Blair debuts at The Improv, Fontecchio fills in for Howie | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Blair debuts at The Improv, Fontecchio fills in for Howie

Howie Nave

Let’s welcome Dennis Blair, a first timer to the lake who will finally perform his seasoned act up here. Probably best known as George Carlin’s exclusive opening act, Dennis has headlined in his own right for years when not asked by the legendary performer to tour on the road with him. His act combines music, standup and topical observations.

Dennis has performed virtually everywhere; if there’s a stage, chances are he’s performed on it. Comedy clubs, corporate venues, cruise ships and concert halls from Carnegie Hall in New York to the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles to the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. are just some of the places he has performed. Dennis has also appeared on The Tonight Show, HBO and has co-hosted the “Stephanie Miller Radio Show” with the comedic legend Elayne Boosler.

Dennis has toured with the best in the business, among them the late Rodney Dangerfield, Joan Rivers, Jackie Mason, the Beach Boys, Gloria Estefan, Tom Jones and Carlin (with whom he toured for over eighteen years in the U.S. and Canada). He’s been around long enough to get some pretty incredible testimonials from fellow comics and members of the press including Liz Smith from The New York Daily News who said, “This guy will soon be a household face and name.” Dangerfield said, “He has the fastest comedy mind of anyone I ever met. If life is fair, he should make it big.”

The best quote, though, comes from the guy he opened for and who is a living legend in this business. It was Carlin who said, “The only person who can make me belly laugh.” Nice.

Gee’s the next best thing

Appearing with Blair every night this week through Sunday is David Gee, who was a semifinalist on ABC’s “The Next Best Thing” this past summer. The Santa Monica comic (who dropped the k from his last name for professional reasons) was featured as a guest host on “Access Hollywood” this past June, which makes sense since Gee is one of the most sought after hosts these days, especially when it comes to celebrity charity events. David also serves as roast master for those classic Friar’s Roasts that air on Comedy Central.

Gee has a gift when it comes to voice impersonations. In fact, no one does a Vin Scully better than him. Each show with Gee is such a delight. David is the quintessential comedian, doing everything from voices and facial expressions to stories that are often repeated around the water cooler at work the following day. He has that broadcast quality of a voice that punches up his bits with more bites.

David has performed with a wide variety of acts, which include The Beach Boys, Ray Charles, Bonnie Raitt, Kenny Loggins and Glen Campbell. He has appeared on HBO, Showtime, Entertainment Tonight and Comedy Central. An accomplished illustrator and poet of all things sarcastic, David has also started getting a bit more political in his act. What? Gee? Yep, and who can blame him with the elections coming up? He wants to remind people that some in Washington need to know what the people are thinking. Gee made sure of that in the last election, posing as a street corner sign spinner in our nation’s capitol with his political message printed on the sign.

Special guest host Scott Fontecchio

While Howie (writing in the third person once again) is off in Massachusetts doing the Boston Comedy Festival, you’ll be treated to Scott Fontecchio, who has been doing stand up for quite some time. He’s headlined rooms like Catch a Rising Star and The Funny Bone. Of course any opportunity to grace the stage in Lake Tahoe equals being anywhere else.

Scott has been in several comedy competitions and has a style that can be described as, well, sarcastic in nature. He uses the audience as the punch line for much of his material. Scott resides on the north shore and as luck would have it is in town this week to be Howie’s replacement. Scott is hoping Howie stays in Boston much longer than anticipated so he can take over as host/MC and not have to be on the road as much.


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