Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Amir K, Grant Cotter perform this week at Lake Tahoe |

Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Amir K, Grant Cotter perform this week at Lake Tahoe

Howie Nave
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Amir K, pictured with Howie Nave, performs at The Improv this week.
Courtesy Photo |

Amir K

Amir Kamyab, who performs under the stage name Amir K, returns for the first time this year, and he never seems to run out of new and career-worthy credits — I didn’t know he was part of The CW’s “MadTV” cast until I was channel surfing, but there he was. The comedian was also on the MTV prank show “Jerks With Cameras.”

The first time Kamyab came up here as a middle act he had just completed his first movie: Ben Affleck’s “Argo.” How do you top that? What’s funny (and ironic) is that he hadn’t planned on a career in comedy even though everyone who grew up with him says he was a natural. The performer was successful in real estate for a while and created his own company. Had it not been for the collapse of the housing market in the Great Recession, Kamyab might never have gone into comedy or followed his true passion of entertaining people and making them laugh.

Born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in Southern California, Kamyab 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) the comedian became known for his accents and impressions.

In a relatively short amount of time, Kamyab won OC’s Funniest (a stand-up comedy competition) and was a performer on CBS Diversity Showcase. He was then a finalist on NBC’s Stand-Up for Diversity Showcase and won Tommy T’s Stand-Up Comedy Competition in the Bay Area before he championed the Ultimate Laff-Down Stand-Up Comedy Competition in Southern California. He never disappoints.

Grant Cotter

Grant Cotter has never been up here, so it’ll be nice to welcome a new face and see how he does. From what I’ve gathered, he’s very observational and has an offbeat sensibility about him — a good combination.

He’s already made some significant inroads and has performed in “A” rooms across the country, but more importantly he’s getting noticed in the congestion-filled business of comedy where one must be aggressive to move to the front of the line. He’s made appearances on MTV’s “Retromania,” the Dr Pepper “One of a Kind” campaign, and in 2013 he was named one of OC Weekly’s Top Five Comics to Watch.

Like Kamyab, Cotter is a cast member on MTV’s “Jerks With Cameras” and in 2014 made his TV stand-up debut on Bounce TV’s “Off the Chain.” Cotter completed work on the documentary “Dying Laughing” and wrapped a supporting role in the Jonathan Talbert-directed feature “Spare Change.”

He wrote a pilot, “Taken For Granted,” which is based on his own life (and name). Cotter has been featured in the Comedy Central showcase and the LiveNation showcase and was invited to join Funny or Die’s “Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival” that hits 22 cities and features comedic greats Louis C.K., Sarah Silverman, Aziz Ansari and Dave Attell. Impressive.

The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays through Sundays at 9 p.m. Learn more at

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