Comedy at The Improv with Howie Nave: Will Durst performs at Lake Tahoe this week
Special to Lake Tahoe Action
Political humorist Will Durst finally returns — and with a comedian as well respected as him, there’s never a shortage of material. After this past presidential election not only was Durst in great demand, but in addition to his regular comedy act he was able to write not one, but two one-man shows reflecting the times we live in.
Durst encapsulates all the madness going on around him and makes it sound funny — he’s a brilliant wordsmith and uses words that I find myself Googling just to make sure I’m hearing (and understanding) them correctly. While politics is not the only topic that he comments on, these political observations are dead-on and point out the foibles of our politicians daily.
Durst has a boatload of credits: The New York Times called him “quite possibly the best political satirist working in the country today,” and The Los Angeles Times described him as “a modern day Will Rogers,” while The Chicago Tribune hailed him as a “hysterical hybrid of Hunter S. Thompson and Charles Osgood.”
Durst also is in a documentary called “3 Still Standing,” which follows the careers of three Bay Area comedians starting out in the early ‘80s during the boom of the San Francisco comedy scene to where they are now. It’s a fascinating piece of work if you’re a fan of stand-up comedy. Filmmakers Robert Campos and Donna LoCicero were huge fans of the scene and chose their stars for a particular reason: They wanted to know why acts such Dana Carvey, the late Robin Williams and Rob Schneider were getting deals while Durst and others didn’t seem to be getting the same breaks.
Growing up in Wisconsin Durst harvested down-to-earth roots. He still performs there regularly, even though he has called San Francisco home for quite a while now. Durst 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 ever invited to perform at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government). Durst also was the first American to be nominated for the prestigious Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for his one-man show “You Can’t Make Stuff Up Like This.”
By the way, Durst ran for mayor and took no PAC funding — he came in fourth out of 11. He spent a total of $1,200 getting 2 percent of the vote. Speaking of all things San Francisco and mayors, Durst had a radio show (“Will & Willie”) with former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown that was hugely popular. Their show was one of the funniest and entertaining programs ever. See Durst at the Improv through Sunday, June 10.
The Improv at Harveys takes place Wednesdays through Sundays at 9 p.m. Learn more at http://www.harveystahoe.com.