Champion for the troops returns to The Improv | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Champion for the troops returns to The Improv

Tim Parsons, Lake Tahoe Action

While on comedy duty in Baghdad, Howie Nave and Scott Kennedy take time to read Lake Tahoe Action.

There’s a poignancy behind the laughter this week at The Improv.

Scott Kennedy will be back in Tahoe for the first time since he, Howie Nave and Graham Elwood traveled to Iraq and Kuwait to entertain the military personnel.

Bringing the comedy troupe to visit the troops was the idea of Kennedy, who has been to Iraq and Afghanistan about 35 times.

Kennedy said his source of inspiration was his two nephews who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“They said they didn’t get any entertainment while they were there, and I thought maybe I could change that,” Kennedy told Lake Tahoe Action last year.

Last fall’s trip overseas was the first for Nave, and the second for Elwood. Nave says he wants to return.

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“My nephew gets deployed out there in October, so it would be cool to surprise him and do some shows in Afghanistan with Scott,” Nave said.

Elwood probably would like to return as well.

“(The shows) are some of the more physically and emotionally tough things I have done, and also the most rewarding,” Elwood told Lake Tahoe Action last September. “I’ve been a standup comedian since I was 18, and I’ve never seen such a direct positive impact on doing shows as I have from going into the war zone.”

Kennedy, who played high school football in Lubbock, Texas, usually wears a football jersey during his standup performances. After finishing high school, he attended New Mexico Military Institute for three years.

He’s been on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” and a half-hour special, “Comedy Central Presents: Scott Kennedy.” His comedy is showcased on two CDs that are available nationwide on the UpRoar Label.

His passion, however, is being among the troops.

“I’ve personally shaken the hands of, conservatively, 22,000 soldiers who said ‘thank you,'” he said. “That’s more than Gen. Petraeus or the president ever has. That’s very motivating for me to keep going.”