Improv gets another feather in the ‘Cap’
October 9, 2008
Comedian John Caponera brings a positive feel to the stage. For that, I have to admit, I get a little cynical.
John is pretty much always in an upbeat mood, and it comes across in his shows. Yes, I can learn from “Cap” and try to make every show a better one. The Chicago native has one of those faces that looks very familiar, yet you just can’t place where you’ve seen it. His everyman persona lends itself not just to the big screen but also the stage.
John started in 1979, when he entered a “Gong Show” contest at a bar in Chicago. He walked away with the $500 winner’s pot and a realization that he might have something to offer the comedy world.
After two years on the Chicago comedy club circuit, John took his act on the road, and that’s where he really honed his craft.
“Every so often, the kingdom of comedy is graced with a gifted, naturally refined performer who can effectively demonstrate the transcendental powers of the medium while making it look deceptively easy,” wrote Howell J. Malham Jr. of the Chicago Tribune.
He did a great stint in Las Vegas, and Michael Paskevich of the Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote, “Unafraid of letting a room grow quiet, Caponera sets his own intentionally erratic pace, pausing to perfection to complement his oddly timed but rewarding comedic insights. The jokes are further bolstered by his talent for facial gestures that range from goofy to arrogant, making Caponera arguably the hottest club headliner going at present.”
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Although he won’t admit it John does some of the best sports-announcer impersonations ever. My favorite is his tribute to the Chicago Cubs’ voice announcer, Harry Caray. The other is Vin Scully, long time voice of the Dodgers.
John appeared in his own sitcom, “The Good Life” and hosted Comedy Central’s “Jocks” and ESPN’s “Talk II.” He has guest-starred on “ER,” “Love & War,” “Blossom” and one of my favorite shows, “Tales From The Crypt” on HBO.
Kenny Bob Davis has been a fixture up here, first performing as a musician and then as a comedian for the past 35 years. He’s sort of like Jackie Gleason with the biting country charm of Will Rogers plus Roy Clark’s musical warmth and the energy of General George S. Patton all rolled into one.
To his audiences he is an everyman. To the entertainment industry, Kenny’s quite special. He started his career as a guitar-playing folk singer in the ’60s. Within that atmosphere, he developed his rapport and comedic interplay with the audience, throwing out humorous material between his songs. Soon after, people started coming for the comedy. His greatest influences are the Kingston Trio and Jonathan Winters. With more than 30 years of professional performing experience, Kenny Bob Davis is still going strong ” and loving it.
Kenny was raised in Burbank and played to packed houses all over Southern California while recording two big-selling live albums. When he started touring with his group, they soon became a popular fixture in the hotel showrooms and lounges of Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe and Reno.
In 1978 thanks to Eddie Rabbit, Kenny started a new phase of his career as a stand-up comic opening the Montana State Fair. Since that time he has opened in concert for many other stars, such as Kenny Rogers, Alabama and Larry Gatlin.
Over the years, Kenny was simply Kenny Davis, but a country performer has to have a third name. Kenny’s relationship with Gatlin and their common love of golf and performing turned Kenny Davis into Kenny Bob Davis.