Howie Nave
Special to Lake Tahoe Action

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July 31, 2013
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Ifft, Wood to appear at The Improv

Down Under, he’s probably better known as “That Crazy Yank.” Eddie Ifft has headlined shows in 15 countries, including South Africa, New Zealand, China and the United Arab Emirates. Of course he’s also traveled this country and chronicled his travels in the feature-length documentary film, “America the Punchline.”

Eddie just returned from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with his highly charged show, “Eddie Ifft Too Soon?” That sums it up because Eddie tends to cross over all lines, no matter where the line is drawn. He’s worked with some pretty big names in the business, such as Dave Chapelle, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock and Robin Williams. Given all that, Eddie says he loves being up here in Tahoe. The crowds aren’t any tamer, but I think he prefers a feeling of being on his home turf after being ravished in the press elsewhere.

In March of 2010 Ifft was criticized by The Herald Sun newspaper along with comedian Fiona O’Loughlin for mocking the death of the late Steve Irwin while performing on the comedy music quiz show “Spicks & Specks” on Australia’s ABC network. The following year the same newspaper criticized Ifft for making jokes about Oprah Winfrey and the pope. Nothing is sacred and Eddie makes sure of that. In a more calmer show earlier this year, Eddie was one of several comics featured in the Showtime special, “Tommy Chong Presents Comedy at 420,” which has aired on several other networks, too.

On the lighter side, Eddie loves sports and has combined his love of comedy and sports first on ABC TV as the “College Football Guy” and was co-host of a sports radio show on New York’s legendary WNEW. He has several CDs out including the one that first introduced me to him, “Jokes That Make My Friends Laugh.” His first CD, “I Learned the Hard Way” still gets plenty of downloads because it’s that good. He also just released a DVD that was recorded in front of a sold-out crowd at the Sydney Opera House in Australia in February. Eddie also started a podcast along with comedian Bryan Callen called “Wingmen” and one day he’ll star on my podcast when I get my act together.

Alysia Wood

Just like last week we have a new face up here: Alysia Wood. I may not know her yet, but I am familiar with her work. Her CD, “Princess” was produced by Grammy Award-winner Dan Schlissel. Alysia was recorded on the Stand Up! Records label which is also home to Lewis Black, David Cross, Patton Oswald and Marc Maron. Budd Friedman is credited for calling Wood “America’s Next Funniest Comedian” upon her show at the Las Vegas Improv location inside Harrah’s. The competition was sponsored by the DVD release of the movie, “Funny People,” and Alysia has since gone on to compete in numerous other comedy competitions and festivals, but she is finally coming to Tahoe.

She was selected as “Hot Comedian” by Campus Activities Magazine and can get away with a lot more sometimes because she pulls it off so effortlessly. She’s a favorite on National Lampoon Comedy Radio (on XM) and has appeared on the nationally syndicated “Bob & Tom Radio Show.”

Alysia is a frequent guest on so many comedy podcasts in part because she always has something entertaining and interesting to talk about and people who do podcasts (and radio) love that. And yes, that was her playing the wife on a Laugh Spin original series “Back Porch Wisdom” and also Brett’s mom in the movie, “Dangerous.” I remember when comedian Carlos Alazraqui (from the Comedy Central series “Reno 911”) saying good stuff about her when they appeared in two episodes of Niecy Nash’s Yahoo series, “Let’s Talk About Love.”

Now we have her here this week. Hope you can drop by and check her out for yourself.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jul 31, 2013 09:45AM Published Jul 31, 2013 01:36PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.