Australian for funny: Jim Short | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Australian for funny: Jim Short

Jim Short loves to make people laugh.

When you first hear this week’s headliner at Harveys’ Improv, you immediately know he’s from Australia. However, his career in standup started when he moved to Texas.

I met Jim when he was living in San Francisco, and he loved being the only Bay Area Aussiecomic. He was an easy standout, winning the San Francisco Comedy Competition in 2004. It was ironic, too, because he has a self-deprecating persona about him, declaring, “I’m not a loser. I’ve tried. I’m a failure.” Can’t say that anymore, can we?

Like most successful comics, Jim is well educated when it comes to all things observational. He has a natural, almost curious appetite for the world around him, which has served him well. He has performed at the 2004 Montreal International Just For Laughs Comedy Festival (where he was deemed one of the “Talk of the Fest” performers), The Las Vegas Comedy Festival and The Aspen Comedy Festival.

Jim has a quick wit and is the perfect guy to have on as a radio guest, evidenced by the number of female callers he received the last time he was here back in 2010. Oh, sure, the ladies (and one guy) love the accent, but Jim uses that obvious trait to set up some of the best absurdities about what Americans think about the “Land Down Under.”

“We’re not all crocodile hunters, barbecue shrimp and live on the beaches,” he said. “That wouldn’t be such a bad existence, though, don’t get me wrong.”

Jim’s done all of the late television shows, including stints on the Comedy Central network and “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” “Shorties Watchin’ Shorties,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Comics Unleashed with Byron Allen,” Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” and NBC’s “Late Friday,” and some movie stuff in the works.

I’m so jazzed that Chipper Lowell is here this week, because my senior project student needs to talk with someone like Chipper.

Chipper is a very well-rounded, versatile entertainer. He grew up traveling out of a suitcase with his mom and dad, who performed in circuses and arena shows all over the world. I’m still waiting on those old pics that he had taken when first performing with his parents. Are you getting the hint, good friend?

Chipper’s father was a professional clown and stage actor while his mother performed an “iron jaw” act, hanging by her teeth high above crowds. That is amazing, because it’s very rare that you get a history of talented family members like this and even more rare that Chipper didn’t follow in his mother’s footsteps because Chipper has great choppers.

The family was very popular and sought-after crisscrossing the globe, and performers from their time had nothing to say but great things about Chip’s parents. They performed in Canada, Mexico, England, Australia, and New Zealand. And of course all over this country. As a boy Chipper was surrounded by a wide variety of circus, dance and vaudeville acts so he learned his trade literally from some of the best and from all walks of life. Of course he developed his own act that included elements from his past but all very visual and funny.

Over the years, Chipper has racked up an impressive list of awards, showbiz credentials, testimonials from stage shows in Atlantic City, Reno, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, New York, Aruba, Nassau and of course right here in Lake Tahoe for his show “The Chipper Lowell Experience,” which had a long run inside The Horizon Casino for two years. One of the awards that he received was from Lake Tahoe Action.

It’s going to be a great week with Chipper and “Mr. Down Under.” I encourage you to attend this week’s comedy show event if anything for the variety of it all.


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