Multi-talented comedians take time out for comic relief
Ryan Summerlin May 8, 2012
Every Monday morning Allan Havey joins me in a segment on the radio called “Howiewood & Haveywood,” during which Allan delivers some of the funniest updates regarding everything within the world of movies for the latest releases to the classics, and who’s involved in the latest scandal in Hollywood. His love of movies is second only to his love of comedy and both work best without a script. Havey has turned Monday mornings into one of the most entertaining parts of my morning radio show. He’s very well-qualified, being in a number of movies including “Hancock” starring Will Smith, “The Informant!” with Matt Damon, Richard Gere in “Internal Affairs” and “Checking Out” with Jeff Daniels. Oh, I almost forgot he was with Matt Damon in “Rounders” and “Wild Things Part 2: The Glades” with Isaiah Washington.
On the small screen, Havey’s been a regular on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” Comedy Central and “The Louie Show.” Allan’s improvisational skills are second to none and one of the reasons he was able to land a starring role on Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” on HBO and repeat appearances on Ashton Kutcher’s reality-based television show, “Punk’d.” Havey has also appeared on Seinfeld, the short-lived improvisational format television show, “Free Ride” on FOX Television and Bob Zmuda’s “Comic Relief” on HBO.
But it’s his club and theater work that makes Havey such a blast to watch. “I try to take the best things out of my club work, fit it together and describe what I’m about and who I am” says Allan. Each show is different because each audience is different with different outcomes. His stand up has gotten a lot of invitations to perform at comedy festivals around the world.
Some of those include the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, the Kilkenny Comedy Festival in Ireland, Aspen Comedy Festival and The New York Comedy Festival in this country. He has toured Australia and venues all over Europe and continues to be one of the best comedians working today. However, if you ask him, Allan will tell you that performing overseas in a war zone entertaining our troops has been the best experience of his life.
A natural-born skeptic (and smartass too at times) in addition to being an observer on everyday life, Havey is quick to point out the obvious and commonality that exists in everyone but siphons out the stupidity that makes his comedy so unique and topical. Allan is great not just at observing people, but interviewing them as well. He had his own late-night talk show a while back on the fledgling Comedy Central network and a natural on radio for which he has had several very successful syndicated talk shows. Now you know why he’s such a kick to have on my little morning radio show.
Although he hasn’t been up here in a while, Chris Mancini has been very visible through his Comedy Film Nerd podcast (co-created with comedian Graham Elwood) and his work as filmmaker and as an author. As a new dad, he realized that, although there were plenty of books out there for new moms, there really wasn’t one for the new fathers out there so Chris penned, “Pacify Me: A Handbook for the Freaked Out New Dad” from Simon and Schuster. It tells of the harrowing tale of a guy overcoming his fear of actually procreating and offers helpful advice for newly freaked out dads everywhere.
His film career is pretty cool existing primarily behind the camera as writer, producer and director. His short, “Hitclown” is still a personal fav, shot in beautiful black and white. In a nutshell, the story centers around a burnt out hitman and a burnt-out circus clown. I don’t know which occupation would be worst (leaning more toward the clown). I hate giving too much away, but both characters collide with one another and, in the confusion, accidentally grab the other’s gym bag containing the tools of their respective trades. When they contact each other to get their perspective bags back the hitman finds it actually very Zen-like entertaining little kids while the former clown realizes she likes rubbing out bad guys. It gets even better once the two hook up, so you’ll have to watch the movie short to enjoy the outcome.
Chris has also done his fair share of projects on the small screen and when his work premiered on The Sci-Fi Channel, he was awarded the “Future of Film” award, which included a nice grant to make more films in the future. The Sci-Fi Channel also aired his award-winning short film “SKINS,” which The Museum of Television and Radio in New York archived as an “Important Short Film.” He has screened and spoken at various prestigious festivals including Slamdance, HBO’s US Comedy Arts Festival and at Comic-Con in San Diego.
But, and we have to remember that it was primarily his stand up that first opened most of these other avenues for him. As a comic, Chris has played all over the country from huge theaters small comedy clubs everywhere. He’s been at The LA Improv on Melrose and Las Vegas Improv, Comedy Store, Ice House, Laugh Factory, Catch a Rising Star, and some of the better Funny Bones. The best place to catch Chris and where you’ll usually find him is breaking in new material at an alternative comedy outlet where he kinda looks like something you’d see out of the 1950s as a beatnik poet of sorts.