Comedians Rocky LaPorte and Ron Morey perform at the Lake Tahoe Improv
I couldn’t think of a better way to bring in October, my favorite month, than by having two of my all-time favorite comedians up here at the Improv at Harveys: Rocky LaPorte and Ron Morey. Rocky was the best man at my wedding, and things have really taken off for him since then. Actually, things have taken off since his appearance on last year’s “Last Comic Standing” on NBC. Rocky has never been more in demand.
It’s astounding what a national television show can do to one’s comedy career, especially when you’ve already been doing comedy for some 27 years. We try to get Rock up here as much as possible, but our room can only hold so many. With LaPorte performing at larger venues now, we’re fortunate because you get to experience him in a more intimate setting.
When he’s not headlining theaters and comedy venues across the country, Rocky gets asked to work with other big name acts like Ron White. Yeah, Rocky taped a segment with him on Country Music Television. Rocky was also named crowd favorite after performing at LaughFest’s Clean Comedy Showcase in Grand Rapids, Mich. Not bad for a guy who drove a delivery truck for a living on Chicago’s South Side.
That’s where he started out, in Chicago, honing his craft and slowly garnering a following, winning accolades and comedy competitions. It was just a matter of time before Rocky headed out to Los Angeles, where he started getting booked for television and headlining some of the biggest rooms in Hollywood. He had a small role in the classic Disney remake of “The Shaggy Dog” and Tim Allen’s movie “Crazy On the Outside,” which co-starred Sigourney Weaver, Ray Liotta and Kelsey Grammer. He appeared on Showtime’s “The Godfathers of Comedy” along with four other comics of Italian descent commenting on their Italian upbringing. He also starred in his own one-hour Comedy Central special and received a standing ovation his very first time on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”
If you ask Rock where some of his favorite performances took place, you might be surprised: Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s right folks, some of Rock’s favorite shows were performing for our military in the Middle East. On one of those comedy tours he was showcased; along with comedians Drew Carey, Blake Clark, Kyle Dunnigan and Jeffrey Ross; in documentary special that aired on Showtime called “Patriot Act.” Rocky does benefits and fundraisers close to home as well, his favorites being St. Jude’s for Children, various NFL charities, benefits for the homeless and cancer research. Despite all of his success, though, Rocky still considers getting his GED his most impressive credit.
And, just like last time, appearing with Rocky is Ron “The Monster” Morey. Why was he given that title you ask? Well, years ago other comics started referring to him as “The Monster” for his rapid-fire delivery and take-no-prisoners persona. His greatest tribute comes from the thousands of fans who, while watching his show, will sometimes loudly chant “more Ron, more Ron, more Ron,” which might sound insulting, but is just endearing to Ron.
Ron has worked with a lot of well-known entertainers, including D. L. Hughley and Snoop Dogg on “DoggyFizzle Televizzle.” Like myself and Rocky, he too has performed overseas working for the USO in places like Italy, Greece, Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait and Germany. Ron had the dubious honor of being mentioned in the Entertainment Business Journal as “A stand out kind of guy.” Ron does in fact stand out, as he’s one of the few comics out there that still wears a three-piece suit onstage, just in case he’s called to accept another award for his comedy.
All of us wish though that he would do more of his celebrity impressions, which include two of my favorites: Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. He doesn’t do them onstage but will do them on the radio, so I’ll just have to record him more often and play it back over the airwaves and on my podcast, Howie’s High Sierra Comedy Vault.
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 and Sundays and tickets are $25 plus fees. Saturday shows take place at 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and tickets cost $30 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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