Pompa and circumstance: Gene headlines, Howie heads home
Ryan Summerlin June 8, 2012
Not only is Gene Pompa back, so am I.
Oh, sure, I look (and feel) relaxed, but what about my comedy chops and comedic timing? Have I lost it some, being off stage for more than two weeks? Nah, not worried, plus Gene Pompa is here at the Harveys Improv and he’s back this time as a headliner.
He was promoted during my vacation and, hey, during these tough times it’s quite an accomplishment.
If you’ve never had the Gene Pompa experience, it’s like, well, something out of a black-and-white movie. He’s dry, prolific, and a very good writer, too. In fact, Gene has written for a lot television shows; that’s pretty amazing. Shows like “The Brothers Garcia” on Nickelodeon; he’s performed on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” starred in his own half hour Comedy Central special, and even appeared on FOX’s “In Living Color” and cable shows on Showtime, HBO, MTV, MUN2, Galavision and even as a contestant on the Game Show Network.
On the big screen, Gene was paid to feel up Jennifer Aniston in the movie “Just Go With It,” starring Aniston and Adam Sandler. When I say “feel up,” I mean there’s a scene where Gene touched Aniston’s breast. When I asked him how many takes were required to get it down, he said, “37 takes before the director” (and probably Gene) “was satisfied.”
Gene was born in East Los Angeles to a very strict, Catholic, Mexican-American upbringing, so that probably explains his style of the funny. He incorporates a lot of his multi-ethnic upbringing into his show, which is very funny, often times making himself the butt of the joke. Pompa’s offbeat perspective on comedy crosses all racial and ethnic lines and goes over well with everyone from college age audiences to a more mature crowd.
Gene credits comedic legends Johnny Carson, David Letterman and Steve Martin as being his influences. That in itself is a cross-section of comedy from several walks of life.
Gene Pompa, folks. Be there this week through Sunday, June 10.
Welcome yet another first-timer to the comedy club: Taylor Williamson.
He started out in San Diego, moved to Los Angeles to find his comedic dream and was just waiting for a shot to get to the lake to complete his dream.
When it comes to performing, this guy is everywhere, circling the globe, having performed at the prestigious Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, then being the youngest person to perform on “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” MTV’s “TRL,” which was canceled a couple of weeks later but freeing him up to be on Comedy Central’s “Live At Gotham” in New York, which was also canceled. He did appear on the now-canceled “Last Comic Standing” on NBC, being a semi-finalist and eventually lost.