Comedians Allan Havey and Frazer Smith at the Improv at Harveys
Comedian Allan Havey has become a regular fixture up at the Improv at Harvyes, and I consider him a local, in part because he’s on my morning radio show on 93.9 most every Monday for our segment called “Howiewood & Havewood.” He’s on when he’s available and not busy shooting a movie or doing a television series.
For me, Havey is what comedy should be both on and off stage. He has a solid work ethic, always delivers a good show and never takes his stand-up for granted. Even though his plate tends to get a little full, he always makes time to do comedy. I think it helps keep him contemporary.
Havey has had little time to relax, although the conclusion of AMC’s “Mad Men” (a moment of silence, please) has freed Havey up for some other projects and, more importantly, more stage time. Speaking of stage work, I didn’t know until recently that Allan had an extensive background in theater, and one of his wishes is to be able to do a production on Broadway. I could easily see him up there, just given the range of characters he plays on TV and in the movies. The list is extensive. Some of his television work (besides “Mad Men”) includes Louis C.K.’s show “Louie,” Larry David’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” NBC’s “The Office” and appearances on Ashton Kutcher’s reality-based television show, “Punk’d.” Movies include last year’s “Top Five,” “Hancock” starring Will Smith, “The Informant!” with Matt Damon, “Internal Affairs” with Richard Gere and Andy Garcia, “Checking Out” with Jeff Daniels, “Rounders” (again with Matt Damon) and “Wild Things Part 2: The Glades.”
Havey doesn’t rest on his laurels, and when it comes to the history of his work, he’s much rather be talking about projects he’s currently involved in or ones coming up. Our love of movies goes way back to when we used to have a segment called “The Have vs. The Nave” on Allan’s online radio show on http://www.comedyworld.com. It was a predecessor to the modern day podcast. That was back in the late ’90s, when I would call into his show, and we’d be heard live via the Internet.
Allan equally loves acting and performing stand-up, but if you ask him what his most rewarding accomplishment has been, he’ll tell you it was performing overseas entertaining our troops in the Middle East. Make plans to see him this weekend onstage at the Improv Lake Tahoe before he gets too busy with other projects.
Even though his name sounds more like a prize fighter than a radio personality, Frazer Smith’s name suits him well being a comic. I can safely say this guy was born to be in radio and comedy. He’s a mentor of sorts because when I first started doing the radio gig up here Frazer was already a household name doing drive-time radio in Los Angeles. He was number one baby! He told me radio is a very fickle gig and to always be on my game because you might get fired by a jealous general manager because you’re funnier than they’ll ever be — words to live by.
When “Fraz” first arrived out of the womb there was a 7-second delay so no naughty words would come out describing the shock of being outside of his incubated studio. As he got older he had that FM-sounding voice. Even his teachers in elementary school assumed he would be a force in radio one day. They were right because soon Frazer was hired by the very successful radio station KLOS FM in Los Angeles, where thousands would tune in to hear him and his string of guests while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Smith would make the successful transition to TV with his NBC show “Rockin’ America” that aired after “Saturday Night Live.”
His comedy style has this rapid-fire edge delivered in a deadpan way, which makes him pound-for-pound one of the best one-liner comedians working today (with apologies to fellow comedians Greg Otto and Geechy Guy). What a lineup this week. I’m already salivating just thinking about it.
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