Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Adam Ray, Sandy Danto, David Gee perform this week at Lake Tahoe
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
It’s been a while since we’ve had Adam Ray here. He’s been seen in a multitude of projects, including The CW’s “MADtv,” “Two Broke Girls,” “Workaholics,” “Arrested Development,” “According to Jim,” “Silicon Valley,” “Rick and Morty” and “Ghostbusters.” He was the bad guy opposite Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in Paul Feig’s buddy cop comedy “The Heat” and his stand-up was featured in Comedy Central’s “Adam Devine’s House Party.”
After graduating from the acting school at the University of Southern California and spending a year in London at the British American Drama Academy, Ray has been in non-stop mode.
Ray grew up in the suburbs of Lake Forest Park, Washington and used comedy to deflect bullies when he was teased for being the fat kid in school. He was good at pranks, which is sometimes a requirement when entering the world of comedy. In fourth grade on April Fool’s Day (a milestone for any up-and-coming comedian) Ray placed a whoopee cushion on his teacher’s chair that worked perfectly with the end result of said teacher making him write “I will not be a class clown” 250 times in a notebook.
In high school Ray utilized the school’s television news program, providing a weekly sketch show as part of morning programming. Airing every Friday morning for 10 minutes, it soon became a hit amongst the entire school.
The comedian has also produced many YouTube videos that enabled him to sign a deal with Broadway Video to create content for their channel “Above Average.” Ray co-hosts the popular “About Last Night” podcast, which has welcomed such guests as Bob Saget, Melissa McCarthy, Dana Carvey, Susan Sarandon, Nick Swardson, Tony Danza, Adam Devine, Jeff Garlin, Whitney Cummings, Marc Maron and Kevin Nealon.
Ray is bringing a special guest with him, too: comedian and musician Avery Pearson. Pearson’s new show, “The 88 Show with Avery Pearson” is a sell-out monthly staple at The Hollywood Improv, featuring original comedy music in a late-night show format.
Last year Pearson performed at Comedy Central’s New York Comedy Festival and appeared on Seeso for “Big Jay Oakerson’s #WYFD.” He also tours clubs nationally, performing comedy music with Ray in addition to live shows for the “About Last Night” podcast.
Danto returns for the second time this year. The comedian studied at Indiana University and took summer classes at the famed Second City Detroit — it was here he realized comedy was the life for him. Soon after, he started working for National Lampoon as a character actor while writing, directing and producing comedy shorts on the side.
After relocating to Hollywood, Danto appeared on “MADtv” and Comedy Central’s “Mash Up.” He also co-hosted the web series “Fat Guy Nation.” His constant roadwork paid off: Danto built a name for himself when he landed the opening slot touring with ‘90s icon Pauly Shore. Danto has some interesting projects, like the Jet Ski Hot Tub Road Trip (on a Yacht).
“I wanted to make my own comedy special in which I do a tour of shows on a yacht trailed by an 18-wheeler being driven across America,” he said. Danto also starred in the feature films “Funny Fat Guy” and “Tar” (currently in post-production).
Playing host this week is David Gee. The comedian hosts numerous charity events — like the annual golf tournament thrown by Entertainment Tonight — and he emceed both the Bob Hope Desert Classic and the Friars Roast of Tommy Lasorda.
Gee’s performance on Showtime’s “Rita Rudner And 3 Potential Ex-Husbands” was one of his best (he played one of the ex-husbands). Gee has a little bit of something for everybody, be it topical commentary or observational humor, and oftentimes will make himself the butt of the joke.
I love his impressions of famous celebrities from the golden era of Hollywood. Gee is so dead-on with his trademark Vin Scully (sportscaster best known for his play-by-play for the Los Angeles Dodgers) impression that when Scully first heard Gee do it, he himself cracked up.
The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 9 p.m. Two shows are held on Saturdays at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Learn more at http://www.harveystahoe.com.