Ray of comedy shines on Harveys stage; Foley goes the distance | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ray of comedy shines on Harveys stage; Foley goes the distance

Howie Nave, Lake Tahoe Action

If she gets too close, she can smell the curry on his breath. Almost famous and in Tahoe this week are Erin Foley and Improv host Howie Nave. There are two shows on Saturday night.

He grew up in the suburbs of Lake Forest Park, Washington, and, like a lot of kids, Harveys’ Improv headliner through Sunday, Adam Ray, would use comedy to deflect bullies when he was teased for being a fat kid in school.

A little later on he used comedy to pull a lot of pranks to win friends but at the same time get into trouble with teachers and other authority figures. In fourth grade on April Fool’s Day (a milestone day for any up-and-coming comedian), Adam placed a whoopee cushion on his teacher’s chair that worked perfectly. The end result: “I will not be a class clown” written 250 times in a notebook.

Having explored his creative side at the entry level of education, Adam took it to a more serious level in high school where he ran the school’s morning television news program.

It was supposed to be serious just delivering the morning news but apparently Adam found that to be kind of boring so with a little help from his high school buddies it slowly turned into a weekly sketch show and the news was relegated to a much smaller portion of the morning television programming.

Airing every Friday morning for 10 minutes, it soon became a hit among the entire school.

After high school Adam traveled south to Los Angeles where he was one of 15 kids out of several thousand who was accepted into the BFA acting conservatory at USC.

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This was barely into the new century and since graduating just seven years ago he has already been a fixture on the comedy club circuit in part because of incredibly savvy approach of getting his act out there through alternate means of exposure. If you go online (www.

AdamRayTV.com), you’ll see.

His Web videos have had more than 20 million hits on YouTube, which led to a nice deal with with Broadway Video, creating content for its channel Above Average.

Some of the highlights on his site have been featured on Funnyordie.com. His “Kermit the Frog reaction video to 2 girls 1 cup,” is at close to 6 million hits and counting. Not bad, huh?

Through traditional modes of media you may have caught him on “Two Broke Girls,” SYFY’s “Insane or Inspired,” Adult Swim’s “NTSF:SD:SUV,” MTV’s “Human Giant,” and cast opposite Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in Paul Feig’s buddy cop comedy, “The Heat,” out next April.

It’s about time Adam found his way up here, performing in Tahoe, where he can test his comedic skills to see if elevation is a factor on his performance onstage. Once he returns back to Los Angeles, I believe his skills as a comedian will have increased tenfold.

The long overdue Erin Foley finally returns after a two-year absence from the Improv at Harveys.

She’s been to countess auditions, criss-crossing the country performing at clubs, theaters and colleges. To her impressive credit, Erin’s been featured at the Just for Laughs/TBS Comedy Festival in Chicago, the Marshall’s Women in Comedy Festival and was selected to perform at the prestigious Just For Laughs Montreal Comedy Festival. That’s a lot of walking, but she’s used to it, having walked from Harveys to Zephyr Cove to take a ride on the M.S. Dixie II because she wanted to experience a paddleboat trip to Emerald Bay. (The Improv host didn’t give her a car ride because he was at an all-you-can-eat Indian restaurant.)

Foley has done her fair share of television appearances that include her own half-hour comedy special for Comedy Central, stints on “Chelsea Lately” and numerous other late night TV shows. On the silver screen, Erin’s been in “Cried Suicide,” “Squeezplay” and my favorite movie, Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous” which starred Kate Hudson (who received a Best Supporting Actress nomination); Erin played the role of Allison, the fact checker for Rolling Stone Magazine.

Like so many comedians Erin almost didn’t become one. The comedy career sort of found her. So typical, and having chatted with her last time she said it was almost destined she would wind up in this business.

“I really had no idea I was going to be in comedy,” she said. “I moved to Manhattan because my sister lived in New York and I always wanted to live there and I had done some improv comedy in college, randomly. So I was about to apply to grad school because I was always wanted to teach, and I thought I would do some improv comedy before I went to grad school.

“So I was like, I’ll do some improv and hold off on grad school for like a year or two and bum around in New York. And with the improv we were performing in standup comedy clubs and that was the first introduction to standup comedy that I had. I had never actually really heard of it before. So I kind of got a late jump on everything because by that time I was like 24 or 25 so I just started watching all this stand-up and I loved it. I fell in love with it. I loved how I didn’t have to rely on six other people for a schedule and creativity and what not. I really loved the fact that you could think about something at 4 p.m. and talk about it at 8 p.m. and that’s what I still love about it, the immediacy of it.

“I never made it to grad school. much to the chagrin of my mother. But yeah, that’s sort of the roundabout route that I took into standup comedy.”

Good thing for us though because when I mention that Erin Foley is performing here , peope aways respond, “Isn’t she the best to work with?” Yes, she is.

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