Comedy at the Improv: Todd Glass and Gary Brightwell perform this week |

Comedy at the Improv: Todd Glass and Gary Brightwell perform this week

Howie Nave
Special to Lake Tahoe Action


Some comics are so admired by other comics that they’re referred to as a “comic’s comic.” That is quite a compliment, and no doubt comedian Todd Glass would disagree, but — too late, I said it. Gary Brightwell will perform with Glass at the Improv this week.

I recently purchased a copy of Todd’s memoir, “The Todd Glass Situation: A Bunch of Lies about My Personal Life and a Bunch of True Stories about My 30-Year Career in Stand-Up Comedy.” It’s a great read and even better knowing the man who wrote it. There’s a lot of great stuff on this guy, too. Todd made his mark early, opening for literally every headlining act out there by the age of 18 — and he still opens for a lot of his big-time friends on the road. When not headlining himself he’s a regular opener for comedic friends Sarah Silverman and David Spade. Some of Todd’s television credits include NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” seasons 2 and 3, ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” HBO, “Late Night With Conan O’Brien,” “Showbiz Show with David Spade,” “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn” on Comedy Central and “Politically Incorrect” with Bill Maher to name a mere few.

Todd can’t turn it off. He’s in “prankster mode” most of the time — but that, too, is a compliment. Like myself, Todd has a podcast (“The Todd Glass Show”) on The Nerdist podcasting network, hosting the show along with frequent co-host Daniel Kinno — who is also up here this week as a feature act. He’s beloved by just about every fellow comic out there, and it carries through with his audience as well.

Todd is openly honest and recently became even more open, coming out as gay — but in today’s world I really don’t think it’s a big deal. I mean, not to dismiss it, but he’s such a good guy that it circumvents everything else. He decided at the age of 48 to come out, in part because of all the suicides happening with young adults within the LGBT community; he’s been not just a role model to many, but speaks frequently about it at corporate functions. Todd has had the full support of virtually everyone within the comedy community — and who wouldn’t be? He talked about it the last time he was up here on both my radio and podcast show, and said he was just tired of hearing about others being bullied just because they were gay.

It’s been way too long since he was last here and really glad he’s back up here.


He’s performed overseas entertaining our troops in the Middle East, caddied for blue collar comedian Bill Engvall and still hasn’t performed up here in our room. Now, that’s a crying shame. Gary Brightwell is one of those rare comedians who was actually born and raised in Southern California and started doing his comedy while studying Engineering at Cal State Long Beach. After receiving two degrees in aerospace engineering, working full time during the day as an engineer at McDonnell Douglas and working at night as an emcee at a comedy club in Hermosa Beach, he decided to quit the steady income of the engineering job and go into stand-up comedy full time (of course his parents were pleased that his college education was being used to its fullest). If asked why one would forgo engineering for stand-up comedy, Gary’s answer is usually,” I was tired of getting up early, and golf tee times are much easier to get during the weekdays.”

Gary is by far one of the most laid back, super nice guys ever that personifies the Southern California tradition. His comedy is very relatable, and he’s been featured on many comedy shows including NBC’s “Friday Night”, A&E’s “Comedy on the Road”, “An Evening at the Improv” and a PBS comedy special entitled, “Can We Be Serious.” He’s worked with some of the best including Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Dennis Miller, Paul Reiser, Harry Anderson and the late Garry Shandling. As mentioned earlier Greg has entertained for our troops traveling all over the world for the USO and Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE) and says that’s probably one of the most rewarding shows to do.

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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