Comedy at the Improv with Howie Nave: Dat Phan and Chase DuRousseau perform this week at Lake Tahoe
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Dat Phan’s act is entertaining to watch — only he can pull off making fun of himself and off-the-wall stereotypes he traces back to his family’s roots. Phan seeks to rectify the under-representation of Asian Americans in the media and theatre arts, noting, “We are more than just martial artists!” Born in Saigon and raised in San Diego, Phan has been recognized by the Smithsonian Institute as one of the 10 most influential Vietnamese Americans.
Since he last performed in Tahoe, Phan has made appearances in movies like “Sake-Bomb,” “Hungover Games” and “108 Stitches” and in television series such as “Bones,” “Scorpion,” “The Last Ship,” and “Startup.” He recently wrapped shooting on the period piece “Spring Break ‘83” and “Kong: Skull Island,” which is currently in post-production.
You can credit NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” to Phan’s success — crowned the winner of season one, he was essentially introduced to America overnight. He made an appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” almost immediately after winning the competition, and things took off: Phan was getting booked everywhere.
Prior to “Last Comic Standing,” Phan worked for Budd Friedman’s Improv in Hollywood, answering phones and taking reservations in order to get stage time and perfect his craft. It’s ironic that Phan fielded calls from other comedians trying to get booked, while he wanted the same thing for himself. It paid off in a major way and Phan seized the opportunity, succeeding due to his tenacity and talent.
DuRousseau was named LA’s Best Comedian as part of non-profit Esophageal Cancer Action Network’s No Laughing Matter multimedia campaign, which raises awareness about the link between reflux disease and esophageal cancer. His prize? Working alongside America’s favorite “redneck” jokester, Jeff Foxworthy.
DuRousseau always knew he had a knack for being funny, and dropped out of college to pursue his passion for comedy while residing in Texas. His intuition paid off, as he won “Houston’s Funniest Person Contest” at the Laff Stop and was recognized as the new kid to watch out for. Houston has a long tradition of producing some of the best comedians, including Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, Janeane Garofalo and Brett Butler.
When not performing in the states, DuRousseau performs overseas for our military. He also does gigs stateside at military installations. DuRousseau moved to Los Angeles a few years ago and has worked with acts including Craig Robinson and Hannibal Buress. It’s going to be a good week of laughs.