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Gentleman Grif brings observations to The Improv

Howie Nave

I cannot wait until Anthony ‘Grif’ Griffith arrives. He is really a unique individual with a skewed look at the world. Even his childhood was spent laying the groundwork for what would be a life of stand-up.

“Kids in my neighborhood loved playing cops and robbers, which I hated because I was always forced to be the prostitute,” he said.

Anthony was raised by a very religious mother, which is probably one reason his humor is non-offensive and filled with many different characters. His observational style is sometimes brilliant. On living in Hollywood, Grif says, “I saw a dog wearing a sweater and matching cap … I was wearing that same outfit.” He’s one of the funniest gentlemen comics I’m aware of, and quite dry, I might add. He’s been described as hilarious, unique, original, intense and witty.

“Inquisitive as a child, observing people has always been second nature to me,” Griffith said. “Three occupations I observed, if done correctly, always had audiences mesmerized: The athlete, the singer and the comedian. Never one to hold a note outside the shower, and with my aspirations to become a professional dodgeballer ending after grade school, my gift I discovered — actually stumbled onto — was comedy.”

Anthony is definitely a comic’s comic, and the crowds enjoy him just as much. He’s made numerous television appearances including “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” and on HBO, Showtime and Comedy Central. Anthony has also done numerous television movies; the best one was where he played rock musician Little Richard in a made-for-TV movie. He has a rock-solid marriage and credits his wife for much of his insights. Being the comic, though, Anthony has another reason why his marriage has been successful: “After 20 years, five stitches and one restraining order, I’ve learned to say I’m sorry.”

Carrie Snow

We’re fortunate to have Carrie Snow filling in this week for comedian Michael Pace, who had to bow out because of the fires in his home town of San Diego, where evacuations have been taking place. Carrie was able to step in at the last minute for Michael, and our prayers go out to Michael and his family.

Carrie was here this past September as a headliner, so having her here this week means we are being treated to two headliners. Talk about bang for your buck. She’s the best, and a very funny woman, too. When the title of your one-woman show is “7,000 Sailors Can’t Be Wrong,” then that says it all, actually.

I have known Carrie since she lived in Berkeley, way back in the day. She is an astute woman whose observations have always been dead on. She has an interesting view of the world and her observations are always telling. One of her sayings is my favorite: “Having a male gynecologist is like going to an auto mechanic who doesn’t own a car.”

In addition to her stand-up, stage productions, television and movie work (loved her in “The Aristocrats”), Carrie is also an author. Her book, “My Mom’s Meaner Than Your Mom: True Stories of Mean Mothers” will be available shortly, and on top of all this she still finds time to practice Anusara Yoga while trying to make the world a better place to live one laugh at a time.

When Carrie started out she supported her stand-up while going to college at UC Berkeley as a receptionist at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland. Carrie also began “professional party guesting” to support herself, which led to being handily escorted out of many fashionable homes in the Bay Area. A harrowing stint as the emcee of an all-male strip show made Carrie dream of spending quality time with a man who could read a book without illustrations. From there Carrie hit the road and can honestly say that she opened for both Jack Jones and the Red Hot Chili Peppers in the same decade.

In addition to playing on the road, Carrie was regularly on television doing every stand-up ensemble show from PBS’ “Comedy Tonight” (which she later hosted for two award-winning seasons), “An Evening at The Improv” (later hosting a Best-Of episode), to being a guest host on every talk show from “The Sally Jesse Raphael Show,” “Marilu,” The Late Show, ‘A’ List, and “Leeza,” to Caroline’s and Comedy Central. Her original “Comedy Tonight” performance was nominated for a local Emmy Award but was beaten out by a dog show. Lots of prisoners wrote her letters, though, so there was a silver lining I suppose.


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