Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Ritch Shydner and Chase DuRousseau perform this week at Lake Tahoe
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Ritch Shydner has been around for a while, which means he has some pretty amazing stories. He finally put them into a book, providing a fascinating insight into the hectic life of a stand-up comic: “Kicking Through The Ashes: My Life as a Stand-up in the 1980s Comedy Boom” is an amazing look at the comedy scene that produced some of the biggest names in the business.
Shydner’s career took a major toll on his life, but he survived and came through on the other side. This guy has over 40 years of experience as a comic and television writer and made numerous appearances on David Letterman, “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and, before that, Johnny Carson!
The comedian has done specials on HBO, played Al Bundy’s co-worker on “Married with Children” and made guest appearances on TV shows such as “Designing Women” and “Roseanne.”
Shydner was able to translate his success on TV into a decent film career, appearing in Steve Martin’s “Roxanne” and Eddie Murphy’s “Beverly Hills Cop II” before moving on to smaller roles in independent pictures. He wrote material for Jeff Foxworthy’s Grammy-nominated comedy albums “Totally Committed” and “Big Fun,” and also wrote for Ron White and Jay Leno.
In 2006, Shydner co-authored a book on stand-up with Mark Schiff, called “I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America’s Top Comics.” Four years later, he produced and performed in Jordan Brady’s award-winning documentary on the world of stand-up comedy, “I Am Comic.” He also wrote for singers Kenny Rogers and Pam Tillis. It’s been a while since Shydner appeared up here, so I can’t wait to hear new stories.
DuRousseau knew he had a knack for making people laugh, but it wasn’t until he dropped out of college to pursue his passion for comedy that he became fully committed. The comic said he was going by intuition, so good thing it paid off: He won Houston’s Funniest Person Contest at The Laff Stop and was recognized almost immediately as the new kid to watch out for.
DuRousseau was named “LA’s Best Comedian” as part of the national nonprofit ECAN (Esophageal Cancer Action Network), which bestowed upon him the honors for its No Laughing Matter multimedia campaign to raise awareness about the link between reflux disease and esophageal cancer. His prize? Working alongside America’s favorite redneck jokester, Jeff Foxworthy. He’s also worked with some other good acts including Craig Robinson, Hannibal Buress and Jo Koy.
When not performing in the states DuRousseau does stand-up overseas for our military and military installations.
The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 9 p.m. Two shows are held on Saturdays at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Learn more at http://www.harveystahoe.com.