Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Francisco Ramos, Ken Garr perform at Lake Tahoe this week
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Comedian Francisco Ramos is back headlining the Improv and he’s accomplished quite a bit more since his last performance. It wasn’t that long ago when Ramos was one of the top 10 finalists from NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.” He was the voice of the lead marmoset in the movie “Rio” (starring Anne Hathaway and Jesse Eisenberg) and appeared as Ramon on the Netflix show “Lady Dynamite.” Ramos has also appeared in Byron Allen’s syndicated show “First Family” and was in several sketches for “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Ramos also was seen in the pilot episode of Steve Carell’s “Angie Tribeca.”
Since then, Ramos was selected to perform in the CBS Multicultural Diversity Showcase (he was one of 12 selected from a pool of 5,000 applicants). He also appeared in NuvoTV’s “Latino 101” and the movie “Marmaduke” with Owen Wilson and George Lopez. Ramos performs regularly at major comedy clubs in Los Angeles such as The Comedy Store, The Comedy & Magic Club, Laugh Factory and The Improv.
This isn’t bad for a guy originally from Venezuela who then moved to Washington D.C. in 1994. Ramos graduated from the University of Maryland in 2004 with a double major in finance and international business. However, after a short-lived desk job, he realized that his passion lied in being a stand-up comic.
The son of a retired Chicago firefighter and homemaker, Ken hails from three generations of firefighters — so you know his family was ecstatic when he decided to go the route of comedian. Actually, he’s made his family proud in part because he has other siblings to carry on the tradition, so Garr dodged a bullet! (His family likes having someone in the entertainment business.)
The youngest of four children, Garr’s unique perspective on life derived from growing up in a blue-collar family with his own white-collar aspirations. As a kid he would watch old-school comedians such as Steve Martin on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.” Garr also was involved in theater, comedy clubs and stand-up comedy. However, his career detoured into corporate sales for 15 years.
“I would work my 9-to-5 job and perform stand-up at night and over the weekends,” Garr told me the last time he was here. “Finally I got a job working for NASDAQ in charge of the companies listed on the stock exchange and managing those relationships. One day I was sitting with the CEO of a big company and it hit me that I didn’t want to be there, but I wanted to perform stand-up full-time.” He left corporate sales, including a big salary, packed up and moved to California. Garr has been doing stand-up for three years and is happy with his decision.
The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays through Sundays at 9 p.m. Learn more at http://www.harveystahoe.com.