Flip a coin, either Improv comic is funny as a president | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Flip a coin, either Improv comic is funny as a president

Howie Nave
The snort heard around the world: Howie Nave reminds radio listeners how they wake up in the winter to the sound of avalanche control explosions. Improv comic Suli McCullough has his car keys strategically placed for a quick exit.
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Two headliners and a guy from Humboldt walk into a room. …

But seriously, folks, Suli McCullough and Kenny Bob Davis are going to be swapping places each night this week at the Improv at Harveys. So that means back-to-back performances for somebody on Saturday, when we present 8 and 10 p.m. shows. Each other night showtime is at 9 p.m.

I am the one constant. I am the host, going on first, then returning to introduce the headliner. I spent two years at Humboldt State, which allows me to call myself a native of Humboldt County.

Action’s editor really did grow up in Humboldt County, and that’s why he makes fun of me – especially in cutlines – and changes my copy.

Back to the stuff that Howie wrote: Suli McCullough is a fine comic who onstage pokes fun of his fragile frame referring to himself as “chicken arms,” but don’t let that feigned insecurity fool you. Actually, it was a little girl who called him that name, which has affectionately stuck.

A writer for both Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” and George Lopez from “Lopez Tonight,” Suli writes for other voices. Between that and acting and co-authoring several comedy books, Suli is a modern-day Renaissance man.

His career as a standup almost didn’t happen until a fateful day as a student at UCLA. Suli was fortunate enough to be the opening act for Jerry Seinfeld at what was supposed to be a one-shot gig. Seinfeld’s managers were in the audience, and he was signed by his management company the very next day and he was on his way.

Television credits started piling up for Suli and soon he was on everything from “MTV’s 1/2 Hour Comedy Hour,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live” to NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” to “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “In Living Color,” “Seinfeld,” “Married with Children” and ABC’s “My Wife and Kids.”

After guest starring on “The Jamie Foxx Show” during the third season, he was offered the part of Dwayne “Mouse” Abercrombie. Over the course of 25 episodes “Mouse” would grow to become Jamie’s right-hand man.

On the big screen, Suli has appeared in the feature films “What’s Love Got To Do With It,” “Terminal Velocity” (with my role model, Charlie Sheen), “Run Ronnie Run,” but he is most recognized for his role as “Crazy Legs” (the dude in the wheelchair) in the Wayans Brothers movie, “Don’t be a Menace to South Central while Drinking your Juice in the Hood.”

Suli’s influences include the late, great Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans, Garry Shandling, Woody Allen and Jamie Foxx.

Our second co-headliner is Kenny Bob Davis who performed up here as a musician back in the 1970s with the Kenny Davis Road Show and was voted Lounge Act of the Year, somebody said.

It was natural for Kenny to crack jokes between the songs and, wouldn’t you know it, the jokes started outpacing the songs.

Kenny re-branded himself, first known simply as Kenny Davis. You can thank country music legend Larry Gatlin for renaming him. Gatlin, who played in the early days of the Celebrity Golf Championship, told him that he needed to add another name in there because it would not only sound better but make him more “one of them” in the country music field. His new middle name was added and he’s been Kenny Bob Davis ever since. Gatlin opened many doors for him. On the other side of those doors were a ton of other big name acts in the music field for Kenny to open for and tour with.

As an actor you’ve seen him on television or in the movies including “Gremlins,” “ER,” “Zach and Cody,” “Sisters” and “Murder, She Wrote.” He also has several CDs released showcasing both his comedy and musicianship. Of all the credits Kenny Bob Davis has, I still like reprinting the one he received from the legendary comedian George Burns. After opening for Burns in concert in 1988 George said to Kenny Bob, “There is nothing I love more than performing. If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life!” That’s great advice especially during these tough times and not just for comedy or entertainment. It’s pretty evident that Kenny Bob Davis still very much loves what he does.

So there you have it folks, not one but two very different headliners with two very different styles. There’s a little bit for everyone no matter what generation you’re currently a part of so get out and laugh because three out of every four doctors say that laughter is in fact the best medicine. The one doctor who didn’t agree here died of depression after reading my column. Snap!


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