Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Gene Pompa, Nika Williams and Rick D’Elia perform this week at Lake Tahoe |

Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Gene Pompa, Nika Williams and Rick D’Elia perform this week at Lake Tahoe

Gene Pompa, pictured with Howie Nave, headlines The Improv this week.
Courtesy Photo |

Gene Pompa

Just in time for Thanksgiving we have comedian Gene Pompa, who is one of the funniest comedic writers (and is also a very good stand-up). This is Pompa’s first time back in over a year, and he returns with an impressive resume.

Pompa has been on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” in addition to Comedy Central, HBO, “Que Locos” on Galavision, Showtime’s “Latino Laugh Festival,” FOX’s “In Living Color” and on SiTV. He worked with comedian Paul Rodriguez in a show called “Comedy Rehab,” and has been in a couple big-screen movies including two Happy Madison films: “Just Go With It” and “Bucky Larson: Born To Be A Star.”

I think what captures Pompa’s comedic weirdness best is his solo stand-up diversity. The performer has starred and produced two one-hour comedy specials at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles, and additionally starred in two half-hour solo stand-up specials, “Pompalicious” for Comedy Central and a self-titled half-hour stand-up special for NuvoTV.

The comedian was born in East L.A. and raised in the working-class suburbs of Southern California. As a product of the multi-ethnic suburbs of Los Angeles, Pompa was inspired to use universal themes in his stand-up and writing. As funny as his act is, Pompa is able to infuse social commentary, too — and I can’t think of a better way to get a message across than using the guise of comedy to deliver it.

Nika Williams

It feels like yesterday Williams was here and immediately fell in love with Lake Tahoe.

Born and raised in Miami, the comedian and actor had a knack for making people laugh. When she eventually moved to Los Angeles, she began doing sketch comedy in addition to her stand-up. With her infectious personality and stunning looks, Williams could have easily pursued a successful career in modeling alone, but instead chose a career in comedy (and, subsequently, acting).

Her stand-up comedy won her a spot in “Shaq’s All Star Comedy Jam,” and she also appeared in Centric TV’s “Next Comedy All Star” and “According to Him & Her.” She’s also performed on VH1, “2 Broke Girls,” “Stevie TV,” “Partners” and Nick Cannon’s “Wild ‘n Out.” Williams also acted in the movies “American Weapon,” “Universal Remote” and “The Little Girl.” You can also catch her impersonating celebrities like Rihanna and Halle Berry in her web series, “MothaFunnyQuickies.”

Rick D’Elia

D’Elia is back in the hosting duties, and he’s at his best when the New England Patriots win (he’s more optimistic about life). This Boston comic possesses an East Coast edge that makes his set always non-PC.

The comedian has appeared as a sketch performer on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Stand-Up Stand-Up,” “America’s Talking,” “The Naked Truth,” “Inside the Extras Studio” and The Grand Slam Comedy Jam. D’Elia also works behind the camera producing, writing and directing shows such as “Going Native,” “Green Collar Comedy Slam” and “The Godfathers of Comedy.”

The good thing about D’Elia is you can pretty much plug him in anywhere and he’ll always come out on top.

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

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