Comedy club in Harveys has a ‘Fitz’
Ryan Summerlin January 17, 2013
Greg Fitzsimmons has a great comedy podcast called “Fitzdog Radio” (one of the most downloaded shows on iTunes), has appeared on “The Late Show With David Letterman,” “Conan O’Brien,” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” He has several comedy specials on Comedy Central and his show on MTV, “Idiot Savants” won him a Cable ACE Award for Best Game Show. He’s been featured on the “HBO Comedy Showcase” hosted by Louie Anderson and has appeared in the movies “Monumental,” “The Callback” and “Three.”
In addition to all those credits, Greg authored a book, “Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons: Tales of Redemption from an Irish Mailbox.”
So why is he here in little ol’ Lake Tahoe performing for the entire week? Because Greg knows this is the most important credit of his comedy career, being up here first in 2013.
What sets “Fitz” apart from the others in this highly competitive arena? Not much. OK, I believe it’s his sardonic wit … and God forbid you ever try to stare him down in a game of poker; he’s that good. Not at poker (he sucks, actually) but he is so committed to his delivery, nobody knows if in fact he’s joking about something or being serious. Greg is probably one of the most sarcastic comics I have ever worked with on and offstage.
It must be his Bronx roots. That and his parents. His mom always had a wicked sense of humor while his dad, Bob Fitzsimmons, was once a radio personality in New York City. Ironically his old man knew a young Howard Stern when his dad was still in broadcasting so it made sense that the younger Fitzsimmons would wind up on Stern’s network.
Lately, Greg hosts a series on The Speed Channel called “Pumped” and is a frequent panelist on “Chelsea Lately.”
He recently taped another One-Hour standup special this past summer. His writing credits include HBO’s “Lucky Louie,” “Cedric the Entertainer Presents,” “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher,” “The Man Show” and a ton others. Some of the awards he’s received include four Daytime Emmys he won as a writer and producer on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “The Jury Award for Best Comedian” from The HBO Comedy Arts Festival. Greg spent five years as a panelist on VH1’s “Best Week Ever.”
His greatest claim to fame though (and he’s too humble to admit it) was probably when he hosted the 25th annual “AVN Adult Movie Awards” on Showtime. You just can’t buy that kind of adulation but Greg would had he not hosted the gig.
We have a new comic this week. I mean new to both our room and also to Lake Tahoe. Welcome Jonny Loquasto, who’s originally from Northampton, Penn.
Like so many who ended up being in this business, Jonny battled insecurities, turning pain into humor, in his case being a fat kid who weighed close to 170 pounds by age 11.
He motivated himself not just by making others laugh to distract from his childhood hurt, but lost the weight while gaining a reputation for being downright hilarious.
Jonny describes himself as being a comedian, on-camera host, actor and a writer. He has a masters degree in physical therapy and likes both the paranormal and pro-wrestling.
He a wrote a 25-minute short film called “The Thumb Wrestler” that he plans on producing on his own. Loquasto has a weekly pro wrestling/ comedy podcast called the “Steel Chair Slamcast,” so he definitely has a love that rivals his standup.
His first comedy CD, “Thugged In,” came out just over a year ago and is a variety album featuring his standup, sketch comedy and parody hip-hop songs à la “Weird Al” Yankovic (who actually was one of his inspirations getting into comedy).
Without a doubt, Jonny is one hard-working individual, and having him up here is going to be a great time, I can tell already.