It’s Rondell Sheridan’s first time back at the Improv this year and fans of the popular Disney character are probably thinking, “You’re performing in a comedy club in a casino? What would Walt say?” Well, he’s dead but would still be proud that one of his own has gone beyond the confines of what scripted television has to offer. I didn’t even know that Rondell Sheridan was so popular on Disney so I had to watch “That’s So Raven,” “Cory in the House” and the Nickelodeon series “Cousin Skeeter” just to see what it is people were so jazzed about. Now I need to watch every single episode because I’m hooked. I will say this though. Don’t let the squeaky clean characters fool you because, onstage in a comedy club, Rondell isn’t for the kiddies.
With a career that spans 35 years, Rondell spent many years on the road as a stand-up comic before the television opportunities came his way. He worked his way up the late night ladder appearing on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” (and Johnny Carson), “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and countless comedy specials. Those are just some of Rondell’s late night credits on the small screen.For a guy who has the most pleasant image and demeanor on TV it’s ironic Rondell grew up on the tough streets of Chicago’s South Side. He discovered that humor was the best way to keep others from bullying him, as well as a way to make a lot of friends. It wasn’t until later that he discovered he felt at his best through comedy, eventually leading him to a career in acting and then producing shows and directing them.
A well-educated Rondell attended Marquette University in Milwaukee as an interpersonal communications major with a minor in advertising. He then attended the prestigious New York acting school known as Circle in the Square. This rounded out Rondell’s theater experience performing in repertory work, regional theater and off-Broadway productions. Rondell told me that “Comedy was a natural progression because I’ve always gravitated toward storytelling.” I can see that because some of his influences include Richard Pryor, George Carlin and Bill Cosby — some of the best storytellers in the business.
This being Nick Hoff’s first time ever performing in our room, I’m looking forward to seeing his entire set because I’ve only seen snippets online. My friend and producer/founder of The Boston Comedy Festival, Jim McCue first mentioned Nick Hoff to me a few years ago and said he’s definitely worth checking out. I commented to Jim that he looked like Dexter so he’s probably going to kill the week he’s up here.
Born and raised in Nebraska, Nick (now living in Los Angeles) began his stand-up career in the Midwest. While attending college he enjoyed writing jokes instead of studying, which he would later realize was a much more rewarding way to go. Nick is a featured comedy writer for Life & Style magazine and has also been seen on Comedy Time TV and the aforementioned Boston Comedy Festival. Back in 2009 Nick was part of the “Walk of Shame Comedy Tour” which included 42 shows in 56 days over 16 days. And now here he is doing what he loves and finally performing up here in our neck of the woods.