Halloween treats offered in laughs at The Improv
Jim Henton was beyond excited at the prospect of being up here for Halloween week, once he heard that Halloween is very popular here.
I told him that it’s all just an excuse for some of us to share our inner pirate. OK, in my case, dressing up as another gender; but enough about me. Henton is by far one of our favorites. He just sort of makes you laugh even before he sets up the jokes. You know how some comics just lead you to the funny and then you start to connect the dots and start laughing before they get there? Such is the case with Henton, who appears at The Improv every night this week through Sunday, along with opening act Don McEnery.
He’s one of those rare comics who can say he got to perform on both “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Some of his television credits go back when he appeared on “Bob Hope’s Young Comedian’s Special” in addition to starring in his own half-hour comedy special for Showtime, called “John Henton: Comedy With An Attitude.” John also performed on Comedy Central’s “Premium Blend” but is probably best known for his Fox TV series, “Living Single,” starring Queen Latifah. The show received stellar ratings and TV Guide selected Henton’s character as one of the “break out” characters of the season.
And if that wasn’t enough, Henton would garner further recognition when he signed to play the character of “Milsap” on the sitcom, “The Hughleys.” That show gave Henton a huge and loyal following that has lasted to this day. When “The Hughleys” moved to UPN during its third season on Monday nights it was the anchoring program for the fledgling network, and stayed there for another two years.
John’s body of work was recognized in 2001 and ’02 with an NAACP “Image Award” nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. John was really moved by that honor. His appeal goes beyond the characters he plays on television as he continues to captivate audiences with his observational and topical humor. He continues to be a favorite on talk shows with appearances on “The View,” “Late Night With Conan O’Brien” and numerous other late night talk shows.
Although Henton lives in Los Angeles, he will always call Cleveland home. Currently, he’s sharpening his golf skills before winter sets in but in Southern California their winter is pretty much like our fall, so golf all year? Lucky. Anyway, when you see Henton this week go up to him and say, “What, what?”
‘Seinfeld’ writer McEnery on stage
Don McEnery is probably best known for his writing credits, on both the small and large screen. In addition to appearing at such clubs as Catch-A-Rising-Star, The Improv and Dangerfield’s, Don was also a finalist on “Star Search.” His almost deadpan delivery and style have served him well, and you sometimes find yourself laughing at his punchlines while he is already into the next setup.
His work in television hasn’t gone unnoticed. He was nominated for an Emmy for his writing on “Seinfeld.” He seems to be doing very well writing for animated projects, which include Disney’s feature film “Hercules,” Pixar/Disney’s production of “A Bug’s Life” and Sony Picture’s “Stuart Little III.” He has also opened for such headliners as Howie Mandel, Don McClain and Tower of Power.
Speaking of tricks and treats, be sure to check out Howie’s new sites (there he goes speaking in the third person again), which feature a wide assortment of comical and informative tidbits for the initiated and well informed. They are http://www.HowieNave.com and http://www.myspace.com/officialhowienave/.
Have a very scary Halloween and never hold back.