Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: John Caponera and Joe Dosch perform this week at Lake Tahoe |

Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: John Caponera and Joe Dosch perform this week at Lake Tahoe

John Caponera, pictured with Howie Nave, performs at The Improv this week.
Courtesy Photo |

John Caponera

With his signature tagline, “Comedy! Comin’ attcha,” Cap (as we affectionately call Caponera) sets the stage for what will be an evening filled with hilarity. This is his first Tahoe trip of the year and all he asks on Facebook is, “How much snow is up there?” I’ll make him shovel the white stuff and figure it out for himself.

Caponera talks a lot about his Italian upbringing — he’s a real powerhouse of positive energy and interjects that throughout his show. He’s parlayed his family background into a comedy special, “The Godfathers of Comedy,” which aired on Showtime and starred fellow Italian comedian Rocky LaPorte.

Caponera has appeared in numerous shows, such as “The Good Life,” and was the host of Comedy Central’s “Jocks” and ESPN’s “Talk II.” He guest-starred on NBC’s long-running hospital drama, “ER,“ in addition to “Love & War,” “Blossom” and one of my favorite cable horror shows of all time, HBO’s “Tales From The Crypt.” His greatest credit is performing overseas for troops in the Middle East and believes (as do I) there has never been a more appreciative audience than our military.

Cap is not just a popular comedian, but is now an author as well — he chronicled his comedy career in a book titled, “A Life in Comedy,” which charts his highs and lows in this whacky biz we call stand-up. From his start as a young comedian in Chicago during the 1970s to the “pseudo-celebrity hell” of corporate golf tournaments, Caponera has seen it all. The chapter about cocaine-addicted club owners was pretty spot-on, as were the observations regarding fickle TV executives, uptight cruise ship directors and the harsh reality of life on the road.

The best part of any Caponera show is his homage to Chicago’s greatest play-by-play sports announcer of all time, Harry Caray (voice of the Chicago Cubs). He slots Caray into crazy situations as if he were broadcasting the game, while telling listeners what happened to him the night before. He also does a great impression of long-time voice for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Vin Scully.

Michael Paskevich of The Las Vegas Review-Journal says, “Unafraid of letting a room grow quiet, Caponera sets his own intentionally erratic pace, pausing to perfection to complement his oddly timed, but rewarding, comic insights. The jokes are further bolstered by his talent for facial gestures that range from goofy to arrogant, making Caponera arguably the hottest club headliner going at present.”

Truer words were never written.

Joe Dosch

Have you seen comedian Joe Dosch on Comedy Central’s “Roast Battle” yet? If not, you’re missing out on a comedian who shows no mercy when going after his colleagues. This is Dosch’s first time back this year, and I hope he brought the proper clothing — the Los Angeles comic would die from frostbite, given he has no body fat whatsoever.

Dosch isn’t from L.A., but if he wanted to survive as a comic he had to leave the South Dakota and Montana area, where doing comedy isn’t exactly a match made in heaven — at least people will laugh at most anything because they don’t get to experience it on a regular basis (apologies to one of Montana’s best and only comedians, Lukas Seely). Dosch did pretty well in that state, but the transfer to Los Angeles and pursuit of stand-up on a full-time basis was probably a wise move on his part.

Dosch’s influences include comedians Bill Hicks, Patrice O’Neal and Bill Burr. A regular at The Hollywood Improv, he’s a hard-hitting, yet warm and charming kind of guy who offers hilarious material that appeals to all audiences. Whether the gig is a gay pride festival in West Hollywood or a rowdy Montana saloon, Dosch delivers the goods. Welcome back to South Lake Tahoe, Joe.

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