Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Ben Gleib and Justine Marino perform this week at Lake Tahoe
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
It’s been a while since we’ve seen comedian Ben Gleib here. It wasn’t that long ago when I thought he was Chelsea Handler’s go-to comic, as he was on her show almost 90 times (Gleib also scripted her television series “After Lately”). Now look at him — Esquire Magazine named him one of six comedians who could be comedy’s next big thing (the other five: Aziz Ansari, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Demetri Martin and Flight of the Conchords), and TBS recently named him one of the “funniest comedians working today.”
Gleib is host, writer and executive producer of the Emmy-nominated “Idiotest,” the hit brain teaser game show in its fourth season on GSN. Gleib has recently become a regular on Kathie Lee and Hoda’s “Guys Tell All” segment, and you may have seen one of his recent appearances on Comedy Central’s “@midnight” with Chris Hardwick.
I remember when Gleib’s biggest credit was the voice of Marshall the Sloth in “Ice Age: Continental Drift” (the No. 2 animated movie of all-time, internationally). That opened doors for other animation gigs, such as being the voice of Dali in “The Book of Life” (which starred Channing Tatum) and appearing in “Phineas and Ferb,” as well as the YouTube series “The Melvin Bros.”
Gleib must be a clone of himself, as he’s been all over the television landscape. He is the first comedian to ever livestream a full headline set on Facebook Live, and he’s been doing it for one show in each city on his current tour. The streams are 100 percent improvised, and each set gets over 300,000 views. Yowza! Gleib is one of the best improvisers in stand-up comedy today.
His podcast, “Last Week on Earth with Ben Gleib,” on the Smodcast Network debuted at No. 9 on iTunes Comedy and was No. 1 on Stitcher for over 20 weeks. Every Wednesday he hilariously summarizes news and politics, occasionally joined by celebrity guests like Bryan Cranston, Meghan McCain, Bob Odenkirk, Sam Donaldson, Adam Devine and his parents.
Speaking of all things internet, Gleib’s online videos have received more than 25 million views. How he found the time to get back up here to the High Sierra is a feat in itself. Hope he enjoys a brief break from the madness and lets it all out onstage.
We’ve got a newbie — originally from Denver, I think she’ll have no problem adapting to this climate. When she moved to Los Angeles, Marino joined the prestigious sketch comedy troupe The Groundlings. After performing at clubs around the LA area she caught the eye of Jenny McCarthy, who cast her in the Netflix special, “Jenny McCarthy’s Dirty, Sexy, Funny,” where Marino was an instant standout.
She performs regularly at The Comedy Store, The Improv and used to open for Jon Lovitz every Wednesday at his comedy club. Marino also used to run a show at Lovitz’s venue called “Baked Goods,” where she served up cupcakes along with hilarious comedy. That club may be closed, but we’re certainly not — so hopefully Marino brings the baked goods here.