Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Will Durst and Larry ‘Bubbles’ Brown perform this week at Lake Tahoe
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Political humorist Will Durst returns for the first time since last year’s presidential election, which is one of the reasons we couldn’t get him up here sooner — cable and network news outlets had him, theaters much larger than ours had him and he was busy working on yet another one-man show (“Durst Case Scenario”).
Durst is not only able to encapsulate all the madness going on around him and make it sound funny, but is also a brilliant wordsmith (I find myself Googling some words just to make sure I’m hearing him right). It should be noted that politics is not his only subject — Durst also does a great job observing things around him and making it all relevant. Still, his political observations are very dead-on, and he points out the foibles of our politicians daily.
He must feel blessed with the non-stop barrage of all things politics — he’s able to pick and choose whatever he wants to write from a new chunk of material. The Lake Tahoe listening audience is treated to “A Burst of Durst” every Friday when he gets the last word on my morning radio show, offering up some of the best rants and poignant commentary.
The New York Times called Durst “quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today,” while the Chicago Tribune hailed him as a “hysterical hybrid of Hunter S. Thompson and Charles Osgood.”
Durst also appears in the documentary “3 Still Standing,” which chronicles the careers of three San Francisco Bay Area comedians: himself, Johnny Steele and Larry ‘Bubbles’ Brown, who started out in the early ‘80s. The film follows their careers during the boom of the San Francisco comedy scene, and continues to where they are now.
When setting out to make the movie, filmmakers Robert Campos and Donna LoCicero wanted to know why better-known acts such Dana Carvey, Rob Schneider and the late Robin Williams (all Bay Area acts) were getting television and movie deals while Durst, Brown and Steele didn’t seem to be getting the same breaks. The film has been showcased at Sundance, Tribeca and Austin’s SXSW film festivals.
Durst’s down-to-earth roots were harvested from his home state of Wisconsin even though he has called San Francisco home for quite a while now. The comedian is a five-time Emmy nominee and recipient of seven consecutive nominations for the American Comedy Awards Stand Up of the Year (and the first comic invited to perform at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government). He was also the first American to be nominated for the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for his one-man show “You Can’t Make Stuff Up Like This!”
Larry “Bubbles” Brown
Let me start out by saying to anyone reading this right now: Larry “Bubbles” Brown is an acquired taste. He’s what we call in the business a “comic’s comic,” which means other comics laugh at his stuff even if the crowd doesn’t laugh right away.
Brown often opened for Dana Carvey and Robin Williams, and performed at some big venues. The first time I worked with him was on a small stage in Santa Rosa in the late ‘90s and I couldn’t believe how down on himself he was — I think that’s why the audience was laughing so hard. If you feel that your life is really miserable and then see Brown, you end up feeling there might be hope for you.
He started out doing what he loves most: stand-up comedy. He was part of the famous San Francisco comedy scene in the early 1980s and quickly rose through the ranks as one of the city’s most popular comics. Brown has also been featured in small roles in some independent movies: He was in “The Kite Runner” and filmmaker Roger Nygard’s movie “Suckers.”
This is like a Bay Area homecoming week with both Brown and headliner Durst here.
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.