Comedian Michael Colyar performs at the Improv Lake Tahoe |

Comedian Michael Colyar performs at the Improv Lake Tahoe

Michael Colyar
Courtesy photo |

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the cancellation of comedian Gilbert Lawand.

Comedian Michael Colyar is up here at the Improv at Harveys for the very first time, and I’m so looking forward to having him up here. Colyar is no stranger to the comedy field, and some might say he is a trailblazer of sorts. At a time when many African-American comedians were doing, shall we say, swear-word intensive material, Colyar did the complete opposite, delving into routines that weren’t vulgar, profane or directed exclusively to a black audience. His introduction into stand-up was rather unique as well, performing weekends on the boardwalk of Venice Beach, Calif., which prompted many to call Colyar “The King of Venice Beach.” Colyar’s schtick transcended demographic barriers by appealing to those of all ages, ethnic groups and personal backgrounds. Michael’s comedy is part theater and part insight. He combines cultural lessons with humor throughout, so you’re entertained, but you’re also getting an educational element seldom heard in the comedy arena.

Colyar scored his on-camera breakthrough in 1990, when he won the stand-up competition on “Star Search.” He also made headlines for taking half of the money he won on the program and donating it to Los Angeles-area charities. By the time this occurred, Colyar had also diversified his career by moving into film roles that included small supporting roles in the comedies “Hollywood Shuffle” (1987), “Johnny Be Good” (1988), “House Party 3” (1994), “Norbit” (2007) and the dramas “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” (1993) and “Poetic Justice” (1993). Colyar was the host and MC of his own cable talk show, “BET Live from L.A.” and has appeared on numerous late-night television shows. He continues to act when he can find the time, but seeing him perform stand-up is like watching him do a one-man show every night.

Howie Nave is the MC at the Improv at Harveys. The comedy club is inside Harveys Lake Tahoe. Shows begin at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and tickets are $25 plus fees. The Improv is dark on Mondays and Tuesdays. Must be 21 or older to attend. More information is available by calling 775-586-6266.

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