Comedy at the Improv: Darryl Lenox and Ahmed Bharoocha perform this week
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
I’m always impressed when comedians overcome any adversity by using their craft to address it head on, making jokes about it and showing people you can turn just about any negative into a positive. In Darryl Lenox’s case he’s legally blind in one eye and can barely see out of the other.
He saw an eye specialist for his left eye that lead to a very risky surgery. He was not only grateful, but Darryl told me, “The doctor that performed the surgery is my hero and was incredibly inspiring.” Darryl’s experience not only gave him a better appreciation for life, but also gave him plenty to talk about for his stand-up routine; he turned the entire experience into an incredible piece of comedy that was the inspiration for both his CD and cable comedy special.
Darryl has always been funny — but it’s his cool, laid back style that makes him special. Apparently I’m not alone as Stagetime Magazine named his CD, “Blind Ambition,” “one of the Top 5 Comedy Albums of 2012,” joining the ranks of Louis CK, Reggie Watts, Tig Notaro and the late Patrice O’Neal. Along with his CD release on Stand Up! Records, Lenox also saw the release of his hour-long stand-up special of the same name on Starz Network. This marked the first time that an original feature comedy special has ever appeared on that network.
He’s also made appearances on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, Conan O’ Brien, A&E’s Evening at the Improv, Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham, Jamie Foxx’s Laffa Pallooza, BET’s Comic View and Montreal’s Just For Laughs Festival. He won First Place in Seattle’s Comedy Competition and the Vancouver Fringe Festival’s Best New Play Award, and he always takes the gold (after you see how well he is performing in our room during these Olympic games).
It’s amazing how many new credits comedian Ahmed Bharoocha adds to his list of accomplishments since last appearing here in the High Sierra. Let’s see, you can add an appearance on TBS’s Conan O’ Brien, in addition to being a regular in the Glasgow Comedy Festival, Boston Comedy Fest, Seattle Comedy Fest, RIOT LA, Bridgetown Comedy Fest and many others. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2009, Ahmed was handpicked by David Letterman’s Eddie Brill to perform in the Great American Comedy Festival, and in 2010 he won the Magner’s Comedy Festival. He already nailed a huge credit, having his sketch comedy group featured on “Tosh.O” on Comedy Central.
The LAWeekly named Ahmed as one of the top comedy acts to watch; and when he was at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, he was selected as one of the “New Faces” to watch.
He’s really a good guy and I don’t say that lightly either. I think Ahmed had no choice but to be a stand-up comedian. Born into an Irish Catholic/Pakistani Muslim household (which qualifies him for just about any scholarship that UC Berkeley has to offer), Ahmed already had a wealth of great material to work with before reaching adulthood. And, as fate would have it, Ahmed puts some of his life experiences into what’s going on in today’s world. Hopefully as you’re laughing hysterically, you’ll be thinking about what he’s saying and learning something, too.
Ahmed has worked with some of the best in the business, as well, including Louis C.K., Aziz Ansari, Gary Gulman and Andy Samberg.
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, except Saturdays. Tickets are $30 on Saturdays. 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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