as the comedy boom was taking place. She rode that wave of humor through the decade, and landed a job as a writer for "Roseanne."

The comedian was in the comic documentary "The Aristocrats," and is an author, too. Her book, "My Mom's Meaner Than Your Mom: True Stories of Mean Mothers," could be made into a motion picture. Snow has appeared on "Oprah," Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect" and Showtime's "Comedy Club All-Stars." What an outstanding show we have.

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

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