Comedy at the Improv: Steve White and Avi Liberman perform this week
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
When comedian Steve White had his own morning radio show in Las Vegas, he would call me during my morning radio show here in Lake Tahoe — and we’d both talk about what’s going on in our part of the state. Steve would offer tickets to shows happening in Vegas for the Tahoe listeners and I in turn would offer free tickets to shows happening up here. He will perform this week at Tahoe’s South Shore with Avi Liberman.
Steve refers to himself as a “Bew” (part black, part Jew) comedian, but he’s not an Orthodox Jew, as he loves his bacon and loves to flaunt his “oy-ness.” Steve’s improvisational skills are off the chart, which means no two shows are ever similar. That’s why he’s so much fun on my morning radio show as you just never know what he’s going to be saying next.
As far as his credits go, they’re pretty solid and lengthy. His acting credentials include movies, like “Coming to America,” “Harlem Nights,” “Clockers,” “Do the Right Thing,” “Jungle Fever,”“Mo-Better Blues,” “Ford Fairlane,” “Other People’s Money” and “Goosed” (an independent film with Joan Rivers and Tiffany Tilly). On the small screen Steve has been on Comedy Central, HBO, BET, “Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper,” “Living Single,” “Caroline’s Comedy Hour,” “Def Comedy Jam,” “Comic Strip Live,” “Showtime At The Apollo” and “Yo! MTV Raps.” Closer to home Steve took top honors beating out hundreds of comedians in the annual San Francisco Comedy Competition. Be it films, comedy, television or writing — Steve does it all.
“I’m finding it thrilling in doing it all,” said an exuberant Steve.
Steve is a non-stop, funny machine. And he’s very proud still that his credit rating is better than that of our country’s and he’s not too big to fail either so he never asks for a loan.
Steve is an avid cyclist and I wish he was going to be up here for next month’s annual Tour de Tahoe bike ride around the lake. It wasn’t that long ago Steve decided last minute to cycle around the lake and do call-ins while I was doing my morning radio show. It was pretty funny. One time he called in from Incline to say, “Howie, I almost got hit by this lady! I can’t decide if she’s racist because she’s never seen a black man on a bike or if it’s because she, too, is talking on her phone while trying to operate a moving vehicle.”
Avi Liberman was here earlier in the year and remembered it was touch ‘n’ go for awhile — with his hanging out at the Pai Gow table most nights. One night Avi entered a poker competition and was abducted by one of China’s notorious triad organizations. We thought we’d never see him again, but fortunately he was working with comedian Graham Elwood (heard every Thursday on my morning radio show for his segment called “Graham’s Crackers”) who was able to broker a release, freeing Avi who promised never to gamble beyond his means. We certainly hope so for your sake, Avi.
Born in Israel, raised in Texas and educated in New York City (sounds like the making of a new sitcom, doesn’t it?), Avi eventually would settle in Los Angeles, working part-time as a substitute teacher during the day while he was honing his comedy chops at night.
It didn’t take long for him to get there, appearing on CBS’ “Late Late Show” with Craig Ferguson, Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” and “Make Me Laugh” as well as on NBC’s “Friday Night!” His acting credits include “Dave’s World” on CBS, “Boston Common” on NBC and “Andytown U.S.A.” on Comedy Central. He’s also been heard on radio stations across the country. In addition to his stand up, Avi has appeared in television spots for Mercedes, L.A. Cellular, Miller Lite, Starbucks and Net Zero. His comedy has taken him to the prestigious Montreal Just for Laughs Festival — and he books comics for tours to Israel, donating all of the proceeds to different charities.
It’s a week of three “Oys,” which is pretty rare for Lake Tahoe! I just wish it was Hanukkah and things would be complete.
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.