Ben Gleib returns to the Improv at Harveys this week for his third outing and hey, why not? Every time I tune into “Chelsea Lately,” he seems to be on and “Esquire” magazine named him one of “Six comedians who would be comedy’s next big thing.” Time to get a break from so much adulation and perform in a place where he won’t get a big head. That could be a problem though, since the last two times Ben has been up here has done very well.
Satirical by nature, Gleib was given very good reviews performing at the Vancouver Comedy and Laughing Matters festivals. He has written for the Radio Music Awards and has his own podcast called “Last Week On Earth,” which, as he says, “covers everything that happened on Earth in the last week.” He covers a wide range of topics on his podcast and I forgot he can be political at times, which is an offshoot of the radio gig he did reporting for Southern California NPR-affiliate KPCC at the last Republican National Convention.
Ben’s talents extend beyond just the comedy. As an actor he starred in the NBC prime-time comedy “The Real Wedding Crashers.” The show also aired on Bravo and Style networks. His voice-over work includes Marshall the sloth in 20th Century Fox’s “Ice Age: Continental Drift.” As mentioned earlier Gleib has been on “Chelsea Lately” a bunch of times, as well as on “Last Call with Carson Daly,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson” and “Last Comic Standing.”
Ben is also a fixture online, with videos that have notched up to 17 million views. Other credits include selling a pilot called “The Gleib Show” to Fox and releasing his first comedy album, titled “Not Available in Stores.”
Making his debut up here this week in the feature slot is Lukas Seely. In the relatively short span Lukas has been doing stand-up comedy, he has amassed a nice resume. He was nominated as an emerging comic in the New York Underground Comedy Festival and has also opened for people such as Dane Cook, Damon Wayans, Shawn Wayans, Ron White, Bill Burr, Greg Giraldo and Jeffery Ross. He started out in his hometown of Billings, Mont., relocating to Seattle in 2004 and developing a following in the comedy scene. From there he worked his way south to Los Angeles.
Here’s an interesting six degrees of separation: When “Chelsea Lately” regular Ben Gleib canceled his performances in Missoula, Mont., one weekend, Lukas Seely filled in. Obviously Lukas was still living in Montana at the time, but what a coincidence to have the two of them together here this week.
I can’t believe Lukas would drive down from Billings to Denver every other week to do open-mic nights at The Comedy Works downtown. That’s an eight-hour drive, folks. Fortunately he had a cousin who lived in Denver so he could crash at his place before heading back to Billings the following day.
Things have really panned out nicely for Lukas. He’s producing many projects, one of them a pilot for the Food Network based on the cooking of his mother, who has been providing egg rolls to the people of Billings for more than two decades via farmers markets and two restaurants, Taste of Asia and the Samurai. The egg rolls are a metaphor representing his family’s freedom and his parents’ escape from a communist government. The plan is to travel around America finding other restaurants that have the same story as is. Pretty cool, huh? He’s also continuing to bring live stand-up comedy to his home state through the Montana Comedy Project, so, even though he’s physically in Southern California, his heart and soul remain up north.