Comedy at the Improv with Howie Nave: Amir K and Allen Strickland Williams perform this week at Lake Tahoe
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
If last year is any indication of what he’ll be able to accomplish this year, Amir K will soon be priced out of our budget. He’s currently on the cast of The CW’s “MADtv” and the MTV prank show “Jerks With Cameras,” but I’m personally a fan of his voice inflections — he can take one conversation and turn it into six different characters with dialects from all over the planet.
Born Amir Kamyab in Tehran, Iran and raised in Southern California, the comedian spent countless stage time perfecting his craft and gaining a formidable reputation with his storytelling and improvisational style. With his multi-cultural upbringing — he’s fluent in Farsi and Spanish — he became known for incredible accents and impressions. He didn’t start out that way though. Kamyab was in real estate for a while, and in fact had his own company. The one good thing to come out of the Great Recession of ‘08 was Kamyab leaving real estate and following his true passion of making people laugh.
The first time Kamyab came to Lake Tahoe he was a middle act and had just completed his first movie, “Argo.” Not a bad movie to be in, considering it was his first feature length film and it ended up winning Oscars. Paralleling those awards, Kamyab won Orange County’s Funniest Comic Competition and was a performer on CBS’ “Diversity Showcase.” He was also a finalist on NBC’s “Stand-Up for Diversity Showcase” and won Tommy T’s Stand-Up competition in the Bay Area, in addition to winning the 100 Comic Ultimate Laff-Down stand-up competition in Southern California.
Now he’s back in our room for the first time this year. Welcome back, Amir.
Allen Strickland Williams
The comedian with the long name makes his debut this week, and I’m betting it’s his first time coming to the greater Tahoe area. Williams is a relatively new stand-up comic and writer based in Los Angeles. His first big break that exposed him to the masses was in the fall of 2014 when he made his television stand-up debut on “Conan.” Other appearances followed, including “Comedy Dynamics: Coming to the Stage” on Hulu, “After Darth” from Abominable Pictures and Viceland’s “Flophouse.”
Williams was recently listed as one of the 10 Best Rising Stars in LA Comedy by Culture Trip and appeared at the 2016 New York Comedy Festival as one of Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch (a showcase for the hottest up-and-coming comedians in the nation). Allen has performed at the prestigious SXSW and Moontower Comedy Festival in Austin, Texas, as well as the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, Oregon and Funny or Die’s Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival in both San Diego and Irvine, California. He has performed in Los Angeles at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, The Hollywood Improv, Laugh Factory, The Comedy Store and The NerdMelt Showroom.
In addition to headlining the Acme Comedy Co. in Minneapolis and being featured at The Comedy Works in Denver, Punch Line San Francisco, The American Comedy Co. in San Diego and both UCB Theatres in New York City, Williams has become quite the phenom in the social media world — he works as a freelance writer for VICE and produces videos with his sketch group WOMEN, which has been featured on “Tosh.0” and IFC’s “Comedy Crib.”